The awareness that children and older youths are the most vulnerable part of society, has urged VIS to move into the education and training sector, addressing activities to a particular social target: children, youths, poor and disadvantage people.
Through the adoption of an integrated approach, VIS works in the following cooperation sectors:
- education and support for children, adolescents and young people who are at risk of social exclusion
- vocational training, social and work insertion of vulnerable groups
- interventions of support for the development of local communities
- training of executive managers in developing countries
- training of Italian operators in international co-operation
- consciousness-raising of Italian public opinion in issues of solidarity and international co-operation, human rights and the right to development
- promotion of better circumstances for women
- widening information and training possibilities involving new technologies to do so ( e.g. E-learning )
VIS is actually present in 53 countries worldwide, with development cooperation projects, and 68 volunteers.
VIS works in Eritrea together with Salesians, at the Salesian Technical School ( Don Bosco Centre ) in Dekemhare.
In 1996 the Government gave a plot of land to the Salesians; from that time and on, where the desert begins, new plants, new buildings and new activities grew up, all focused on one only objective: a warm welcome to the poorest young people and their training.
Also, thanks to the VIS contribution, a secondary school recognized by the local government came about. The work we are conducting is aimed at giving a good education to the poor so they can then find a job. In order to better the quality of learning we organize updating courses for the trainers at the Don Bosco Centre and all the other technical schools of the country; we send experts, buy technical machinery for workshops and schools. In the Don Bosco Centre recreational activities for children and remedial courses are under development.
We are also involved in providing water wells, a primary source of life in a country too often subjected to drought and famine. Young people, attending courses in the technical schools, also learn how to maintain and repair the wells.
VIS, present in Angola from 1991, has, together with the Salesians, carried out various projects in the main city of Luanda and in rural areas.
In a country destroyed 20 years ago by the civil war, our efforts were dedicated first of all to rehabilitation of the educational system: we have developed 11 literacy centres, 23 schools in rural areas, 2 Vocation Training Centres, a job office in order to sustain new activities and offer new possibilities for the unemployed. We have also launched a programme for training local trainers and established a permanent teaching centre.
Every year 700 children and lder youth can now attend the school and each year 500 adults can attend literacy evening courses.
We are also engaged in the health sector with 8 medical centres, 2 clinical test laboratories, updating courses for nurses.
We are involved, too, with poor people in rural areas, trying to find new life opportunities through leadership training and rehabilitation of street children.
For more than 10 years VIS has worked with Salesians in vocational training projects and social promotion.
Because of the civil war, thousand of people had escaped the rural areas and found a place near the suburbs of the main town Bujumbura, in degraded conditions and without the possibility to go back home. For this reason we decided to give our support with immediate assistance to these families via a “peace reconstruction” project: a “Youth City” Centre, where the most poor and disadvantaged could find hope for a better future, thanks to:
Vocational training with specialised courses in 7 subjects for 500 students a year
Literacy and scholarship support for 300 people a year and with evening courses for adults
Updating for local trainers with periodical seminars and a specialized library
Help in finding a job through a service open to all citizens
Reception of street children with a rehabilitation strategy reuniting them with families
Social promotion and co-existence of different ethnic groups with educational, cultural, sport activities, for about 2000 people annually
VIS works in Ethiopia in different regions of the Country: from the main town Addis Abeba to Zway and Dilla in the south, to Adwa and Makallè in the north, to Gambela, on the border with Sudan.
The main activities developed with the Salesians are focused on children: primary and secondary schools and reception centres give accommodation to thousands of children coming from the poorest parts of the town.
The street children phenomenon is continuously on the rise throughout the country, particularly in Addis Abeba. For that reason we are offering literacy courses, vocational training, job placement, recreational activities and health assistance on a basic level.
Ethiopia is a country usually subjected to drought and famine, which put the existence of many villages at risk: the water problem can not be neglected, because water is the most important element for living. For this reason, VIS and the Salesians are engaged in providing wells which can guarantee the citizens survival also in times of drought
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
For 6 years now, VIS has been in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Goma, on the border with Rwanda, where thousands people pass through daily and which is also infamous for civil war and the Nyiragongo eruption in 2002. We have dedicated our efforts to help and training for minors, those most affected by the difficult circumstances of the country.
We work in the Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Centre, which provides accommodation for more than 1500 children: orphans, refugees, children affected by AIDS, street children, child soldiers, children coming from prison, can find help, education, vocational training, sport and cultural activities there, to help them overcome the trauma of war, and so they can grow up normally and find a place in society.
Each month 100 children benefit from being re-united with their family. Everyday 200 undernourished children are given care.
Every night 500 youngsters sleep at the Centre. 50 of them are infants and young children.