CAMBODIA: More than 2,500 meals served to Don Bosco technical students thanks to rice-meals from Rise Against Hunger
(MissionNewswire) More than 2,500 meals have been served at programs supported by the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
The rice-meal donations were distributed to students at Don Bosco Technical and Hotel School Sihanoukville, Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh and Don Bosco Technical School Kep. Beneficiaries included vocational and technical students who are studying to gain the skills needed for long-term employment. The Salesian schools provide technical skills training for young people from poor families and also offer boarding opportunities for those who find it difficult to rent a room on their own.
The Don Bosco schools are providing technical education for poor youth in subjects including electrical, mechanical, welding, automotive, electronics, computer and information technology, printing, media communication, hospitality and tourism. After students graduate, they are qualified for jobs that offer a decent salary, allowing them to support themselves and their families and break the cycle of poverty.
“Rise Against Hunger meals are very important to our mission. We are able to reduce our expenses by not buying rice from the local market,” explains Father Roel Soto, delegation superior of Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia and rector of Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh. “With this donation, we are able to use that funding for other necessary projects that provide us income in order to sustain our projects and upgrades for our training materials.”
Rise Against Hunger partners with Salesian Missions, which works to identify needs and coordinate delivery of 40-foot shipping containers full of meals and supplemented with additional supplies when available. The partnership was developed in 2011 and since that time, shipments have been successfully delivered to countries around the globe. The meals and life-saving aid have helped to nourish poor youth at Salesian schools and programs and care for those in need of emergency aid during times of war, natural disasters and health crises.
“The partnership with Rise Against Hunger allows Salesian Missions to expand its services for youth in need,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Operating feeding programs and providing other life-changing supplies for youth is integral to the success of our students and their ability to gain an education.”
According to the World Bank, poverty continues to fall in Cambodia. In 2017, the poverty rate was close to 14 percent compared to 47.8 percent in 2007. About 90 percent of the poor live in the countryside. While Cambodia has achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty in 2009, the vast majority of families who escaped poverty were only able to do so by a small margin. Around 4.5 million people remain near-poor, vulnerable to falling back into poverty when exposed to economic and other external challenges.