GUATEMALA: Salesian Missions donor provides funding for new computers and training for students
(MissionNewswire) Salesian students at the Bartolomé Ambrosio Salesian Vocational Training Center in Guatemala City, Guatemala have access to new computers thanks to donor funding provided to Salesian Missions. As a result of the donation, 30 additional desktop computers will upgrade the school’s computer lab and provide training to better equip students to use the technology, leading to a better learning environment.
The Salesian vocational training center provides life skills, job training and employment assistance to at-risk youth. More than 300 youth are enrolled in courses and workshops in carpentry, electrical training, information technology, industrial welding and milling.
The Salesian center is staffed by both Salesian missionaries and lay teachers who provide the education and training to poor youth so that they can enter the labor market. Offering specialized training in the skills that are needed in the current workforce, the center helps make the transition from the classroom into employment easier for its students. Students also have access to life skills and entrepreneurship training as well as sports, music and personal development opportunities. These skills not only prepare students for stable work but also for making good decisions and becoming contributing members of their communities.
“All youth deserve to be valued members of their community,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Students supported by the Bartolomé Ambrosio Salesian Vocational Training Center have a real opportunity to connect with their peers and gain the education, work ethic and social skills needed for long-term employment.”
“We are thankful to the donor who provided the funding so the center can offer more computers and additional training for students to use this technology. Learning how to use computers is essential in today’s workforce,” adds. Fr. Hyde.
Rural poverty hasn’t changed much in Guatemala during the last 20 years, according to the World Bank. Close to 75 percent of the population is estimated to live below the poverty line and almost 58 percent lives below the extreme poverty line which the World Bank defines as struggling to afford even a basic basket of food. For the country’s indigenous population, the poverty rates jump even higher with almost 90 percent facing crippling poverty and few resources.
Salesian missionaries working and living in the country have been providing for the basic needs of Guatemala’s youth while helping to break the cycle of poverty in their lives. They work extensively with poor youth and their families at youth centers, orphanages, parishes and primary and secondary schools, as well as technical schools, vocational training workshops and two universities. Additional social and educational programs help provide for youth living on the streets and those living in poor indigenous communities.
World Bank – Guatemala