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KENYA: Youth learn trades, entrepreneurship

Don Bosco Embu offers entrepreneurship program sponsored by local government


(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. Recently, 41 youth graduated after training through the Jiajili program, according to an article in Kenya News for Development.

The youth studied at the Don Bosco Embu and the Jeremiah Nyaga Technical Training Institute under a program sponsored by a collaboration among Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation, German Technical Cooperation Agency, and the Embu County Government. More than 3,500 youth have been trained in the program. The youth were also trained in entrepreneurship and were given tools to start their own businesses.

In the article, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire said her government will continue to co-sponsor the program, matching the training opportunity for each one provided by the foundation. She advised youth to register with companies to be able to bid for the 30 percent government procurement reserved for youth, women and people with disabilities.

Since starting in January 1986, the school has grown to become a large institution within the region. All 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. “Salesian technical education helps ensure that youth are able to be competitive in the current job market and 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.



Don Bosco Embu

Kenya News for Development – 41 Youths Graduate With Technical Skills Under The Jiajili Program

Salesian Missions – Kenya

World Bank – Kenya