Joiners’ workshop at the children’s club of the Kultur Lige  [Culture League] school in Kaunas [Kovno], 1922.  World ORT Archive From deep poverty – to qualified specialists Vocational  school ORT Kaunas A Modern Vocational School Teachers and Students Jacob Oleiski Tailors’ Courses Vocational School Craft Courses
ORT Kaunas [Kovno] school graduation certificate, 1939, issued to Šmuelis Krasauskas
The vocational school: student welfare and a struggle for the school’s existence Pupils from many small Lithuanian towns, not only from Kaunas, attended the school. Almost all of them came from the poorest families, many of them did not have one parent or were orphans. As most of them could not afford the fees, the school supported them and took care of them. The money allocated for students’ social welfare and sanitary conditions was one of the largest sums in the school’s budget.  In fact, one of the main challenges for ORT leaders was the hard struggle for the school’s survival. In 1939, the make up of the student body was as follows: out of 106 pupils admitted, one was a farmers’ child, forty came from workers’ and tradesmen’s families, thirty-two were children from merchants’ families, while the parents of 33 children had other professions. Despite the difficulties in maintaining the school and supporting its students, the school’s goal was to admit children from poor families. For example, in the autumn of 1939 ORT applied to the Ministry of Education requesting it to allow admitting Latė Bailaitė, Bašė and Chaja Bluma Kretingės–girls from families who had left the Nazi-occupied Klaipėda area. The request said: “They are maintained by ORT and if not allowed to enrol at the school will have nowhere to live as their parents are poor refugees and cannot feed their children.” Unfortunately, the ministry rejected the application, as the girls were too young to be admitted.
Student at a workshop, 1938. World ORT Archive
Vocational school’s metalworking workshop, 1930. World ORT Archive
Students at the school forge, 1920–1930. World ORT Archive