BCA’s Fishnet Project funds vocational training for young people who were unable to complete formal education through no fault of their own, but are willing to be trained in any trade of their choice at a local vocational institute. The guiding philosophy informing the initiation of this project is: give a person fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime. The initiative which started in May 2009 is a $7000 a year project aimed at equipping young people with trade skills to enable them become self-employed. Currently in its second phase, the fishnet project has successfully funded the training of 30 youths in Bali in skills such as welding, carpentry, tailoring, embroidery and traditional crafts making. The following training centers have been involved in the project:
The basic entry requirement for training at the Bali Handicraft Center is a First School Leaving Certificate and proof of good character. The Handicraft Center also has as a tradition that new trainees provide lunch to the other trainees and trainers on their first day at the center.
The rest of the centers don’t have any special requirements. Handicraft Center and Ni Zack’s welding Workshop accept payments in 3 installments and the rest accept payments in 2 installments.
The first batch of students sponsored through the Fishnet Project graduated from Ets Fedelis Yong’s Embroidery School in April 2011.
A second batch of 12 students graduated from Free Man’s Fashion School in Bali Nyonga in December 2011. The students had been enrolled in the school’s program for 2 years.
Phase 1: 2009 – 2012
Between 2009 and 2012, 30 youths were successfully trained in the following vocations:
Phase 2: 2013 -2016
In 2013, 7 candidates were recruited and are currently training in the following vocations with an expected completion date in 2016.
PROJECT STRUCTURE AND IMPLEMENTATION
Based on discussions with the local committee, the BCA-USA Project Committee determines criteria that prospective applicants will be required to follow.
An ad hoc local Project Committee in Bali assists the BCA-USA Project Committee. This committee is responsible for recruitment, selection of candidates, disbursement of funds, supervision and evaluation.
Local committee members are:
Recruitment of prospective candidates is sought through announcements at the various Ndahkums in Bali and Bali net forums.
The local committee prescreens all applicants to select 2 applicants per offer and the Project Committee does the final selection.
On completion of the selection process, funds are disbursed to the Ad Hoc Committee to enroll and pay the first installment fees/tuition of the candidates in the various training centers.
The cost of the FNP depends largely on the number of offers and fields. Hardware maintenance, carpentry (Modern Furniture) and motor technician training cost between CFA 100,000 to 200,000 ($200 to $400) and the rest between CFA 50,000 to 100,000 ($100 to $200).
At least CFA125,000 ($200) is allocated to the Ad Hoc Committee for correspondences with the Project Committee.
Based on the number of applications received for consideration to the Fishnet Project, it is evident that there is a huge need in Bali to train young people in the trades and vocations. Through word of mouth and some publicity of the project during annual BCA-USA hosted town halls in Bali, the Bali community is gradually becoming more aware of this initiative:
Staffs of the various training centers
Opinion surveys requesting response to the implementation and effectiveness of the FNP
“The fishnet project is a laudable investment in our community’s most valuable resources: our youths. As the Chinese proverb says, when you give a person fish, you feed them for a day. But if you teach them to fish, you feed them for life. By their success, the graduating students continue to proof how valuable the skills they have received are for many of our youths who would otherwise remain unemployed.” – Ba Nyamsenkwen Christopher, Chair of the Fishnet Project committee in Bali and former Mayor of Bali
Next Steps and Future Considerations
The projects committee recognizes the complexities and challenges of carrying out projects back in Bali. It also recognizes the need to align the projects with the needs of the local population as well as structure the execution of these projects to benefit the public. It is in this light that the project committee has identified as goals for the next few years the following:
On a longer term basis, the Projects Committee is developing a blue print for the creation of the Bali Fishnet Center. This will be a training center composed mainly of graduates of the fishnet project graduates as crafts masters. Newer batches of youths recruited for trainings in the various vocations will acquire training under these former trainees, thus providing sustainability of the program at a reduced cost for BCA – USA. BCA – USA will have to incur the initial setup costs for the center, but it is expected to be self-sustaining after the first year in operation.