|Kenyan Prime Minister Affirms Work of Training Institute|
|Tuesday, 14 June 2011 14:22|
Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya. On May 27, 2011, in the course of travels to visit his constituency, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya Raila Odinga visited the Kibera Branch of the St. Kizito Vocational Training Institute (VTI). The professional school is an initiative of the AVSI Foundation with its local parters Watoto Wa Lwanga (WWL) and the Companionship of Works Association (COWA), co-financed by the European Union, serving youth from the slums in a suburb of Nairobi.
The Prime Minister wanted to meet representatives of AVSI, St. Kizito VTI, COWA and WWL. Odinga, who had previously participated in conferences held in Italy with the AVSI Foundation, commented “I like to see people like you, who work in this way. I had challenged you, asking you to come do in Kenya what you have accomplished in Italy. I see you are taking me seriously.”
Later, the Prime Minister briefly visited the Little Prince School, a nearby primary and nursery school also sponsored by AVSI, which educates the young vulnerable children of the slum. To the group of staff and students who greeted him, Odinga expressed his renewed support of the work AVSI and its partners are carrying forward, expressing his hopes to be present for the forthcoming inauguration of the Kibera branch of the Vocational Training Institute.
This Kibera branch expands the experience of the original Githurai-Kimbo location of St. Kizito VTI, which was established on the north-eastern outskirts of Nairobi in 1994 by AVSI volunteers in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Nairobi. The centers currently hold courses in professional formation in electrical work, carpentry, culinary arts, aesthetics and cosmetology and tailoring and design, which are attended by over one thousand local youth.
As the new center grows, the main objective is not only building skills, but also building ties to the market in order to provide self or other employment opportunities and improve economic and social conditions of the trainees.
St. Kizito VTI’s approach is based on the principle that reality is the first point of reference for all work and study. Teachers have a vital role both in helping young people engage in this reality and, further, in helping discover the positive hope revealed in every aspect of one’s scholastic and personal life. The ultimate goal of every relationship and method established at the Institute is the development of the potential of each young person, banking on the freedom and the richness found inside him or her.