A group of girls in school uniform stand around a table with computer components on it.
Entrepreneurship fair, Guatemala Girls, April 2023

Empowering our youth with skills

Teaching practical skills gives our children opportunity for:

  • decent work
  • entrepreneurship
  • increased economic opportunity
  • a life away from poverty

The skills they learn at school are tailored to the needs of local employers, meaning that they are ready to fill available positions in the local economy. The children are supported into work, and their teachers and the Sisters provide career guidance, helping children to find their passions and talents, utilise their skills and pursue a career which fulfils their potential.

A teacher instructs a student on a sewing machine

Enhanced economic opportunities lead to independence

Learning skills to live independently with a reliable job and steady income empowers our children to change their lives and their families’ lives. In each of our programmes we provide training that equips our children with the practical skills they need to succeed.

Vocational Training centre teaching young women skills for work

In Tanzania, we recognised the need for training for the poorest, out of school young women. Girls in particular face barriers to education such as early marriage, pregnancy, and domestic care responsibilities among many others. Issues of gender inequality undermine and devalue education for women, prioritising boys’ education over girls’ education.

The Kiluvya Training Centre for young women aims to redress the balance, empowering young women with skills while the nursery attached cares for their young children. These young women are equipped to work in sustainable employment that earns them a living wage, giving them independence and agency. They are able to care for themselves and their families, while becoming economically active and productive, living a self-sufficient life away from poverty.

A group of girls in masks sewing

The immediate impact of practical skills training

The moment our girls start to learn technical skills they are able and motivated to use them to support themselves and their families. In 2020, our first-year girls had only had a few months of vocational training, learning to sew. Yet at home for three months during the pandemic lockdown, they were able to start using these skills to help their families. The girls would take in small sewing jobs in their home communities to help earn some money for their families to get them through the pandemic. They also continue to do this during their vacations from school.

In this way, their skills made an immediate and real impact on their families, giving them a small bit of extra income to help see them through the worst of the pandemic.

Addressing generational skills gaps

Training in practical skills changes the lives of generations of young people. They go on to raise families with enough income to not only feed and educate their children, but also with skills and knowledge that they pass on to younger generations.

Learning technical skills

How learning technical skills is helping Mark become an engineer

“Here in the Sisters of Mary School-Adlas, I had a lot of good opportunities given for us to succeed in life and also good training to pursue higher education and get decent jobs. I learned variety of technical skills such as Electrical Installation, Culinary Arts, Welding, AutoCAD 2D &3D, Computer Servicing.

But I love baking, cooking and machine works the most. I dream of becoming chef someday and to become a mechanical engineer.”

Mark’s Story