TANZANIA: Students gain from renewable energy training
316 students receive renewable energy training thanks to funding Salesian Missions received from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (July 5, 2022) A total of 316 students looking to make a career in renewable energy received training in solar installation, operation and maintenance thanks to grant funding Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, received from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The training initiative took place from Aug. 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021, at the Don Bosco training centers in Dodoma and Iringa, Tanzania.
Through the training initiative, students benefited from solar technician courses along with soft skills training, field attachments, job search help and other career guidance. With this funding, business development services training started for 94 short course students and 110 Level III trainees. Students now have the knowledge and skills to develop and implement business plans and formally register their businesses.
Don Bosco training centers also organized four career fairs to help students transition from the classroom into the workforce. These events included one-on-one sessions, Q&A panels and experience sharing. The event representatives included partners and solar graduate alumni as well as local and regional companies. Experts in entrepreneurship, soft skills development and human resources were also included. These events presented trainees with the chance to see potential opportunities, acquire new insights and explore the different career pathways available to them.
One of the main drivers of the project is youth unemployment in Tanzania that stands at nearly 12 percent, according to the International Labor Organization. Of the students who graduated in December 2020, 53 graduates started internships with solar energy companies, 30 graduates were employed full time in solar energy or related fields, and 32 started their own businesses. Since the start of the project in 2018, 143 graduates have begun their own solar energy-powered microenterprises with the support of the Salesians.
“As the world faces growing environmental degradation and climate change challenges, there is a need to embrace sustainable development more than ever before,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “This has led to a need for leaders and practitioners of technical and vocational education and training to improve their understanding and implementation of education for sustainable development using a whole-institution approach to greening their institutions. These training programs in Tanzania provided a real opportunity for students to gain an education in a growing and much-needed field of study.”
In Tanzania, 67.9 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. While the country has seen some economic growth in tourism, mining, trade and communication, the number of Tanzanians living below the poverty line has marginally increased due to rapid population
growth. In some regions, up to half of the population struggles to meet the cost of essential food and shelter and other basic necessities like clothing, health care and education.
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