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KENYA: Fashion initiative to build job skills

Don Bosco Boys Town, located in Nairobi, Kenya

Don Bosco Boys Town launches new green fashion education initiative


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Boys Town, located in Nairobi, Kenya, has launched the International Trade Center-Ethical Fashion Initiative, which is a green fashion project funded by the Italian government. The project will utilize micro-manufacturers to enhance Kenya’s potential as a fashion production center. The Salesian Training Center, part of Don Bosco Boys Town, will serve as a design center for the production of products.

The launch of the project featured an event with several Salesians and industry leaders from the fashion world and government agencies. Stakeholders involved in the project highlighted the importance of collaboration among the government, Salesians and other development partners in order to empower and enable job creation and sustainability for youth.

A Salesian missionary explained, “Don Bosco Boys Town has launched similar initiatives all with the goal of helping youth gain the skills for later employment in industries that are hiring and need skilled labor. A couple of years ago it was a plumbing partnership program and now it’s fashion. Salesians remain at the forefront of technical training in Kenya and around the globe.”

Don Bosco Boys Town provides education and technical skills training to former street children. Students who complete their primary education are then assisted with secondary education or are advised to choose technical training in sister institutions. The secondary education is most often provided at Don Bosco Technical Secondary School in the town of Embu, northeast of Nairobi.

The two-year technical training provides youth with a wide variety of skills to choose from, including tailoring, car engineering/mechanics, carpentry, electrical work, and welding, as well as secretarial skills and a full spectrum of computer-related job skills. After graduation, more than 80% of graduates are employed in their fields of study. Many students go on to attend university or establish their own businesses and become entrepreneurs in Nairobi.

According to the World Bank, more than 7.8 million people in Kenya are living in extreme poverty, with the majority in rural areas. There are approximately 6.6 million people living on less than $1.90 a day in rural regions, while 1.1 million extremely poor people live in urban areas. Overall, the poverty incidence declined in recent years, but at a lower rate in urban areas than rural ones.

Youth living in Kenya’s larger cities like Nairobi are at risk for exploitation, forced labor and other abuses. Few attend the later stages of school as compared to those living in Kenya’s more rural areas. The few schools serving this disadvantaged community are beyond the financial means of most families.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Kenya – An initiative for ethical fashion at the Don Bosco Boys Town in Nairobi

Salesian Missions – Kenya

World Bank – Kenya

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