AVVTC serves about 150 students ranging from ages 18-22. The two-year program (Levels I and II) offers training in the following trades: electricity, carpentry, sewing/tailoring/knitting, masonry, and welding

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AUDREY VELDMAN VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTER
(AVVTC)

Vocational training is supplemented by morning instruction in English, computer skills, mathematics, Life Skills, Business, and Engineering Science, with religion classes occurring every Friday. Students live at AVVTC in dorms with meals provided at the dining hall. After graduation, students are placed in the field as interns or apprentices to continue their education in their selected trade.
When the Congregation of Holy Cross assumed responsibility of St. Brendan Parish in July 2000, generous friends and benefactors came on board to share in the first mission of Holy Cross in Tanzania. Soon after, the Veldman family wished to be more specific in their collaboration with Holy Cross, especially in the education ministry. Audrey Veldman Vocation Training Institute was established to answer the education gap in the Parish. Many youth in the Kitete area were not going beyond grade school and lacked employment skills. From its inception, the vocation school trains young people in skills of Tailoring, Knitting and Fashion Design, Cookery and Catering, Entrepreneurship, Carpentry, Brick Laying, Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Electrical Installations, Welding and Metal Fabrication. Besides, all the students undertake lessons in English and ICT.

Over the years, Audrey Veldman Vocation Institute is very proud of their alumni, every one of their graduates has been absorbed in the workforce both within Kitete and beyond. “The education I received, with a Holy Cross value touch, has opened horizons,” said Maria, who went to study Tourism and Hotel Management. Maria now works with big tourist companies in Arusha and Moshi. The challenges at first were to find tutors because they had to be hired from elsewhere and were expensive to maintain in the rural setting. Besides, it was not easy to change the mindset of the community which saw vocational education as second class to high school education.

The Holy Cross members who served in St. Brendan Parish insisted on educating students and the community about the value of education especially, practical skills. Now, the school has over 120 students doing the various courses. It is well set with enough classrooms, practical rooms and workshops, dormitories, dining and kitchen facilities. Together with St. Brendan Parish Church, Offices and Rectory, the area is well supplied with water and electricity. In addition to Audrey Veldman Vocational Training Institute, the Parish has opened St. Andre Bessette Examination Centre. In Tanzania’s education system, students take national exams at four levels before they qualify for university or college. The national policy does not permit failures of the national exams to repeat them in public schools.

Currently, St.Andre Bessette Examination Centre is one of the few private centres that offer tutors preparing young people in need of certification to complete primary seven, form 2, 4 and 6 of high school education. This has become a very demanding service for many children in the Kitete area. St. Andre Bessette Examination Centre has numbers ranging from 30 to 50 preparing for the different national examination repeat. “Education in Faith is our Charism; therefore, we offer our education to those who need it most, those who would not otherwise see a future in their lives. To spice it up we have formed the Entrepreneurship and English Clubs that engage the youths in various learning and recreational education. With both Audrey Veldman Vocational Training Institute and St. Andre Bessette Examination Centre, we are bringing much hope to the young generation and the entire community.” Said Bro. Morris Achana CSC, the director of the two education ministries in St. Brendan parish. The parish priest of St. Brendan Parish, Kitete was very grateful to the Veldman Family for the choice of becoming partners with Holy Cross in this ministry.