TOGO: Don Bosco Professional Center expands, providing more than 500 students vocational training
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Professional Center in the city of Kara, Togo has more than 500 students now enrolled and attending vocational training courses thanks to an expansion of the school’s facility. The expansion project was made possible through financial support from donors in Seville, Spain. During the course of construction, classrooms were restructured and improvements were made to the roof, facilities, lab and workshop equipment.
Construction should be completed in the upcoming months. Meanwhile, Salesian missionaries are developing awareness raising sessions regarding the role of women in vocational training. These training sessions will be provided to the local population with the goal of integrating more female students into the vocational training courses. Currently, primarily male students are studying courses for electricians, electro-technicians, bricklayers and carpenters.
“Education has proven to be an effective means of breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty while giving the most vulnerable youth a sense of personal dignity and self-worth,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Vocational and technical training programs help students become contributing adults in their communities. These schools go above and beyond educating. They also assist youth in making connections within industries while preparing them for the process of searching, finding and retaining employment.”
Salesian missionaries provide education in more than 5,500 Salesian schools and youth centers around the globe. In addition, more than 1,00 Salesian vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools give practical skills to youth to create productive and contributing adults in their communities—rebuilding communities and ending the cycle of poverty.
More than 80 percent of Togo’s rural population lives in conditions of poverty making the country one of the world’s poorest, according to UNICEF. Children in the country suffer the most with close to 50 percent of those living in poverty under the age of 18. One in eight children will not reach their fifth birthday, and the number of children who drop out of school because their parents cannot afford to educate them is high. Children are also forced to work in exploitative and dangerous conditions in order to help support their families.
Salesian programs in Togo provide youth a place to live, nutritious meals and counseling along with education and job skills training. The goal is to help youth develop a sense of hope for their future and learn the skills necessary to lead independent, productive lives.
UNICEF – Togo