WORLD YOUTH SKILLS DAY: Salesian Missions highlights life-changing technical and vocational training programs
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins the United Nations and other international organizations in celebrating World Youth Skills Day which has been celebrated each year since 2014 on July 15. The UN designated the day as a way to bring greater awareness of and discussion on the importance of technical and vocational education and training and the development of other skills relevant to both local and global economies.
Each World Youth Skills Day has a theme. This year’s theme, “Learning to learn for life and work,” focuses on the importance of technical and vocational education and training in providing youth with the opportunities to develop their competencies and accelerate their transition to work.
The UN has noted that youth are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and face the challenges of greater labor market inequalities. The aim of World Youth Skills Day is to, “advocate for skills as an important factor to improve young people’s transitions to decent work, and to highlight the crucial role of skilled youth in addressing today’s most challenging global issues.”
The Salesians are regarded as the single largest provider of vocational and technical training in the world. They offer more than 1,000 vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools around the globe. This training provides youth the practical skills to prepare for employment and helps them lead productive lives while becoming contributing adults in their communities. These programs go beyond educating. They also assist youth with making connections within industries and preparing them for the process of searching, finding and retaining employment.
“We know that access to education lays the foundation for a better future for all youth,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “In many countries around the globe where poverty is high and access to education is not universal, it is crucial that Salesian missionaries offer technical and vocational training to as many youth as possible to ensure that they have access to long-term stable employment.”
To mark World Youth Skills Day 2019, Salesian Missions is proud to highlight technical and vocational education that provides life-changing education and skills training for poor and at-risk youth.
Salesian missionaries in the Fianarantsoa region of Madagascar are assisting 10 graduates of the local Salesian vocational training center in launching a small business enterprise thanks to Salesian Missions donors. The project will train the Salesian graduates in management, operations and the development of a plan to establish a construction business.
In addition to providing business training and support, Salesian missionaries will work to connect the graduates’ new business with the community to help with the acquisition of customers. In the meantime, Salesian missionaries are employing them to repair and restore sections of the Salesian training center where they learned their skills.
Salesian vocational and technical training in Madagascar provides poor youth access to school while helping them gain the skills needed for later employment. Many students begin by attending Salesian rehabilitation centers where they have their most basic needs met including food, clothing and shelter, and then they enter either secondary or vocational school. The goal is for youth to grow into self-sufficient adults with stable employment who are utilizing the skills necessary to contribute to their families and communities.
Salesian missionaries in Managua, Nicaragua, have launched the Pbro Salvador Cafarelli Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair Laboratory School. The school received technical assistance from the Yamaha brand to develop its curriculum and features cutting-edge equipment and materials for both classroom learning and hands-on practice.
Youth participating in the course have the opportunity to develop their technical skills in repairing and maintaining motorcycles enabling them to enter the workforce as mechanics or open their own motorcycle repair shop.
The school was financed by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Central America and came about as the result of collaboration between the Don Bosco Youth Center and Casa Pellas, an important Nicaraguan company active in the resale and rental of vehicles. As part of this joint commitment, Casa Pellas supported the school with equipment and tools as well as provided teacher training that meets Japan’s standard for the Yamaha brand. Students who take the course will obtain certified, up-to-date, quality formation.
Hundreds of disadvantaged and out-of-school youth will benefit from a new technical-vocational training facility built on the grounds of the Don Bosco Training Center Mati which is located in Mati City within the Davao Oriental province on Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines.
The new center was built by the BDO Foundation which provides disaster response advocacy including relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction initiatives. Donations pooled by BDO employees enabled the construction and also provided tools and equipment for student training.
The project is in response to the destruction that was caused in 2012 by Typhoon Pablo which battered Davao Oriental devastating thousands of residents in coastal areas. One of the strongest storms to have hit Mindanao, the typhoon damaged homes, infrastructure and school buildings.
Over the next three years, 560 senior high school students from Don Bosco Mati and neighboring public high schools are expected to learn technical-vocational skills through workshops conducted in the new facility.
Don Bosco Mati was entrusted to the Salesians in 1998 and over the years has established itself as a resource for the community which is made up of mostly poor and marginalized families. The Don Bosco Training Center in Mati has served more than 2,000 youth since its launch in 1992. Graduates are hired by some of the biggest industries and companies in the country.
Don Bosco Vocational Training Centers in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Iringa in Tanzania have been working to advance each center’s ability to provide technical and vocational training in renewable energy. 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. The projects are contributing to increased access to quality technical training on renewable energy in Tanzania. Currently there are 260 students across the two centers taking the course.
Through the funded training initiatives, Don Bosco training centers are transforming their work through networking, partnerships and mobilization of expertise and resources in promoting renewable energy. The initiatives are bridging the widening divide between those who have access to opportunities and those who are increasingly being marginalized in the new economy —by going beyond offering a basic training program and instead offering a broad spectrum, holistic program.
The new training program provides the necessary skill sets and resources for rural youth to become local change makers in their communities and in the country at large, as innovators, technicians, entrepreneurs and thinkers. The new renewable energy department is linked to the current electrical installation department at the technical training centers.
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UNESCO – World Youth Skills Day 2019