Mother Oda Vocational Training Center History
The Mother Oda Vocational Training Center was officially opened on August 11th, 1997 and has been embraced by the community of Mto wa Mbu. The Little Sisters of St. Joseph started the training within the parish compound by constructing the office and the two classrooms with tailoring, embroidery, batik and tie-dye courses.
Initially the Center enrolled girls only from ages 16 - 22 who could not continue with secondary education due to either having failed Class Seven exams or Form Four. Some were just school drop outs due to pregnancies and other reasons. All the girls were from within the locality and therefore were day scholars.
Later in 2007, the Center saw the need of having a dormitory to rehabilitate the Maasai girls who were rescued from early marriages and female genital mutilation. Our aim was to protect them from going back home; giving them education and technical skills and guiding and counseling as they grow up to mature people.
So the Center rented a place for accommodations near the church compound with good security since we could not afford to build a dormitory. After five years, the girls increased in number but could not manage to pay for school fees. Because of this, we could not pay rent for accommodations so we converted one side of a classroom into a dormitory.
In 2013, the Center introduced a catering course after realizing that not all Masaai Girls like tailoring and with Mto wa Mbu being a tourist area, it was an added opportunity for us to introduce this course. It has been successful! Immediately after graduating, our students are employed by the surrounding camps, lodges and hotels. Before final exams, we send our students for field experience in these tourism places for three months and that's how they are known and get employed later.
This success has also enabled us to enroll boys who are interested in catering. We also added a tour guide course and so far we have 15 boys in the compound and 30 girls.