Meet Kency: training for a brighter future in Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s Rural Training Centres (RTC) provide vocational skills training for young people who have been pushed out of the school system, providing them with a vital opportunity to build a better future and make a contribution to their families and communities.

Vanuatu's Rural Training Centres provide a vital opportunity foryoung people to build a better future. Photo: Jane Ussher/Oxfam
Rural Training Centres provide a vital opportunity for young people to build a better future.

School fees and limited spaces force many young people out of the education system much too early. Without schooling or skills, many drift into urban centres to look for work, often falling victim to drugs or crime or early pregnancy.

Young people like 19-year old Kency Philip studying at the Pektel RTC in northwest Malekula are learning new skills so they can build a useful career.

Kency tells us: “I attended primary school up to Year 6 (age 12), but then I failed my exam and was pushed out of the school system. I wanted to work and help my family, but I didn’t have any skills to do anything in the village. Then I heard about the Pektel RTC and I saw and heard that trainees who came to this RTC are serious in their careers.”

“I want to achieve my certificate to become a carpenter,” says Kency. “Learning carpentry and furniture making are life skills that I will always be able to use. I want to build my own house or to work in a company to earn income for myself and my family.”

The new Pektel RTC building with water tanks and a toilet.
The new Pektel RTC building with water tanks and a toilet.

The Pektel RTC currently enrols students in mechanics, carpentry, agriculture, community education, small business and tourism and hospitality courses. And with Oxfam’s support, they have recently upgraded their facilities – constructing a new, cyclone-proof, three-classroom building, installing two 10,000-litre water tanks, and building a semi-permanent toilet.

Albert Henry, the Manager of Pektel RTC, tells us: “I am really happy to see the permanent classroom and water system complete. It really improves the RTC infrastructure. It is a good advertisement for the Pektel RTC and will encourage more trainees to join us in the future. And the water tanks and sanitation facilities will provide safe water improve the health of the whole community.”

Oxfam and its partner VRDCTA are helping construct cyclone-proof buildings like those at Pektel RTC at many other Centres, so that they can provide families with a safe place to shelter should a cyclone strike the region.

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