TOGO: New resources improve youth vocational training
Mary Help of Christians Technical and Vocational Training Center receives updated equipment and teacher training
(MissionNewswire) Mary Help of Christians Technical and Vocational Training Center in Lomé, Togo, has been providing skills training for poor youth in the region for more than 30 years. Recently, with the support of Bosco Global and the financial support from the Municipality of Malaga, Spain, Salesians were able to provide teaching training and equipment renovation at the center.
“This project is an opportunity to improve the work we do here at the center,” said Antoine Koudokpo, a workshop instructor at Mary Help of Christians Technical and Vocational Training Center. “This opportunity is not only in the interest of the students but also of the teachers, because it facilitates teaching and improves the performance of the students’ work because what we do not have the opportunity to teach in theory, we have the opportunity to do in practice.”
In the beginning of the project, equipment was purchased for electrical training to replace outdated equipment no longer in use in the labor market. Once the equipment was installed, teachers were trained on its use and how to teach students to use it properly. Other activities will be forthcoming in the project.
Since the center opened, thousands of youth have received training. Over the years, the center has gradually expanded and improved its educational offerings. Today, several fields of study are taught including electricity (with various levels of vocational qualifications), electrical installations, metal construction, carpentry and computer maintenance.
Being able to access specialized vocational training in Lomé makes the difference between having well-trained youth prepared for employment or having young apprentices left with insufficient training and exploited in the workplace. The goal is to not only to train Salesian students properly so they can obtain employment, but also to ensure that they understand proper working conditions and are paid a wage based on their skills.
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 often forced to work in exploitative and dangerous conditions in order to help support their families.
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Salesian Missions – Togo
UNICEF – Togo