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KENYA: Students develop media skills at new center

Don Bosco Boys Town Convergent Media Center is training students how to develop media skills


(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco Boys Town Convergent Media Center, located in Nairobi, Kenya, was launched in April 2021, by Father Alphonse Owoudou, Salesian councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region. The center began operating at full capacity on June 24 and helps students at Don Bosco Boys Town develop media skills. The main goal is to help students produce content using their smartphones and engage with social media to highlight their talents. The center also holds competitions for digital photography, singing and various productions.

Don Bosco Boys Town provides education and technical skills training to former street children in Nairobi and is currently serving more than 600 boys and girls in primary, secondary and technical school. 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 – Start of activities of “Don Bosco Boys’ Town Convergent Media Center”

Salesians of Don Bosco Province of Eastern Africa

Salesian Missions – Kenya

UNICEF – Kenya