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KENYA: Youth from disadvantaged backgrounds learn job skills

Don Bosco Boys Town teaches technical skills to youth from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Boys Town, located in Nairobi, Kenya, teaches technical skills to youth from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. These youth, who live in slums and other informal settlements, have little chance for an education and advancement in life. Salesians are ensuring they are able to gain the skills for later employment.

Don Bosco Boys Town also provides education and technical skills training to former street children 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.

Recently, Father Miguel Ángel García Morcuende, the general councilor for youth ministry, visited Don Bosco Boys Town for a joint meeting of the delegates for Youth Ministry and the delegates for Formation of the Africa-Madagascar Region at Don Bosco Educational Services in Nairobi. Fr. García Morcuende, along with the delegates, met the students and staff who welcomed them with a song.

Fr. García Morcuende and the delegates were very impressed by how Don Bosco Boys Town educates its students. Recently, state-of-the-art machinery was purchased and installed for the computerized automatic wheel balancing section, along with a new lathe in the mechanical section and new generation sewing machines for the tailoring department.

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 in Nairobi.

“Don Bosco Boys Town provides youth with a chance to gain an education and become self-sufficient later in life,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Students who complete their primary education are then assisted with secondary education or are advised to choose technical training to learn marketable skills.”

Despite the steady growth of Kenya’s economy, UNICEF noted 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 – General Councilor for Youth Ministry visits Nairobi’s “Don Bosco Boys Town”

Don Bosco Boys Town

Salesians of Don Bosco Province of Eastern Africa

Salesian Missions – Kenya

UNICEF – Kenya Statistics

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