Education is vital to a life with perspective

‘Because education matters’ is the motto of Austria’s HAAS, a company which is engaged in supporting a bakery apprentice workshop and helping needy children in Korogocho, a slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Irene Kapaun, HAAS marketing communication & public relations manager recently visited Nairobi in order to report about the project’s progress.

Streets are choked in garbage in Korogocho. There is no sewage system. During periods of rainfall the entire area is flooded and wastewater flows through the provisional barracks. Water is expensive, scarce and frequently polluted.

“We want to help create a future worth living for Korogocho’s children,” Irene Kapaun explains. Active measures against malnutrition among children include the establishment of an integrated training bakery at a local school. HAAS supports a project entitled ‘bread and education for a better future’, which ensures that children are not only offered a nutritious meal every day, but also an education enabling them to provide for themselves as adults.

Within the project, 98 children in primary schools are cared for. In addition to one hot meal every day, children are provided with fresh fruit as well as basic medical care.


Schools and apprenticeships

The project’s team helps children regain a normal life with structured daily routines. A special rehabilitation programme helps drug addicted children, but above all, the school offers psycho-social support, a sort of home, a secure space. “The measures have changed their lives dramatically: they have found their self-esteem, they have new hope for the future,” says Kapaun.

Once the children finish school they can enrol in apprenticeship courses to become bakers. A European master baker trains the young students in collaboration with African bakers. “In these two-year courses students learn the basic skills of the bakery trade and after graduation, they are well equipped to find employment or to open their own businesses: well trained professionals are still hard to find in Nairobi,” Kapaun points out.

“A lack of education results in a lack of self-confidence and courage. Adults who are well-trained and educated will become self-sufficient and able to lead independent lives. With the financial support of ‘bread and education for a better future’ we are helping to give the children in the slums of Nairobi an education and an opportunity to learn a promising profession,” she says.

Haas supports the bakery until the end of 2016. “We are very happy that the bakery will be able to finance itself until the end of the year. Congratulations to our project partners. Education is still close to our hearts and therefore we will continue our engagement in the future,” Kapaun notices in advance.

Read more and watch the video here.

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