KIA opens community run mechanic training centre in Ethiopia
KIA Motors Corporation has opened its new community-run auto mechanic training centre in Ethiopia. The establishment of the new Kia-KOICA Green Light Auto Mechanic Training Center is one of the latest steps in KIA’s ‘Green Light Project’ corporate social responsibility program.
The Kia-KOICA training centre is located in the Lideta area of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Supported by about US$1.8 million investment by KIA Motors and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the centre is jointly operated by ‘World Vision’. World Vision is a relief, development and advocacy non-governmental organisation dedicated to working with 100 million people in countries around the world.
The facility employs residents from the local community, and plans to take on around 60 young trainees each year. The centre enables trainee mechanics to work towards a range of vocational qualifications, while providing a short-term training program for drivers.
In addition to raising employment levels, the Green Light Project-backed facility increases the number of vehicle mechanics in the region. KIA estimates that the auto mechanic training centre will have a positive impact on the lives of over 2 000 local citizens. KIA plans to develop the site by supporting the establishment of an adjacent local repair shop, creating further jobs and opportunities in Lideta and Dandora. Ultimately, KIA and KOICA intend for the site to become a self-sufficient business.
The ceremony in Lideta was attended by key individuals from the Ethiopian and Korean national governments, KIA, KOICA, and World Vision, including the director of technical vocational education and training agency of Addis Ababa, Ato Zaru Simur, World Vision Korea Board Chairman, Chul-shin Lee, and World Vision Ethiopia Chairman, Edward Brown.
Speaking at the event, Soon-Nam Lee, Executive Vice President of KIA Middle East & Africa, KIA Motors Corporation, commented, “The Green Light Project was conceived to improve the lives of those with little access to medicine and medical care, education, and employment. This new facility joins others in providing local communities with the opportunity to build better lives for themselves, with the means and infrastructure to work towards independence.
“Green Light Project centres such as these seek to reduce local unemployment and give disadvantaged communities the chance to establish and run their own businesses. An auto mechanic training centre will provide locals here in Addis Ababa with a valuable service, particularly in a region where so many people rely on their vehicles in order to thrive.”
KIA’s ‘Green Light Project’
KIA’s Green Light Project – a global social mobility program started by the carmaker in 2012 – strives to improve access to healthcare, education and employment for disadvantaged communities in Africa. The program seeks to empower local communities to improve mobility and self-sufficiency, and enable them to challenge and overcome their obstacles.
Since 2012, KIA has supported a series of communities and initiatives in Africa through its Green Light Project to provide easier access to health, education and employment. Green Light Projects in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique, as well as Kenya and Ethiopia, have so far resulted in the successful establishment of five schools and a health centre with a mobile clinic. The latest project brings the total number of Green Light Project locations to nine.
As well as setting up education, health and training facilities, KIA has provided a total of 20 support vehicles that best serve local needs, such as school buses, mobile mechanics, mobile libraries and mobile health clinics, and aided local citizens with school uniform production, micro loan facilities, fertilizer lending programs and vehicle workshop facilities.
KIA plans to expand the Green Light Project to other countries and regions in future through the cooperation of its global network.
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