The 28-year-old is the third of seven children, orphaned by his parents, and lives with his brothers.
Kollen trained in the field of Lathe and Milling at the Metalworking Vocational Training Centre. After his training, he started a six-month internship at the company Gestreb.
He learned about this training through his friend, who, knowing his social and financial condition, introduced him to the course at the Metalworking Vocational Centre, which has a partnership with Swisscontact under the Skills to Build project. He seized the opportunity and enrolled in order to acquire technical skills to be able to match the demands of the employment market.
"My training in Lathe and Milling was very good. I had good trainers, they were very talented and patient. They gave us all the support possible, shared their experiences in the area, for me it was the best training that I have done so far. And I took the opportunity to give the best of myself, so as to come out competent and highly qualified, I was the best student on my course."
After he completed the training, one of the trainers directed him and some of his colleagues to the internship opportunities at the Gestrab company.
According to Kollen, at the beginning, the internship was not what he expected. He wanted to put into practice what he learnt straight away and use the machines. However, he first had to go through a phase of observation and initiation into handling the machines.
After he finishes the internship, he intends to look for a job in order to help his brothers with the household expenses and create financial stability in order to build his own house, and continue his education.
This project is financed by Happel Foundation, among other donors. It is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA.