The East End Seventh-day Adventist Church on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands territory recently began offering an electrical and electronics maintenance course to residents on the island. The initiative is meant to enhance the skills and abilities of residents of Fat Hog’s Bay and the surrounding communities as job losses and unemployment numbers rise in the midst of a nearly year-long pandemic, church leaders said.
Jacob Adolphus, public affairs and religious liberty director for the East End Adventist Church, said church leaders took the needs of the community at heart when the Minister of Education in Tortola made a statement encouraging persons to learn a practical skill as a fall back in case another professional job is lost.
“That was the motivation for the initiative, to equip people with skills so that they can utilize [them] either to help themselves or to help others,” said Adolphus.
Two licensed electricians led the two-hour long classes held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, earlier last month. The course provided electrical theory and hands-on learning with circuitry and electrical mechanics for building maintenance. “Attendees were immersed in practical, real-life examples that illustrated how electricity is distributed and they benefitted from a foundational overview of the role electricity plays in everyday life,” Adolphus said.
Pastor Jerome Bevans, who leads the East End congregation, praised the venture organized by the men’s ministries, publish affairs and religious liberties departments.
“East End Adventist Church is always looking for innovative ways to impact the community in a practical but relevant way,” said Bevans. “I commend the departments that partnered to preach Christ in a way that the community could have appreciated. Soon, the connections made will light up the world.”
Ten residents who completed the course took part in an informal graduation ceremony hosted in the church’s fellowship hall to recognize the achievements of the participants on Dec. 15, 2020. Students thanked organizers during the ceremony for the empowering experience.
The overwhelming success of the endeavor has spurred the church to plan teaching additional trade skills such as plumbing courses in the months ahead.