Update from Benin - Progress of the technical assistance project at the CPET Don Bosco school in Parakou.

It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of our two weeks' technical assistance at the CPET Don Bosco school in Parakou, Benin. Business research has progressed significantly this week and budgets are now being drawn up for each business. Training sessions have continued with participants considering how to avoid common management issues, how to mediate risk and what sorts of publicity would be most appropriate for each business. 


A visit to the Songhai centre on Thursday has been a highlight of the trip. Songhai is a social enterprise that specialises in organic production, whilst also providing training for the youth of Benin. It is recognised as a centre of excellence throughout West Africa. Several members of the school management benefitted from a visit to the site, taking inspiration from an existing operation that successfully combines income generation and training.


The final two workshops will look at how to balance educational and business outcomes and what the next steps are that need to be taken to develop the school businesses. We will also be discussing with CPET and local NGO partners ADAFO how the experience of the CPET Don Bosco school can be shared more widely with other Salesian schools in Africa.

Barnabé Ajbé, Electrician Trainer told us: 'Everything we have done in the two weeks has enabled us to really find a way to combine production and training so that our apprentices can really succeed at the end of their training'.

According to Antoine Nambone, 'Thanks to the training, I have been able to improve upon some weak points in the management of our carpentry business.' 

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