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Vocational schools

Anything is possible

by Verena Stamm

In brief

Schoolgirls in traditional clothing at the award ceremony for their vocational school diplomas.

Schoolgirls in traditional clothing at the award ceremony for their vocational school diplomas.

Vocational schools are an important aspect of education and training. In 2009, our Fondation Stamm opened vocational schools that specialise in medical fields. Pupils can train to be nurses, medical technical assistants and pharmaceutical technical assistants. We are the only institution in Burundi that provides training in these areas. We also opened a school that specialises in banking and insurance.

Pupils and their parents value our vocational schools. The pupils generally approach their training with great enthusiasm, and the day that diplomas are awarded is a big event for the entire family. The girls dress particularly elegantly, and the boys show up wearing suits. After the diplomas and grades are awarded, everybody cheers. Pupils receive heartfelt congratulations and gifts from their friends and families.

Several pupils from our children’s home have successfully completed vocational school. They can now take the state examination, and if they pass, they can go on to a university or a technical college. There are success stories that prove that regardless of their background, children are capable of achieving a great deal.

One example is Severin Ntahompagaze, who completed our pharmaceutical technical assistant course and passed the state examination. This year he graduated from the medical institute with a degree in pharmacology. He immediately got a job in a pharmacy. He is very satisfied, but nevertheless would also like to pursue a master’s degree. He achieved all this in spite of the fact that his childhood was anything but carefree. Both of his parents were killed in the civil war, and he was raised by various relatives until he arrived in our home and attended our school. (vs)

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