20 September Sep 2012 1037 20 September 2012

Kenya: EU delegation visits St.Kizito Vocational Training Institute in Kibera

On 17th July 2012 the EU delegation composed by Mr. Daniel Plus, Head of Social and Environment Section, Mr. Charles Kazungu Nyoka, Finance and Administration Assistant Social Affairs and Environment Section and Mr. Titus Katembu, Project Officer Health, Education & Gender Focal Person, visited St.Kizito Vocational Training Institute Kibera Branch, in Kenya.
St.Kizito Vocational Training Institute Kibera branch is the result of a co-funded project by the European Union and AVSI, built in 2010 in Kibera slum, Nairobi. The three years project will end in December 2012.
The EU Delegation visited the Institute accompanied by Mr. Leonida Capobianco, AVSI Country Representative, Mr. Fredrick Hongo, Director of St.Kizito VTI Kibera, and some representatives of the other three partners involved in the project (St.Kizito VTI, Watoto Wa Lwanga and Companionship Of Work Association).
The visit consisted in a tour of the Institute engaging the Delegation in a friendly discussion and sharing of experiences with the students and the instructors of the different workshops (Mechanic, Electrical Installations, Carpentry, Beauty Salon, Catering, Fashion & Design). The students showed their practical works and the Delegation appreciated the work done by each one of them.
After the visit to the workshops, the Delegation met with AVSI and the representatives of the partners and started in a cordial discussion about the project, the challenges, the success and the future of the Institute. During the meeting it has been underlined how the project is not only about the teaching of professional skills, in fact the students are accompanied into the labor world, through internships and business skills courses offered by Cowa. In this regard some successful stories have been shared of students finding job in good companies, and others coming back to school asking to upgrade their skills even more. The Delegation expressed a lot of enthusiasm for the work done, especially in an area considered dangerous, degraded and with high level of criminality and poverty. Mr. Titus Katembu said “I’m impressed for what you have been able to do in such a place”.
After the meeting, accompanied by a highly appreciated refreshment prepared by the catering course, the Delegation and the partners moved to the Otiende Center, 5 minutes away from the slum, used by AVSI for its activities with the children and youths, where the course of Adult Literacy takes place and where the exhibition of Hand Craft was on display. At the center the Delegation had the opportunity to see some handcraft products made by the students who have started their own business and who were very proud to show off their works.
The students also told about their experience in the school and in the labor market, underlining how what they received from the Institute was not only professional skills but also human growth and the ability to face the difficulties outside.
The Delegation showed appreciation and was happy to underline the great work done by AVSI and its partners in building up the Institute and making a difference for the population of Kibera.