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Learning carpentry skills


The Salvation Army congregation come together in rented facilities, so to work with children takes planning according to the circumstances. Four years ago, at the end of the first semester, Liepa’s elementary school was left without a Home Economics teacher for boys, so the leadership of the school asked the Salvation army envoy Jānis Mucenieks, who’s first profession is carpenter, to take on the responsibility as a teacher to teach carpentry skills starting the second semester at school.
Half a year later came the idea to continue the cooperation with school, creating the woodworking hobby club for children. “Thanks to the support from Liepa’s elementary school principle Kristīne Rebinova and Priekulu district’s City council member, we received the permission to use Home Economics classroom for symbolic payment”, says The Salvation Army lieutenant Inga Muceniece.
The woodworking club takes place on Thursdays and Saturdays. 24 boys, age 11-16 have registered, but only 8-12 boys take part each time, because children are divided in age groups. The participation fee is for free, during the time of the class children are properly fed and they can treat themselves with a snack, like a biscuit and juice.
Talking about the motivation to lead such a club, teacher Jānis Mucenieks says this:” I wanted to teach boys the skills and the right work attitude, so they would feel joy and satisfaction for the good work they are doing. We live in times where children are surrounded by a lot of information, and not always they are able to evaluate and choose the right one for themselves. The information is overflowing and taking away time and attention from what is the most important, and that’s the relationship between each other. And so, during the workshop, boys and I are talking a lot about life, relationships, history and other topics. Sometimes, observing children’s relationships between each other during the workshop, I teach them the golden rule – “do unto others as you want them to do unto you”. We also talk about linkng between causes and consequences – “what you sow, you will also reap.” – , and it doesn’t apply only to agriculture but also to spiritual life. I hope that the knowledge that boys have got here will serve them also in their lives in the future.”
In the workshop, children learn different skills, for example, in March, during the project week, together with Santa’s Augškāpas 4th grade students and their parents the bird cages were made.
Children, who are in the workshop, are happy that they can spend time doing something useful. “I met teacher Jānis when he was teaching us Home Economics in school, and when the workshop started, I gladly came here with friends. This is not like any other activity club where you need to learn specific things or have to study. You can be creative here. There is a very good atmosphere here. We can talk to the teacher about many different things – life, sports, God, etc. I have already made a wooden spoon in this workshop, also jewellery box and now I’m making a key chain. Some things were given to my mom as a present”, says Niks Ekerts and adds that together with others he has participated in the “New craftsmen” competition. Once he even won and got the 1st place in this competition.

Vidzemes district newspaper
Thusrday, April 16th, 2015, nr.57(11905)