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SAAM makes history by sending the first group of Vocational Training students from Tunisia to carry out a training stay in Finland

On August 24, a group of Vocational Training students of Agriculture from the WeYouth centers in Tunisia board a plane bound for Europe. After 6 hours of flight, they land in Finland. There, the staff of KPEDU (Federation of Education in Central Ostrobothnia), SAAM partner educational organization, will host them for a month at the Kannus school, one of its five centers, so that they can continue their training in agriculture, get to know the Finnish educational system and discover a different culture.

And that is how SAAM makes history.

This is the first mobility of SAAM students, a project that began in 2020 with the idea of ​​piloting a VET Erasmus programme between 16 African countries and 8 European countries for the fields of agriculture, engineering and hospitality. Tunisia-Finland is the first of many combinations that will continue until 2024 and that the SAAM partners hope will continue once the project is finished. The desire of the partnership is that even in the future this possibility will be opened to all VET centers interested in an experience in the neighboring continent for any VET field.

For Alfredo Garmendia (Head of the International Department at Centro San Viator, the project’s promoter) and Béatrice Bellet (Head of the Strategy and Innovation Department at Mundus, SAAM’s coordinating entity), the SAAM project shows the beginning of collaboration between two continents in terms of education and employment: “Youth is the future and SAAM is a bridge between Africa and Europe”.

Sergio Lagarde (SAAM Technical Coordinator in Mundus) states the following: “By bringing both continents closer through exchanges of young people, the project intends to build a more interconnected world, where we can draw horizons where we now see borders”.

The pandemic has delayed the arrival of students for a few months, but the project has never stopped. During these first years, important achievements have happened such as the continuous flow of VET coordinators and teachers traveling from Europe to Africa and vice versa. In addition to these exchanges between Vocational Training professionals, international meetings and seminars have also been successfully held in cities such as Nairobi, Brussels or Luanda.

All these steps have led SAAM to what it is today: a strong and pioneering network of contacts with expertise in VET mobility experiences between Africa and Europe.