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The late cardinal Maurice Michael Otunga, former Archbishop of Nairobi, in 1990 asked A.V.S.I. (an International NGO - www.avsi.org) to establish a technical school in the poor areas of the city. He told to AVSI management:

"Kenya, and particularly Nairobi, have an urgent need of educational opportunities in the technical field: so frightfully many are, in fact, the youth who are jobless and often on the brink of desperation and criminality... I am sure that not only the technical but also the human aspects of such an enterprise would be taken care of."

 

In fact Nairobi is facing problems and contradiction caused by an unbalanced and vertiginous population growth. The problems of youth are very serious: thousands of them leaving school before they complete their studies and, while few, with a lot of difficulties, find a job, many are unemployed. The problem is even greater for the youth coming from the outskirts of the city, who, having completed their primary education, cannot continue any further and end up with no qualification at all. For them the possibility of employment and the chance of a dignified life becomes rather slim.

In the socio-economic context described above, the primary needs facing the youth living in Nairobi are:

·         The opportunity of adequate professional training;

·         The identification of job opportunities;

·         To spread amongst the youth sentiments of self esteem and a spirit of solidarity at work.

 

Intervention

 

A.V.S.I. took up the challenge of CardinalOtunga and, supported by the Archdiocese of Nairobi and by the Italian Co-operation, started the project with some volunteers in 1991.

St. Kizito VTI was built in the North East outskirts of Nairobi (Githurai-Kimbo area).

The institute was completed in 1994 on a compound of about 20,000 sq. meters. It comprises of workshops, classrooms, and offices, covering a built area of about 8,000 sq. meters.

In 1994 the Institute was opened, enrolling 63 boys and offering Carpentry &Joinery, Motor Mechanics and Electricity courses. At the end of the year the students were examined by a team of the “Ministry of Research and Applied Technology” to obtain the "Grade III Certificate".

In 1996 two new courses were started: Dressmaking, Tailoring & Embroidery and Secretarial course. The institute became able to provide vocational opportunities to young women, who are much more disadvantaged in looking for appropriate education and employment

 

Development

 

In 1997, following the advice of the “Ministry of Technical Training”, the courses: a) Motor Vehicle Mechanics and Electrical, b) Electrical Installations, c) Carpentry & Joinery, d) Dressmaking, Tailoring & Embroidery, were upgraded and students are now prepared for the "Grade II Certificate", as provided by the government.

In 1997 a new branch was built in Roysambu area. This improved the accessibility of the courses especially for girls who have applied in a great number.The Roysambu branch, which is next to the main road from Nairobi to Thika, is meant to favour the participation of youth living in some very poor areas located not far from the premises of the Institute.

In July 1997 a new Computer course was started in Roysambu.

In 2000 two new courses were started: Plumbing & Metalwork and also Electronics Servicing Technology.

In January 2005, the school introduced the Artisan Certificate Level for the courses of Motor Vehicle Mechanics and Electrical Installation and Craft Certificate Level for Electronics Servicing Technology. This then was taken by the Management as an answer to the labor market in need of technicians with a preparation focused on practical and also theoretical knowledge.

 

Educative Aim

 

Education means to introduce the youth into the reality in all its factors; for this reason reality is the point of reference of the work in the school. In St. Kizito VTI through the relationship with the teacher, the young person becomes aware of his personal reality and he is introduced to the knowledge of the world around him. This relationship provokes and leads to the development of the inborn potentialities of the person in a way that is both rich and unique, according to the destiny of goodness for which God created him or her.

The vision of life that our school proposes is born of the catholic experience, which is at the origin of its foundation and its operations. From this experience it follows that everything that exists and happens in the personal and scholastic life is positive. This awareness is offered by the school staff to the students in the daily learning activities, through specific choices of contents and methods.

 

Improvements.

 

1.         To increase the efforts to educate the students in all dimensions:

2.         Continual training of managers and teachers.

The beneficiaries of St. Kizito are the students; their growth and learning can be obtained only from committed managers and teachers who share their sense of responsibility and knowledge.

 

 

3.         To be in line with the need of the labour market and keep up with the new technologies.

 

4.         To increase the synergies with private and public sector and universities.

 

5.         Sustainability of St. Kizito VTI.

 

6.         Improve the Networking with the best national and international VTIs.