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TANZANIA: Don Bosco Vocational Training Centers in Dodoma and Iringa focus on teaching renewable energy to give students more income potential

(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Vocational Training Centers in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Iringa in Tanzania are working to increase the skills of students to work in the renewable energy sector. To date, 260 students are accessing renewable energy training at Don Bosco Vocational Training Centers in Dodoma and Iringa.

Don Bosco Oysterbay in Dar es Salaam has been funded over the last two years through a partnership with Misereor, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation, to help advance this training capacity.

Building off this work, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation awarded a grant to Salesian Missions to fund the same training initiative at the Don Bosco training centers in Dodoma and Iringa. This has led to the establishment of training laboratories and the remodeling of the solar and electronic classes and workshops at the centers. There was also installation of training equipment and furniture, along with the development and training of instructors on the new syllabus. The projects are contributing to increased access to quality technical training on renewable energy in Tanzania.

Hezron Haule is a 22-year-old solar energy trainee at Don Bosco Youth Training Center in Iringa. Haule sees the solar energy training program as an opportunity to increase his income. He said, “It is not debatable that employment is a very big challenge in our country over recent years. It is up to us (the youth) to look for ways we can cope with the situation. Personally, I believe this training is my way out. I hope to maximize this opportunity to increase my capital.”

When Haule heard about the opportunity at Don Bosco Iringa, he was delighted because one of his pressing concerns after graduating is finding stable employment. He believes the solar energy training will give him another dimension in his career that will play a part in his success.

The training in solar energy has already started to increase Haule’s earnings even before he graduates. He explained, “One of my neighbors asked why I was still going to school shortly after I graduated. I told him I am attending training in solar energy, which was offered by the institution that I graduated. My neighbor never really knew much about solar so when I told him all about it, he was impressed and paid me to install solar in his house. He was my first client.”

Haule believes that he will excel in the near future because solar has been one of the fastest growing industries in Tanzania. The growth has been attributed to the health and monetary benefits of solar electricity, especially in the rural areas. Solar energy eliminates indoor air pollution from kerosene lanterns or burning wood and saves people money in local communities because they no longer have to purchase these sources of fuel.

In Tanzania, 67.9 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. While the country has seen some economic growth in tourism, mining, trade and communication, the number of Tanzanians living below the poverty line has marginally increased due to rapid population growth. In some regions, up to half of the population struggles to meet the cost of essential food and shelter and other basic necessities like clothing, health care and education.

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Sources:

UNICEF – Tanzania