We are pleased to share news about the growth of our New Kids on the Block Program!
Earlier this year Gas Natural Fenosa, the technical manager of our natural gas project, formally joined the program giving technical and institutional support to the initiative which aims to create new opportunities for local students via professional placements.
The partner invited the group to visit two of their factories in Greater Buenos Aires last month. The 16 interns and their tutors visited the Peak Shaving Plant in Rodriguez and the headquarters of the gas company in San Martín.
The excursion was an invaluable experience for the students most of whom had never visited a technical plant. The main objective of the visits was to teach the youths about the different commercial, technical and administrative areas of the company.
During the excursions the students were able to interact with workers from the plants and ask questions about the operations they carry out. The company gave several talks concerning the history, current use and role of natural gas in Argentina.
We are planning more visits in the second half of the year given the success of the excursions. So stay tuned for more news!
Miguel and Fran are students in two technical schools participating in our Career Developing Internship Program (Programa de Practicas Profesionalizantes). They live, study and work in Great Buenos Aires.
Miguel studies in the Integral Technical School of Trujui (ETIT) and he is 18 years old. His classmate, Fran, is a 19-year-old student who lives in Santa Brigida and studies in the n°2 Technical School of the same neighborhood. Both are completing their last year of study to become master builders.
They are part of a group of 35 students from three technical schools that participated in the 2013 Program. Since October, Miguel comes from Tuesday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm to the headquarters of the Union Trust Neighbors in Action in Moreno, while Christian began in August and works four hours per day from Monday to Wednesday.
These internships aim to provide students with the necessary professional skills and capabilities that would enhance their chances to enter the workforce. Furthermore, it gives them the opportunity to learn about the tools necessary to improve their own neighborhoods.
Commenting on what he is currently learning, Miguel explains: "Almost every day, we go out with contracts and visit the neighbors. I learned how the gas installers connect natural gas in each house, to prepare sketches, to complete neighborhood maps using the Autocad program and more ... Each intern works under the guidance of a tutor who teaches them how things work, guides them and supervises their work.”
On a personal level, he enjoys working with neighbors. Indeed, not only did he learn how to gather information on houses and piped natural gas systems, prepare and submit excel files and papers, he learned how to communicate with neighbors: “People are friendly, they are always ready to welcome us in their home and they let us go to their house… Even though they do not know us, they always receive us warmly. There is so much trust!”
According to Fran, the practice enables him to develop some skills which are not taught in school. He learns "everything that has to do with the bureaucratic part, for example how to budget a work of natural gas ... "It's an interesting work that fits me, learning is assimilated better, I'm both with my tutor and with a team", (…), "The first day we had a training. It was a good experience as they explained to us how the Foundation was created and how they work there. Moreover, after they showed us the various areas of work, we had the opportunity to choose the one which best suited our fields of specialization choose our areas of work according to our fields of specialization. "
Although the two interns live in different neighborhoods, Fran in Santa Brigida and Miguel in Trujuy, they share the same vision of their communities. In their neighborhoods, there are no social projects such as those implemented by the Cuartel V’s neighbors and the Foundation. Where Miguel lives, a private company installed sewers but still no natural gas network. Miguel indicates that he would like to keep on working to improve neighborhoods. Targeting more particularly his own neighborhood, he develops how he would like to make it better in general: “The streets are dirt, it would be good to pave". In his neighborhood Fran explains that "even though there is an access to natural gas, networks do not reach all the residents’ houses. Regarding water networks… there are none!"
Therefore, both consider this internship as a life enriching experience in which they learn to work together with members of the staff of the Foundation and with the other interns, but as well how to interact with neighbors. Furthermore, they define it as an incredible opportunity to develop their professional skills so as to later on increase their employability: "I found it a very good experience!” states Fran who then adds: " The problem faced by a person who just had just graduated is that all companies require one to have experience. But there is neither a place where they provide this experience nor someone willing to take you. So this internship is good because it provides us with the required experience! "
The two boys graduated from their schools last December after finishing the internship program. Both want to keep on studying. They would like to do a degree in architecture at the University of Buenos Aires. For the moment, before entering university, Miguel wants to complete a technical degree in health and safety.
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