The project, whose kick-off meeting took place in Brussels right before the covid-19 pandemic broke out in Europe, has already reached 100 mobilities over the first two years (out of a total of four) despite the challenges represented by covid-19 restrictions to travel and all those related to the issue of Visas. 27 experts of VET mobilities have already travelled from European countries to African ones. As far as the mobilities of VET teachers and staff are concerned, so far 39 of them have travelled from Africa to Europe, while 34 European ones have visited their African peers.
The first two phases of the project have been almost finalized. The first one consisted of developing a “state-of-the-art” assessment of the VET system in Africa, with mobility experts and VET staff from Europe visiting African partners. The second phase of the project saw the African staff visiting European partners and receiving capacity building back from them. The third and final phase, starting in Autumn 2022 and concluding by the end of 2023, will see African VET students visiting European VET centers and experiencing internships in these centers’ partner companies.
The project, promoted by the Spanish VET school "San Viator" and coordinator by the Spanish mobility agency "Mundus", involves two Salesian VET networks from Europe (CNOS-FAP, Italy, and Tech Don Bosco, Spain) and 14 VET centers from 14 African countries (Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, and Eritrea), belonging to the network of Don Bosco Tech Africa. Furthermore, Don Bosco International, the Brussels-based liaison office representing the Salesians of Don Bosco at the European Institutions, is part of the project's Steering Committee. Accordingly, the Executive Director of Don Bosco Tech Africa, Fr George Tharaniyil SDB, and the Executive of Don Bosco International, Renato Cursi, were present at the meeting in Luanda, where the local Salesian communities offered a very warm welcome to all the SAAM partners.
The leaders of the project's Work Packages and the Steering Committee visited the Provincial House and the "Sao Paulo" Salesian Community in Luanda, as well as the Salesian VET center of Lixeira. The Provincial Planning and Development Office (PDO) actively supported the meeting's logistics. The project's partners were able to evaluate the first two years of the project and plan the future steps, looking forward to offering many African VET students the opportunity to live the experience of a study visit and an internship in Europe, with the support of the Erasmus+ programme, finally going beyond the borders of Europe.