“Sherzod” dashed joyfully into the cold, dingy classroom. Two years ago he never would have guessed that he would enjoy another course at school. But the wood-working class is different. The German master carver treats him like a respectable man, not just a school boy. Sherzod’s chest puffs up with pride as he thinks of how his skill has grown.
Boys like Sherzod, apprentices in CDI’s wood-carving program in the Kara Suu region, recently showed off their creations with pride and joy. And CDI’s program showed off the value of such opportunities to parents, local school directors, and government representatives. The hope is that they will use their influence to expand the program.
For the last year, a handful of both first and second year apprentices were trained five afternoons a week in wood-carving, drawing design, math, and English to give them the skills they will need both to create quality work and to make a living doing that. And the work goes on! Earlier this year four more boys completed CDI’s two-month course for determining aptitude and interest in wood-carving. Two will begin next year as first-year apprentices.