“The Church wants to train young people and citizens of tomorrow, able to actively participate in the construction and development of the Country,” said His Eminence Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui, at the ceremony for the start of the works for the construction of the Saint-Joseph technical and vocational training center (Maison de l’Espoir) which will be built in Kpalongo, 15 kilometers from Bangui. His words were reported on May 10, 2019, by Fides News Agency.
President Faustin-Archange Touadéra took part in the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the center promoted by the Catholic Church on May 6, 2019. Cardinal Nzapalainga recalled that in the Central African Republic “23 percent of the working-age population has not received an education, this percentage rises in rural areas. The population without education is over one million, and of these over 700,000 are young people aged between 15 and 25.”
The lack of education and socio-professional training among young people, according to the Cardinal, remains one of the major factors in increasing unemployment, crime, social tensions, and the risk that more and more young people join armed groups.
The complex will be able to train 150 young people, divided into three sections of 50 students, three of which are technical and professional: carpentry, mechanics, and masonry.
The center will have a boarding school that can accommodate 50 students. “The management of this symbol of collaboration between State and Church will be entrusted to the Franciscan fathers assisted by a religious community”. During the press conference, another Church initiative was announced aimed at building a primary school in the seventh arrondissement of Bangui.