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PERU: Technical training center helps prepare youth in the Amazon for long-term employment

(MissionNewswire) The Yankuam Jintia Training Center for Intercultural Education was developed by the Don Bosco Foundation to meet the needs of poor youth living in the Peruvian Amazon. The center was launched in August 2016, after support was provided by the German government through Don Bosco Mondo. Salesian Father Diego Clavijo and Father Nelson Vera have made the dream of Father Bollo, one of the first missionaries in the region, come true, giving rise to opportunities for youth from indigenous backgrounds who would not have otherwise had the opportunity. The school has become a common meeting place for youth of diverse backgrounds.

This new training center seeks to improve the living conditions of indigenous families of the Achuar, Kandozi, Meztizos and Quechua ethnic groups in the Amazon. Youth will be trained to be mechanics for outboard engines, as well as in carpentry, agriculture and animal husbandry. They will then be able to contribute to the development of their communities and to create resources through the provision of services to third parties. Youth will reside in the Salesian boarding school and attend the four-month training modules of the Intercultural Education Center.

“The students are really worthy of admiration because they have to make a lot of effort to make their dreams come true,” said one of the Salesian missionaries who facilitates programs at the center. “It is not only the distance they have to travel, but many are behind educationally due to their poor preparation during basic school education. Even when they leave secondary school, many do not know how to read, write or understand Spanish correctly.”

The school recently graduated 150 students in its most recent class. They all benefited from both the education as well as living and learning to get along with people from different origins and backgrounds.

One of the challenges facing Salesian missionaries in Peru is creating opportunities for youth after they graduate from secondary school but are unable because of finances to pursue further education and training. To address this, Salesian missionaries are providing more technical and vocational training so youth are able to learn a skill and have access to long-term stable work that allows them to provide for their families and give back to their communities.

Peru faces high levels of income inequality and has more than a quarter of its population living in poverty, according to the World Bank. Poverty levels are significantly higher in rural areas but urban areas struggle most with inequality, most notably metropolitan Lima. Poverty in the country is made worse by a shortage of productive farmland and a lack of job skills among women entering the workforce, as well as a lack of adequate housing, nutrition and education.

Peru has also been plagued by hunger and disaster. According to the World Bank, close to 25 percent of children in the country are chronically malnourished. Communities continue to rebuild after an 8.0 earthquake in August 2007 which killed more than 500 people in the central coastal cities of Chincha, Pisco and Ica and injured hundreds more. The quake destroyed close to 60,000 residential and commercial buildings, leveled hundreds of acres of farmland and left countless Peruvians without means of livelihood.



ANS – Peru – Technical Training Center: “Fr Bolla’s dream comes true”

World Bank – Peru