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NICARAGUA: Salesian missionaries launch new motorcycle maintenance and repair school

(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Managua, Nicaragua, have launched the Pbro Salvador Cafarelli Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair Laboratory School. The school received technical assistance from the Yamaha brand to develop its curriculum and features cutting-edge equipment and materials for both classroom learning and hands-on practice.

Youth participating in the course have the opportunity to develop their technical skills in repairing and maintaining motorcycles enabling them to enter the workforce as mechanics or open their own motorcycle repair shop.

“This skills training program and others facilitated by Salesian missionaries in Nicaragua ensure that youth have the skills needed to join the workforce,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Youth who are employed are able to lead productive lives supporting themselves and giving back to their families and communities.”

The school was financed by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Central America. Understanding that education is fundamental for the growth of developing countries, the office has been investing in Nicaragua for more than 10 years supporting vocational training and technical education. As part of its Employment Skills Development Program implemented by Swisscontact, it reduces poverty and vulnerability of Nicaraguan youth through training courses that correspond to current market needs.

The school came about as the result of collaboration between the Don Bosco Youth Center and Casa Pellas, an important Nicaraguan company active in the resale and rental of vehicles. As part of this joint commitment, Casa Pellas supported the school with equipment and tools as well as provided teacher training that meets Japan’s standard for the Yamaha brand. Students who take the course will obtain certified, up-to-date, quality formation.

The program also includes a free online course on motorcycle road safety allowing students to obtain a double certification as motorcycle mechanics and road safety professionals. To ensure that the course is accessible for all youth, scholarships covering up to 90 percent of the total course costs are available. This is only the first of 10 workshops that will be offered through this program in various vocational training centers throughout Nicaragua.

Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty with a quarter of its population living below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. More than 80 percent of Nicaragua’s poor live in remote rural communities where access to basic services is a daily challenge.

After decades of political instability and vulnerability to natural hazards, the country has achieved a remarkable economic turnaround and is now focusing on innovative ways of reducing poverty. However, years of widespread poverty have taken their toll and many residents suffer from poor health conditions including HIV/AIDS. In addition, crime, violence against women, gang violence and high unemployment result in challenging economic and social conditions, particularly for young people and women.



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