CAMBODIA: Salesian Technical Students Access Better Nutrition Thanks to Rice-Meal Donation from Rise Against Hunger
(MissionNewswire) 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 Sawyer water filters, 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 sixth shipment of rice-meals from Rise Against Hunger since the start of 2017. 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.
“Hungry students have trouble focusing on their studies and learning,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Proper nutrition is needed to fully take part in classroom and in-field training. 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 early education and 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, at Don Bosco Kep, one of the donation recipients, Salesian missionaries provide basic, secondary and technical education to poor youth living in the Cambodian provinces of Kep, Kampot, Takeo, Ratanakiri and Mondolkiri. Don Bosco Kep provides special attention to children and young people from ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, orphans and at-risk youth in danger of becoming victims of human trafficking, labor exploitation or other abuses.
In addition, in order to best meet the needs of the youth it serves, Don Bosco Kep is constantly expanding its services. In October 2011, courses in social communication and journalism as well as front office management, housekeeping and tailoring were added to the technical school. In October 2012, an electrical department opened and information technology and language classes began. A year later, the technical school again expanded to include coursework in culinary arts, agriculture, food and beverage, art communication and office administration. The rice-meal donations ensure that students in these programs have the healthy nutrition they need to focus on their studies and take full advantage of the education and programs offered.
Salesian Missions – Cambodia