Kia Motors broke ground on two new community-run auto mechanic training centers in Ethiopia and Kenya as part of their global corporate social responsibility program, The Green Light Project. Each location will be jointly operated by NGOs.
The center in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, will be jointly operated with World Vision, a relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with 100 million people in 1000 countries around the world. The center in Dandora, Kenya, a suburb of Nairobi, and will be jointly operated with Good Neighbors, an international, nonprofit humanitarian organization committed to child education, community development, and emergency relief projects in 30 countries around the world.
When the centers open in 2017, each site will employ residents from the local community and enable trainee mechanics to work toward national qualifications in their countries and feed into a new internship program at Kia's Kenyan distributor operation. The facilities will help raise employment levels and increase the number of vehicle mechanics. Kia estimates that each center will have a positive impact on the lives of over 2,000 local citizens.
These centers are supported by a $4 million investment by Kia Motors and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Kia plans to support the establishment of local repair shops adjacent to each site, creating further jobs and opportunities for the community. Ultimately, Kia and KOICA intend for both sites to become self-sufficient businesses.
Started in 2012, Kia's Green Light Project strives to improve access to healthcare, education and, employment for disadvantaged communities in Africa. The program has resulted in the successful establishment of five schools and a health center with a mobile clinic. In addition, the program helped provide 20 support vehicles to best serve local needs, such as school buses, mobile mechanics, mobile libraries, and mobile health clinics. The Project has also aided local citizens with school uniform production, micro loan facilities, fertilizer lending programs, and vehicles workhop facilities.
Kia plans to expand the Green Light Project to other countries and regions in the near future through the cooperation of its global network.