“I want to advise other young women like me to not choose only nursing, accounting, or secretarial work. Dare yourself to learn other trades,” Widleine George says. She stands outside in her construction training station, where she demonstrates proper techniques to trainees and oversees the masons’ progress. “I receive a lot of respect because of my position, because it’s not typically a woman’s job,” she says.
“I want to advise other young women like me to not choose only nursing, accounting, or secretarial work. Dare yourself to learn other trades.”
Widleine comes from Carrefour-Feuilles, one of the areas of Port-au-Prince that was severely damaged by the earthquake in 2010. She started her masonry career as an apprentice, in an intensive six week training program run by Build Change in partnership with Centre d’Etude et de Coopération Internationale (CECI).
After passing the exam at the end of her apprentice training, she began working as an intern under masons building in Carrefour-Feuilles. After this intern period of on-the-job training, she enrolled in our builder training program to become certified in safer building techniques. Very quickly, she managed her own team of construction workers. It wasn’t long before we asked her to lead the training program in which she had once been a student.
“I’m going to school on weekends to learn civil engineering.”
“I’m very happy, and I feel good working in such a supportive environment,” says Widleine. “I’m looking ahead, beyond masonry,” she says. “I’m going to school on weekends to learn civil engineering.”
After her contract with Build Change is over, she will go to school full time. From masonry intern to certified builder to instructor, Widleine is on a path to become a civil engineer.