Young, ambitious and confident describe J. Nishanthan. Despite his youth – he is only 22 years old – and the fact that he just finished his electrical wiring training, he wants to jump right into to large government wiring contracts. Nishanthan has been forced to mature quickly as circumstances forced his family to relocate.
He is the youngest of four children, three boys and a girl. One of his older brothers disappeared during the war. Nishanthan’s other brother has found employment in the Middle East. With both elder brothers gone, Nishanthan has quickly gone from the baby of the family to the income earner. Though his father is a trained carpenter, he is unable to work now. Nishanthan needs all the confidence he can muster as he quietly says that his siblings used to support his parents. Now it’s his turn.
While Nishanthan was in a camp for Internally Displaced People, he worked with an electrician and became interested in the trade. When he learned that WUSC and their delivery partner Sarvodaya were offering a course in electrical wiring in the northern city of Kilinochchi, he jumped at the opportunity to join. The experience he gained in the camp helped him to do well in the training. Nishanthan and three other trainees formed a “working group”. They are working as independent electricians, but if they secure a large enough contract, they go to the group members for assistance. This approach has proven to be effective and Nishanthan is earning Rs. 15,000 ($113 USD) per month and already owns an extensive tool kit.
Nishanthan plans to be a successful entrepreneur and he has the attitude and confidence to make that happen. He is also
receiving support and encouragement from instructors and WUSC staff. His next goal is to obtain his National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ ) certification. With his current training and an additional 15 months of practical work, he will be able to have his skills assessed for the NVQ certificate. That piece of paper and his ambition are likely a recipe for success.