Nairobi, Wednesday, 15 March - Yesterday, the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella visited the St. Kizito vocational training institute, RES4Africa's historical partner in technical and vocational training, in Githurai, Nairobi suburbs. Accompanying the President on the visit were Edmondo Cirielli, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Roberto Natali, Italian Ambassador to Kenya, Giovanni Grandi, Director of AICS in Nairobi, Silvia D'Ovidio, Head of Strategy, Governance and Institutional Relations of RES4Africa, and Giampaolo Silvestri, Secretary General of AVSI.
Established in 1994 by AVSI with the support of the local Archdiocese and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the St. Kizito Vocational Training Institute has been an active part of the RES4Africa Academy (former Micro-Grid Academy) technical-vocational training programme since its inception, working with RES4Africa and other project partners. The training focuses on photovoltaic systems to power small villages without access to the electricity grid, based on evidence of the fundamental role that education plays in the sustainable development process on the African continent.
"Through our training and capacity building initiatives, RES4Africa aims to create a skilled and knowledgeable workforce to implement renewable energy solutions on the African continent, thus improving access to energy in rural communities, while promoting local entrepreneurship and job creation" stressed Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General of RES4Africa " We are proud that Italy's highest office visited one of the main centres where we pursue our goal, speaking directly to the beating heart of the project: our students".
"Here at St.Kizito I have the opportunity to continue my studies using modern equipment, I am learning by experimenting every day in the classroom and in the laboratory, I feel I am building my career and my future." - Grace, student at the St. Kizito Institute.
Every year, the institute trains 800 young people, offering vocational opportunities and technical training aimed especially at young women, who are much more disadvantaged in their search for proper education and employment. Today, 89% of the young people who study at St. Kizito's find work. The President's visit took place inside the electronics and mechanics laboratories, where RES4Africa's training sessions take place on a regular basis. RES4Africa and AVSI established the programme in 2018 and strengthened the collaboration, then, as part of the Private Sector and Innovative Energy Technologies Development in Kenya initiative, financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) with the aim of building a new plant powered by renewable energy and equipped with high technological standards, to be used as a practical-technical teaching tool thus enhancing the training offer of the St. Kizito Institute.