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The Next Step

Updated: Oct 6, 2019

This past Saturday, The Recreation Project had the pleasure of celebrating the conclusion of the second semester of our Piggery Training. After five months of intensive training, 23 hardworking students received their certificates of completion. We marked the occasion with a full day of ropes activities, a delicious lunch, and some thoughtful words from the program coordinators.

The full course of training was no simple task. Participants were asked to show up week after week and dedicate a full day to learning both life skills and the intricacies of building a piggery and raising piglets. Those who were committed worked to save money to purchase their own piglets, and many of them have built some remarkable piggeries. We are proud to share the fact that all 23 participants passed our final review test.

After spending the morning finishing up the course, we marked the joyous occasion by allowing every student to challenge themselves on the Leap of Faith, Climbing Wall, and Zipline. Cheered on by their classmates and instructors, many of them leapt out and managed to grab the trapeze bar, reach the top of the wall, and take that brave step off of the zip platform. We were immensely proud to watch these students—and friends– use everything they’d learned about challenge, risk, and self-empowerment to wrap up their work with us in a meaningful way. The support and encouragement was evident, and it’s clear that this group has become very close through the trials of the last few months.

Though we can’t help but smile when thinking about the classes and our wonderful party, we know that the work is not yet over. The next step for our students is, in many ways, the most challenging piece yet. Now that their piggeries are mostly completed, many are ready to receive their piglets. They will have to use the hard skills they’ve learned to keep their pigs healthy and happy, while also keeping in mind the soft skills they’ve acquired to help them deal with the stress that can come with taking care of animals. As Dan and Denish both remarked to the class, “This is not the end, but rather, the beginning. We have given you the tools, and now you must use them.” We know that every one of them is up to the task, and we can’t wait to see where they go with their newfound abilities, knowledge, and relationships.

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