2014 ANNUAL REPORT: Salesian Missions Highlights Programs for Poor Youth and Responses to Emergencies around the Globe
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions, the U.S development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, recently published its 2014 Annual Report highlighting educational programs and social development services provided by more than 30,000 priests, brothers, sisters and novices in more than 130 countries around the globe. Through more than its 150-year history, Salesian missionaries have been highly regarded worldwide for their reputation of effective programs and services that give children, families and communities a fighting chance to conquer poverty, despair and suffering.
Salesian missionaries bring life-changing education, workforce development and social programs, and critical humanitarian aid to some of the most disadvantaged communities in the world. In 2014, missionaries faced an unprecedented Ebola epidemic, civil strife in the Middle East and parts of Africa, and high numbers of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border escaping hardship in Central America and searching for a better life. Through it all, Salesian missionaries remained true to their mission to provide youth facing adversity the education and social support they need to be able to live happy and healthy lives.
Working in more than 5,300 Salesian primary and secondary schools around the globe, missionaries educate children in some of the poorest places on the planet. Education gives vulnerable youth a sense of personal dignity and self-worth — breaking the cycle of poverty. At Salesian schools, young children attend classes and participate in sports and other activities. These schools provide them with a safe place to learn and grow.
“Education is always our primary focus,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions. “We know youth are dealing with much more than just having access to education. Salesian programs are tailored to meet the needs of the youth in the communities they serve. Homeless and malnourished youth are simply not able to focus effectively on their studies while they struggle to meet their basic needs. Salesian programs also provide food and shelter so youth are able to focus on the education provided.”
Salesians of Don Bosco are widely considered the largest private provider of vocational and technical training in the world, providing education and workforce development at nearly 1,000 Salesian-run vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools and programs. Programs focus on helping vulnerable youth by providing access to educational opportunities that match the local workforce development needs. Youth are given the practical skills to prepare for meaningful employment while learning how to lead productive lives and become contributing adults in their communities.
Living and working in the communities they serve, Salesian missionaries are also perfectly positioned to coordinate and deliver lifesaving aid to those who need it most. In 2014, the Salesian Missions Office for International Programs coordinated the delivery and distribution of $14.3 million worth of supplies provided by giving supply partners. Among the many donations, relief aid was sent to missionaries working in West Africa amidst the Ebola outbreak, including medical and dental supplies, personal protective equipment, soap and sanitary supplies, and fortified-rice meals.
“Salesian programs are made possible by generous donors who support our important work,” adds Fr. Hyde. “We are strongly committed to assuring our donors that their donations are used wisely where the need is greatest. We stretch every dollar for maximum impact and are proud to report that over 85 percent of our total operating expenses go directly to mission programs and services that benefit those who rely on us for help.”
Salesian Missions 2014 Annual Report provides a detailed overview of all of the organization’s programs and services as well as highlighting their financial accountability to funders and donors. To read this year’s annual report, visit http://salesianmissions.org/about-us/accountability.