The 5th Annual Stakeholders Assembly (ASA) of Don Bosco Tech Africa (DBTA) kicked off on Monday 16th November at DBYES in Nairobi, Kenya and ended on 20th November 2020. The five-days meeting brought together representatives from the Province Technical and Vocational Education and Training (PTVET) offices in Sub-Saharan Africa, DBTECH worldwide and other development partners among them Ms. Silvia Cromm and Mr. Steffen Gross – both from Don Bosco Mondo and Fr. Miguel Ángel, Fr. Patrick Anthonyraj, – both from the Youth Ministry Department in Rome. Fr. Alphonse Owoudou, the Regional Superior for Africa Madagascar also addressed the participants.
This year, DBTA conducted a blended ASA meeting with provision for both physical and virtual attendance due to the Covid-19 restrictions in various countries. The meeting was moderated by Br. John Njuguna – the DBTA Deputy Director and attended by 35 participants.
During his inaugural address, Fr. Simon Asira – the Provincial Superior of Don Bosco Eastern Africa province (AFE) thanked the DBTA team for collectively planning this crucial meeting. He said, “The Annual Stakeholders’ Assembly is a very important meeting in the framework of DBTA because through it we are able to define our destiny as a region in terms of offering technical education to the young people.”
On his part, Fr. George Tharaniyil, the DBTA Executive Director gave an overview of the organisation’s strategy and the developments in the past year. He proposed a “way forward” for DBTA that involves a collective effort from the Salesian provinces and DBTA.
Fr. Miguel Ángel García urged the participants to prioritize and respond to the needs of the youth in the region.
The Regional Councillor for Africa – Madagascar, Fr. Alphonse Owoudou congratulated DBTA for its coordination role and unflinching support to the Salesian TVET centres.
Ms. Silvia Cromm applauded DBTA for achieving many milestones which have transformed lives of the vulnerable youth in the Sub-Saharan Africa. “Young people in Africa need our assistance and guidance to be able to live a life in dignity and fulfill their dreams.” She asserted.
Each P-TVET office shared their experiences, achievements and challenges faced during the implementation of the planned activities for the year 2019/2020. Apparently, Covid-19 global pandemic was one of the most pressing challenge to the implementation of TVET activities in the Provinces.
Other key speakers during this meeting were: Fr. Patrick Anthonyraj; Fr. Aikarachalil Joseph from AFW Province; Mr. Raj A. Joseph and Ms. Dorien Beurskens from Young Africa; Mr. Eric Huby from Institut de la Francophonie pour l’éducation et la formation (IFEF); and Mr. Wafula Rombosia from Sleek Management Consultancy among others.
The participants developed specific Action Plans which will guide each P-TVET office in implementing various activities in the year 2020/2021. Fr. Maximus Okoro from AFW Province thanked DBTA on behalf of the participants and he challenged participants with a call to renew their commitment in enriching the lives of marginalised young people.
In his closing remarks Fr. George TJ thanked all stakeholders for the continued support to DBTA. “Let us not forget our young people in all that we do. We are here for them and because of them. Let it be the guiding spirit and motivation behind all that we do.” He said.