The project was launched in 2014. It is the result of collaboration between Salesians, the NGOs "VIS" and "Vides", the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Episcopal Conference and the Ministry of Education of Ethiopia. A laboratory of graphic and typographic arts was opened in 2015.
Currently there are night classes for students, alternating between theory and practical sessions. They are aimed mainly at workers and those employed in the printing industry, to help them upgrade their skills and improve their chances of employment.
This training will be part of a structure like that of Don Bosco TVET which is already functioning and accredited by the Agency for Technical-Vocational Education in Addis Ababa. It provides courses to many poor and vulnerable young people from the area.
The courses in graphic and typographic arts are generally held by local experts, but there are also special lectures by experts from the renowned Italian technical schools of San Zeno in Verona and San Marco in Mestre, both in the Salesian Province of North-East Italy (INE).
These courses had as their first positive result an increase in the number of young people who come to the school. "Don Bosco TVET Mekanissa is now in effect a mecca for the young people of the area," commented the organizers.
The graphic and printing industry is very important and is growing in the Ethiopian labour market, but at present there is no institution in the whole country that offers training for local people. The school in graphic and typographic arts is the first of its kind in Ethiopia and is a showpiece of Salesian activity in the capital.