World Food Day: Salesian Missions highlight food programs – Democratic Republic of the Congo

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The Salesian Mission runs feeding programs in its schools and centers through partnerships

(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions, the US development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins the international community and organizations around the world in honoring World Food Day. Celebrated each year on October 16, the day was created to draw attention to the plight of people suffering from hunger and undernourishment around the world while providing an opportunity to better understand the complex solutions to eradicate poverty. hunger.

This year’s theme, “Leaving no one behind”, calls on everyone to “build a sustainable world where everyone, everywhere has regular access to enough nutritious food”.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) noted: “Millions of people around the world cannot afford healthy diets, putting them at high risk of food insecurity and malnutrition. But ending hunger isn’t just about supply. Enough food is produced today to feed everyone on the planet. The problem is access to and availability of nutritious food, which is increasingly hampered by multiple challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict, climate change, inequality, rising prices and international tensions. All over the world, people are experiencing the domino effects of challenges that know no borders.

No less than 828 million people go to bed hungry every night. The number of people facing acute food insecurity has risen from 135 million to 345 million since 2019, and a total of 50 million people in 45 countries are on the brink of starvation, according to the World Food Programme.

Salesian Missions runs feeding programs in its schools and centers through partnerships with organizations such as Rise Against Hunger and Feed My Starving Children. Salesian missions identify needs and coordinate the delivery of 40-foot shipping containers filled with meals which are supplemented with additional supplies when available.

“Salesians around the world know how important healthy food is for the older children and young people we serve in our schools and centers,” said Fr Gus Baek, Director of Salesian Missions. “Children cannot concentrate on school when they are hungry, and those who are malnourished often struggle to thrive. Salesian food programs ensure young people have access to nutritious meals to fuel their education, play and bond with family and friends.

On this World Food Day, Salesian Missions are proud to highlight food programs in schools and centers around the world.

BENIGN

The children of Foyer Don Bosco, a home for abused and abandoned children in Kandi, Benin, received food aid thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions. The funding provided food support for 36 children, as well as cleaning supplies and medicine for the infirmary. Ten girls and boys also benefited from the purchase of tool boxes for various trades.

Foyer Don Bosco serves boys and girls in very complex situations, including those who have been abandoned by their families, victims of abuse and victims of forced marriages. The Kandi region often experiences an influx of children who live alone. Children are sometimes sold on the black market and exploited in the labor market. A transit house has been opened with the support of UNICEF to accommodate these children, while guiding them to other homes or trying to find their families.

The Foyer Don Bosco was created for children who have nowhere to go or who have to stay for long periods of time. In collaboration with the juvenile courts of Benin, minors in conflict with the law and in high risk situations are assisted by the Salesians. Border police also intercept child victims of trafficking from Niger and Burkina Faso.

DR Congo

Don Bosco Kansebula in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo*, was able to improve the yield of his farm thanks to funding from donors of the Salesian Missions. The Don Bosco Kansebula Youth Food Security project has helped provide food for 360 children and young people aged 6 to 22, as well as 83 young Salesians studying philosophy at Don Bosco Kansebula.

Most of the children and young people who have received nutritional support attend the local secondary school and college and live in the village. Single mothers were also supported through this project.

Don Bosco Kansebula owns a 44-hectare farm which supplies the Salesian formation house and the neighboring village with food. Since its beginnings, Don Bosco Kansebula has provided young Salesians with philosophical training and offered them shelter and nutritional support during their time at school. Villagers living near Don Bosco Kansebula have used the farm to grow food for themselves and the community.

Most young people in the village cannot afford more than one meal a day and the quality of the food is not good enough. With COVID-19, many have been pushed deeper into poverty and lack the means to support themselves. The purpose of this project was to help increase the yield of the farm to meet the nutritional needs of people in the Salesian programs and in the village.

HAITI

Students at Salesian-run Timkatec schools in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, have had access to better nutrition through a partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger. The cargo provided rice meals from December 2021 to January 2022.

The rice meals were distributed in the school canteen and sent home with students in need. A Salesian reports: “As the canteen is suspended for the months of November to December for lack of rice, we have decided to make a first distribution of dry rice to take away on the occasion of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, on December 7. The rice was distributed after mass in the courtyard of the vocational school: Timkatec 2.”

The Timkatec school has existed since 1994 and was founded for former street children. Later it was expanded to include local underprivileged children who did not have the chance to go to school until they were 8-10 years old. Vocational schools were added later so that young people could learn a trade for employment. Additional rice meals were distributed in the canteens of the three Timkatec schools and provided to students to take home during school closures.

PERU

Vulnerable populations in Peru struggling with food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns received food aid in 2020 through a partnership between Feed My Starving Children and Salesian Missions. With support from the Flexport.org Fund, Salesian Missions received fully funded logistics services to ship this food aid to Peru and another shipment to Guatemala.

The Don Bosco Foundation in Lima was the main beneficiary of the food aid, which was then distributed to other Salesian programs serving young people and vulnerable adults, including migrant families and women and children living in conditions of poverty. The majority of the distribution went to Salesian programs that host community kitchens that feed local communities.

The Don Bosco Foundation has noticed that requests for help have increased considerably after the quarantine. The aid channeled through the Salesian Missions provided significant support to help families who were no longer able to work and put food on the table. The Don Bosco Foundation has helped support over 6,000 people during the pandemic with a variety of services.

Sources:

Photos courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for permissions to use)

BENIN: Children receive food support thanks to funding from Salesian Missions donors

DR CONGO: Farm helps students overcome food insecurity

HAITI: Students benefit from food program partnership

PERU: Vulnerable people receive food aid thanks to partnership

Salesian missions

World Food Day 2022

*All goods, services or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in these countries have been administered in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of Treasury .

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