Vocational training for a brighter future

After leaving a quarry, Ornella learned new skills that now give her greater independence.

Une femme assise devant son ordinateur
12 June 2022

Thanks to an IT training course in Kolwezi, Ornella (19) is now a data entry specialist. Only a few months ago, the young woman was working as domestic help in a quarry and had never imagined she would be able to work in an office.

"I didn't feel like I had a future," explains Ornella. Like many other children in the Lualaba province, she had been forced to drop out of school at 17 to go and work in a quarry. From morning to night, Ornella did household chores and cooked for a group of miners. 

After talking to social workers supported by UNICEF, the young girl decided to leave the quarry. She completed a six-month IT training course and was soon hired as a data entry clerk.

Une femme en train de saisir du texte sur son ordinateur.

Sitting at her computer, Ornella now enjoys typing up documents and saving information. "This job helps me to provide for myself, pay the schools fees for my two younger sisters, and offer my parents help when they need it," says Ornella proudly. Through the Fund for the Prevention of Child Labor in Mining Communities - a collaboration with the Global Battery Alliance (GBA), UNICEF has helped 800 children leave the mines in Kolwezi and complete training courses for jobs in other fields, such as the IT sector.

Today, Ornella is thriving and hopes other young people in the quarries will have the same opportunities. "In the quarries, you don't know what will you'll become, but in a community you think about your future," concludes Ornella.