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Ein Projekt des VDR und SOS-Kinderdörfer in Dschibuti

Pressemeldung des VDR

Education against piracy: Digital learning for genuine career prospects in the Horn of Africa

VDR and SOS-Kinderdörfer presenting education concepts for a learning centre in Djibouti

 The German Shipowners' Association (VDR) and SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit, the operator of the SOS Children's Villages, have jointly unveiled in Hamburg an education concept focusing on computer-aided learning for the learning centre in Djibouti. With their project in the neighbouring country of Somalia, VDR and SOS-Kinderdörfer want to improve living conditions for people in the region on a sustained basis with the aim of reducing crime and piracy in the long term.

On the one hand, the number of pirate attacks in the Horn of Africa has recently dropped thanks to navy deployment and the elaborate security measures taken by the shipowners. "However, piracy can really only be curbed in this region by improving young people's career prospects and quality of life - and education is the key to achieving this," says VDR president Michael Behrendt. "That's why we are very excited about the progress in building the learning centre."

"The Centre for E-Learning is a model for the whole region," said Dr. Wilfried Vyslozil, a board member of SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit. "It creates a bridge between basic education and secondary forms of education, ensuring young people of better chances in the job market and making it easier for them to embark on a career."

Aden Mohamed Dileita, Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti in Germany, emphasised the great need for highly skilled labour for his country's economic development - especially in the maritime industry: "We want to create real opportunities for good jobs for young people in Djibouti. The training programme offered by the learning centre is providing outstanding support for our education strategy."

With its modular structure, the training concept is tailored to meet the needs of the local job market and provides participants with knowledge in areas in which employees are sought, such as accounting and logistics. The training programme includes IT and language courses and is aimed primarily at children and young people as well as older school pupils and students. It is to go into operation in autumn 2014.

The building is being constructed in the Balbala slum district of Djibouti City and comprises three classrooms and a digital library. All rooms will be equipped with modern computer workstations and Internet access.

VDR is supporting the construction of the learning centre and footing a large part of the ongoing costs. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is also contributing to the construction costs. VDR will be providing a total of EUR 660,000 for the project through to 2017.

VDR and SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit forged their partnership in September 2011, with construction work commencing in autumn 2013.


Hamburg, 14 February 2014