ARGENTINA: Salesian missionaries launch new Germinating Young Entrepreneurs project in Rodeo del Medio
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries have launched a Germinating Young Entrepreneurs project in the small town of Rodeo del Medio in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. The project, which provides professional training in beekeeping, gardens and aromatic plants, is expanding the scope of training offered at the local Don Bosco Vocational Training Institute.
In 2018, Salesian missionaries restructured the physical location where the project training is held. They constructed a new greenhouse, launched the production of aromatic plants, modernized the apiary and build the infrastructure for an educational laboratory and tool room. Soon after, they launched the courses.
“Salesian missionaries are faced with challenging economic conditions in Rodeo del Medio and are implementing ways to expand the scope of training offered so graduates can more easily find employment,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Because Salesian missionaries work where they live, they know the local employment landscape. They develop training that meets the market need so Salesian students can successfully find employment.”
Rodeo del Medio is mostly rural with 72 percent of its population relying on farming for income. There is a lack of employment opportunities which creates a culture of non-work and has led to many students leaving school early. Often, out of work youth make choices that put them at-risk of violence and addiction.
The Don Bosco Institute has expanded its educational offerings over the years and currently includes primary and secondary schooling and technical-vocational training. A goal of the Salesian missionaries operating the institute is to provide courses of study that motivate youth and give them a sense of pride in their work.
Salesian programs across Argentina are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country prepares youth for technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help meet the basic needs of poor youth and their families by providing shelter, proper nutrition and medical care, helping youth to engage in their education and have hope for the future.
More than a quarter of the 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 5 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.
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World Bank – Argentina