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KENYA: School year begins

Don Bosco Boys Town starts its 2021 academic year providing primary, secondary and technical education


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Boys Town, located in Nairobi, Kenya, opened its 2021 academic year on Jan. 19 and welcomed first year students who are living on campus.

During the opening ceremony, Salesian missionaries and Salesian staff were introduced, and rules and regulations were explained, including health information about the COVID-19 pandemic. All staff and students were challenged to be the best they can be and support one another throughout the year. The opening ceremony also featured the Zamazuka Acrobatic group, which entertained and challenged the students with their skills.

Don Bosco Boys Town is a technical training institute which teaches technical skills to youth from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. The students come from slums and other informal settlements in Kenya. Don Bosco Boys Town also provides education and technical skills training to former street children in Nairobi and offers a primary, secondary and technical school. Launched in 1985, Don Bosco Boys Town has provided education to more than 6,000 boys and girls.

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 training programs 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 percent 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.

“Don Bosco Technical Secondary School attracts youth that do not do well on national college exams and provides them an alternative opportunity to acquire marketable skills that can help them make a living,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The tuition cost of the training is highly subsidized to make it affordable for the low-income student population in Kenya.”

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 noted 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 who live in these urban slums and in areas of the country most affected by HIV/AIDS. Many do not have access to health care, 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.



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

ANS – Kenya – School opening in the time of COVID-19

Don Bosco Boys Town

Salesians of Don Bosco Province of Eastern Africa

Salesian Missions – Kenya

UNICEF – Kenya Statistics