KENYA: New Schneider Electric Partnership Updates School Electrical Labs, Provides Technical Electrical Education
The Don Bosco Foundation of East Africa partnered with Schneider Electric to renovate an electrical lab at the Don Bosco Boys Town Technical Institute in Nairobi, according to an article in Voltimum, a source for news in the electrical industry. The new lab was recently unveiled at an event attended by both Salesian and Schneider Electric staff. This project is part of an overall agreement signed in May between Schneider Electric and the Salesian Don Bosco Foundation of East Africa to renovate three Don Bosco training centers in Kenya.
In addition to these projects, Schneider Electric, a European multinational corporation that specializes in electricity distribution, automation management and the production of installation components for energy management, has partnered on several initiatives with Salesian programs around the globe. According to the article, these agreements with the Don Bosco Foundation will allow Schneider Electric to reach its objective of training 1 million people by 2025.
Each year, the Don Bosco Foundation helps support vocational training for 200 underprivileged youth at three Salesian centers in Nairobi, Makuyu and Embu. As part of this agreement, Schneider Electric is providing financial and technical support to renovate the electricity labs at the three centers and launch a solar energy training module.
The company will also offer training to local trainers to update their skills and help them manage the new equipment through Schneider Electric Teachers, a nonprofit that allows employees to share their skills with underprivileged populations on a volunteer basis. Schneider Electric will also help the Don Bosco Foundation obtain government approval for its solar energy training in Kenya.
“Schneider Electric is firmly committed to facilitating energy access for unprivileged populations through renewable energy, particularly solar technologies,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric in the Voltimum article. “We are proud to conclude this latest partnership to help train young Kenyans for energy and electricity jobs. This training will help them find employment and raise their standard of living, not only for themselves but also their families. We share the Salesian Don Bosco Foundation’s vision of development built on education and work.”
The project just completed at the Don Bosco Boys Town Technical Institute involved renovating the existing electrical lab and integrating a solar energy module. The institute is part of a broader Don Bosco Boys Town program, which provides education and technical skills to former street children. Don Bosco Boys Town is currently serving more than 600 boys and girls in primary and secondary schools and universities.
Despite the steady growth of Kenya’s economy, according to UNICEF, more than half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line on less than $1 a day. UNICEF also notes that Nairobi is home to 3 million residents, most of whom endure lives of extreme poverty in the city’s slums. The most vulnerable are families and children live in these urban slums and in areas of the country most affected by HIV/AIDS. Many do not have access to healthcare, nutrition, sanitation or education.
Youth living in Nairobi’s slums 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. UNICEF noted that while Kenya has free and compulsory education, youth in poverty still cannot afford to attend school. Close to 90 percent of children from poor households fail to complete their basic education.
UNICEF – Kenya Statistics