On Tuesday 14th March Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, accompanied by his daughter, Laura Mattarella, visited St. Kizito Vocational Training Institute in Githurai, located on the outskirts of Nairobi and funded by AVSI in 1994 thanks to funds from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.
St. Kizito was founded in 1994 with the aim of providing the most vulnerable young people with the necessary practical and theoretical skills to face the job market and thus become protagonists of their future.
The institute trains 800 young people a year, and since its opening 13,500 students have graduated by choosing to specialize in several courses, including carpentry, mechanics, IT, hairdressing and catering. Today, 89% of the students at St. Kizito obtain employment.
The President was also accompanied by Edmondo Cirielli, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Roberto Natali, Ambassador of Italy in Kenya; Giovanni Grandi, Director of AICS in Nairobi; Giampaolo Silvestri, AVSI General Secretary and Silvia D'Ovidio, Head of Strategy, Governance and Institutional Relations Res4Africa.
"St. Kizito is a success story, because with the contribution of the Italian Cooperation we have created a vocational training center that, over the years, has educated thousands of young people who have then found employment. - Giampaolo Silvestri, Secretary General of the NGO AVSI, said - Projects like this work so well because they bring together NGOs, businesses and the authorities, according to the multi-stakeholder approach that characterizes the Italian Cooperation."
At St. Kizito, I have the opportunity to continue my studies using modern technology, in the classroom and in the laboratories, and I feel like I'm laying the foundation for my future and my careerGrace, a St. Kizito Institute’s student.
The visit took place in the electronics and mechanics laboratories. The course of electronics is currently implementing an innovative program, the Micro-Grid Academy, which trains qualified professionals to implement decentralized renewable energy solutions and equips them with management and marketing skills. AVSI and Res4Africa established the Micro Grid Academy as part of the Private Sector and Innovative Energy Technologies Development in Kenya initiative, which was funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).
The visit concluded at the Italian Design Furniture company (IDF), which provdes St. Kizito carpentry students access to a practical training space and enhances their understanding of the demands of the labor market. The company creates high-quality modern furniture with an Italian design using precious woods from the African region. Carpentry students can also apply for internships at Italian Design Furniture, one of the 70 private companies that St. Kizito works with to help students transition into employment.
In this school, which allows 89% of its students to find employment, AVSI implements, together with Res4Africa, the Private Sector and Innovative Energy Technologies Development project in Kenya, financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).