BURUNDI: Salesian missionaries inaugurate new building for the Maison Cana orphanage
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Rukago, Burundi, inaugurated a new building for the Maison Cana orphanage. The orphanage is managed by the Daughters of Mary – Our Lady of Cana and was founded in 1994 by Salesian Father Vital Minani, who today is the vicar of the Mary Mother of God house in Rukago.
The building is a large two-story structure. The work began in 2012 with the ground floor and continued in various stages based on the availability of funds from various benefactors, mainly from the Salesian Congregation. The initial build of the first floor was completed thanks to the donation from the Formons une Famille (Let’s form a family) Foundation in Quebec, Canada.
The inauguration event brought together Salesians, representatives from the local government, Ignace Ntawembarira, delegate of the Ministry of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender Issues, Guy Ménard from the Formons une Famille Foundation and local children.
After a blessing of the building and Catholic Mass, the group took a tour of the building and was entertained by fold dances to the beat of drums. They also participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which marked the official inauguration of the new building.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation of the Formons une Famille foundation, Ménard congratulated Salesian missionaries and the Daughters of Cana. He recalled with emotion the moment when the foundation met those involved with the project and what the orphanage meant to the local community.
At the end of the event, Ntawembarira gave the children a ton of rice from the Ministry and stressed that this orphanage offers children a real family, education, care, love and guidance to help them become good citizens who will actively participate in the development of Burundi.
“The Maison Cana orphanage will be a place of hope and safety for youth in the area who have lost their parents and have nowhere else to turn,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “These children will have a safe place to live and their basic needs met while being able to focus on their education.”
Burundi, located in the heart of the African Great Lakes region, has seen more than a decade of violence and conflict which has contributed to widespread poverty, according to UNICEF. Burundi ranks 184 out of 188 countries on the 2015 UN Human Development Index and close to 70 percent of its residents live below the poverty line.
Children are some of the most severely affected by the country’s rampant poverty. Fifty-three percent of children under the age of 5 suffer from growth stunting caused by inadequate food, low-quality diet, poor infant feeding practices, poor household management of childhood diseases and the general decline of the country’s health system.
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Salesian Missions – Burundi
UNICEF – Burundi