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ARGENTINA: Salesian Campaign Provides School Supplies to 1,500 Students in Need

(MissionNewsire) Salesian missionaries in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital, launched their sixth campaign to collect school supplies in order to provide poor youth the necessities they need to focus on school and advance in their educational studies. In March 2016, students attending Salesian schools collected and then donated school supplies to 1,500 Salesian school children in six schools in the neediest areas of the country.

Many students’ families in Argentina are unable to provide the cost for basic school supplies likes pens, pencils, notepads and books. As a result, students are often unprepared for their lessons or cannot take part in classroom activities like other students. Students who are not prepared often suffer academically and have higher rates overall of dropping out of school and not finishing their education.

“Salesian missionaries are working hard to educate youth in Argentina and provide them a path out of poverty,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Sometimes youth need the extra support to stay in school and get an education. This campaign provides that much needed support and stability to help youth achieve.”

Salesian primary and secondary education in Argentina helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. 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,” adds. Fr. Hyde. “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 provide food, shelter and the school supplies youth need youth to be able to focus on the education provided.”

This campaign also provides an opportunity for Salesian students to pay it forward to other students in need. It teaches important lessons in team work and giving back to one’s own community.

More than a quarter of people in Argentina live in conditions of poverty with no formal employment and poor quality education, according to the World Bank. The country’s high school dropout rate is close to 37 percent and youth account for a third of those unemployed. Almost 12 percent of children aged five to 17 are working instead of in school and 20 percent need government assistance. Many face malnutrition, a lack of clean water and sewage and inadequate housing.

Access to education and training provides a foundation for youth to break the cycle of poverty and gain employment. Salesians have been working in Argentina to provide educational opportunities to poor youth through schools, technical and agricultural programs and other services that help youth learn skills to gain stable employment.




ANS – Argentina – Salesian campaign to collect school materials, “so that children can study better”

World Bank – Poverty in Argentina

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