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The Children's Villages in Santo, near Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien are home to children from Haiti who face some of the poorest conditions in the world. SOS Children's Villages has been working here since 1982 and has also provided aid during natural disasters occurring in Haiti … more about our charity work in Haiti

From student to teacher at the SOS Vocational Centre

Rose Lourdes (middle) is a graduate and now teacher at the SOS Vocational Training Centre in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti
Rose Lourdes (middle) is a graduate and now teacher at the SOS Vocational Training Centre in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti

The SOS Vocational Training Centre in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, is providing young women with the skills needed to become employable upon graduation. Rose Lourdes, 34, is one of the students who graduated in cosmetology. Today, she is a successful hairdressing teacher at the centre.

Rose Lourdes was born into an underprivileged family of 10 children. There were often nights when she and her siblings went to sleep hungry. Growing up, she was determined to work hard so she could give her future children a better life. She enrolled into the SOS Vocational Training Centre in the early 2000s to pursue her passion in cosmetology. Rose is now one of the teachers training young girls in the very course she studied.

“The teachers provided a hands-on learning experience that enabled me to excel in my courses. I have SOS Children’s Villages to thank for the success I have earned in my field,” says Rose Lourdes. “I love my daughter more than anything and I am able to provide for her because of this course.”

Rose Lourdes took a break in the middle for her studies to deal with a personal family matter. Six years after entering the course, she was ready to complete her studies.  

“It was a dream come true to graduate from the Centre. I was able to resume my education as they did not count the break against me,” she explains. “The vocational centre changes lives. It did so for me.”

SOS vocational centre teacher teaches students hairdressing
Rose Lourdes teaches her students hair styling techniques to become skilled hairdressers

The SOS Vocational Centre 

The SOS Vocational Training Centre opened its doors in 1999. Today in 2016, the centre is educating nearly 700 students in nine disciplines, such as cosmetology, catering and mechanics. The Centre is open to SOS children who have completed secondary school as well as the wider community. The aim of the Centre is to boost the local economy by providing vulnerable young people with affordable, quality training in in-demand courses.

“I don’t believe that there are any barriers when it comes to finding a job as a result of the education offered by the SOS Vocational Centre,” says Rose Lourdes. “My dream now is to become a famous hairdresser in Haiti.”  

SOS Children's Villages is operating vocational training centres around the world, so people like Rose Lourdes can flourish. Discover all of the ways our education programmes benefit children and young people.