Beginning with the 2011 academic year, some of our students were diverted from the traditional Secondary school path to vocational instruction. This was done when it became clear that continuing on through Senior Six was not going to give these students the tools and skills they could use to build successful lives afterward: they were working hard but were not likely candidates for a university program and were struggling academically.
We were very fortunate, through the connections of our on-site coordinator Emmie Asaba and his brother Charles, to put these students into some of the best vocational institutes in the country. Nine of the students went to Mpanda Vocational Institute, which is rated by American aid programs as one of the best. The students enrolled in a two-year program and focused on a variety of different trade skills that they selected for themselves; among them were catering, hotel management, and woodworking.
In August and September 2012 the students were nearing completion of their vocational training, and undertook two-month unpaid internships as apprentices working in real businesses to develop and fine-tune their skills.
The following slide show will introduce you to these students and to Mpanda Vocational Institute. It begins when they arrived at Mpanda in February 2011 and continues through their internships that were completed in the fall of 2012.