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KENYA: Student build trade skills

Don Bosco Embu teaches poor youth a trade for future employment


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Technical Secondary School (Don Bosco Embu), located in the municipality of Embu, northwest of Nairobi, Kenya, teaches young students trades that are needed in Kenyan industries. Most of the students at the school come from poor backgrounds, and there is little chance for them to gain an education.

Since its start in January 1986, the school has grown to become a large institution within the region. All of the young men attending the school are boarders who live on campus full time. Students have the opportunity to take courses in trades including carpentry, masonry, vehicle mechanics, welding, electrical and mechanical engineering, and cabinet making. The school will soon offer plumbing courses.

When a student completes his education, he leaves with a certification in his specialty trade. This empowers students to go out into the workforce qualified to put their technical skills to use in their respective fields.

“Salesian technical and vocational education centers help youth gain the skills for employment,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Technical education helps ensure that youth are able to be competitive in the current job market. The goal for Salesian vocational and technical education is to ensure that students can make an easy transition from school to their future jobs.”

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.



Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Embu

Don Bosco Embu

Salesian Missions – Kenya

World Bank – Kenya

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