CAMBODIA: Rise Against Hunger Partnership Delivers 11,574 Boxes of Rice-Meals to Students in Salesian Technical Schools
(MissionNewswire) Thousands of students in Salesian programs across Cambodia have access to better nutrition thanks to an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), an international relief organization that provides food and life‐saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable. The rice-meal donation, which also included other gifts in kind, was shared with Don Bosco Technical School and Don Bosco Hotel School Sihanoukville, Don Bosco Technical School Kep Province, Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh, and Salesian Cooperators Center Takeo Province.
The most recent shipment was the ninth shipment of rice-meals from Rise Against Hunger since the start of 2016. In total, 11,574 boxes of dehydrated rice-soy meals, each box containing 216 meals, have been donated to Salesian students to increase their access to healthy nutrition. Within the shipments, Rise Against Hunger also provided canned tomatoes, children’s clothing, solar lamps and bars of soap.
Salesian technical training helps to ensure that youth have access to the education and advanced training needed to find and secure long-term employment. For example, both Don Bosco Technical School and Don Bosco Hotel School Sihanoukville provide two-year skills training programs to poor and orphaned youth between the ages of 17 and 22 years with limited opportunities for education. The Don Bosco Hotel School focuses on hospitality programs to prepare students for work in restaurants, at catering companies and hotels and in other areas of the tourism field. The Don Bosco Technical Center, the largest technical school in the area, offers courses in electricity, electronics, automotive repair, printing, web design, audiovisual editing and production, journalism, social communication, secretarial skills, sewing, culinary arts, hotel management and welding.
The donated rice-meals are provided to students during the school day to help ensure students are focused on their education. As a result of the donations, students are more alert in the classrooms, more attentive to their studies and better engaged in classroom work.
“Technical students need the proper nutrition to focus on their studies and fully take part in classroom and in-field training,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Prepared students are more likely to learn valuable skills that will help them gain employment and break the cycle of poverty in their lives while enabling them to give back to their communities.”
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 20 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,” adds Fr. Hyde. “Operating feeding programs for youth in Salesian schools whose families cannot afford to feed them is very important and integral to the success of our students and their ability to gain an education.”
Salesian missionaries have a long history of teaching job skills to youth in Cambodia. Through the United Nations, missionaries began providing technical and vocational education to Cambodian refugees living in camps along the Thai-Cambodian border in the late 1980s. In 1993, at the invitation of the government of Cambodia, a technical school in Phnom Penh was established to republish, translate and write books and educational documents that were destroyed during the Khmer Rouge regime. The technical school contained the only working printing press in the country – and served as a model of hope through education.
Salesian Missions – Cambodia