TANZANIA: Renewable energy program at Don Bosco Center in Dodoma ensures a young man has a second chance at education
(MissionNewswire) Mohamed Athumani struggled in school until he entered the renewable energy course at the Don Bosco Center in Dodoma, Tanzania. He finished his primary education in 2005, but, due to low test scores, he could not enter a government school for secondary education. He ended up at a private secondary school but did not pass his final exams. His family struggled to pay his tuition, so Athumani had to work to pay for his school fees, which often made him miss classes and resulted in his failing grades.
Later, he tried to join the army with no success. To make a meager living, Athumani sold second-hand items and started a chicken business. He worked hard but still struggled to earn a living. That’s when he learned about Don Bosco Dodoma’s renewable energy training program. He applied and was accepted into the solar energy installation course.
Students who are looking to make a career in renewable energy have an opportunity for education and advancement at Don Bosco vocational training centers in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Iringa, in Tanzania.
Don Bosco Oysterbay, in Dar es Salaam, has been funded through a partnership with Misereor, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation, to help advance training capacity. Building off this work, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation awarded a grant to Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, to fund a similar 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, as well as the installation of training equipment and furniture and the development and training of instructors. The projects are contributing to increased access to quality technical training on renewable energy in Tanzania.
At Don Bosco Dodoma, Athumani received technical education and life skills training, which improved his behavior and his professional life. After graduation, Athumani plans to start his own business in renewable solar energy.
Athumani said, “I am happy and really appreciate the Don Bosco training. I was able to discover my true vision to be a solar technician. Right now, I’m doing my field program, which is providing new challenges and helping me gain practical experience.”
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.
Photos courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)
UNICEF – Tanzania
Salesian Missions – Tanzania