On October 8, members of the Dorcas and Adventist Men Organization (DORCAMO) Societies celebrated the official opening of the first phase of the new DORCAMO Skills Training Centre in Choma, Zambia. Hundreds of church members and leaders from the South Zambia Conference (SZC) attended.
The facilities, which are expected to run various survival skills initiatives when finished, were commissioned by Zambia’s Science and Technology minister Felix Mutati.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by assistant director of planning Michael Inambao, Mutati said, “This is a momentous occasion that marks a significant step forward in our commitment to education, empowerment, and community development as a nation… On behalf of the president, Hakainde Hichilema, the government is grateful for the sacrifice and dedication in building these facilities.”Mutati added that the government of Zambia is very interested in seeing organizations such as the Seventh-day Adventist Church work hard to supplement government efforts in reducing unemployment. “I am grateful to see the Seventh-day Adventist Church improving the lives of individuals and communities,” he said. “[This is] a testimony to the unwavering commitment to making a positive impact not only in the spiritual realm but also in the practical aspect of life.”
He explained that the new facilities are “a reflection of our shared belief in the importance of equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in an ever-changing world. It embodies the Seventh-day Adventist Church belief and commitment to wholistic development,” Mutati said.
Zambia and Africa at large currently face the challenge of unskilled labor, government officers explained. “Today we are happy to see some of these challenges being addressed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” they said.
Mutati made the most of the moment to advertise the courses that will be run at the center by qualified personnel, including metalwork, mechanics, catering, tailoring and designing, plumbing, bricklaying, and plastering. He also mentioned other future courses, such as electrical and entrepreneurship courses, preschool programs, and gym and counseling options, in addition to initiatives to benefit the needy.
The hundreds of church and community members who attended the commissioning ceremony included selected DORCAMO leaders and members, who came to witness “their long-awaited dream in the province” come true. Former SZC Dorcas president Miriam Scott also attended and donated an ox to feed the delegates at the end of the commissioning ceremony.
Well-wishers from various regions of SZC also attended. Among them was conference president Gladwin M. Mang’watu, all department directors, and district leaders.
SZC personal ministries director Bednock Banji shared the history of the initiative. He explained that the center was initiated in 2005 with the purchase of the plot of land. “Due to lack of funds, works could not start immediately,” he said. “Out of the 15 plans approved by the Choma Municipal Council, the one opening first is the Tailoring and Catering classroom block,” Banji said.
The current structure was built by the DORCAMO organization through contributions raised during rallies, he said. “So far, about 26,000 members have contributed to raise these funds for this noble project,” Banji said. “We praise God for [these new facilities], that will bring development and equip and empower the local community as well.”