CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Young children attend school through scholarships
Scholarship programs helps to ensure young children are able to attend school
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries have worked in the Central African Republic since 1994 with their first center in Damala. Today, Salesians have programs in multiple locations. In Galabadja and Gamala, Salesians operate a youth center, a family home and an oratory, as well as educational centers for kindergartens, elementary schools, a high school and a vocational school.
Salesians also operate a scholarship program for youth. Most of the children who receive the scholarships are early in their education and are 7-8 years old. For example, Anne Laure, age 7, attends the St. John Bosco primary school in Galabadja. Her young parents struggled to pay for school expenses because her mother is unemployed and her father is a student. Salesians found the funding through sponsorship in the form of scholarship to cover the costs of her schooling.
Providing scholarship funding for a child from the Central African Republic means giving hope and helping to provide for the future in a country where the future is almost never talked about. Scholarships help by guaranteeing school fees, school supplies, medical care and food for children so they can learn and thrive.
“Salesian missionaries have been working to provide educational and support services to youth in need as well as to those who were internally displaced by war,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Educational and social development programs help youth regain a sense of normalcy while allowing them to move past the violence and focus on more productive activities.”
The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries on the African continent—despite being very rich in resources such as uranium, gold and diamonds. It is also very unstable politically due to the regime changes and civil wars that have occurred over the last 20 years.
According to the United Nations, 2.8 million people, or about half of the total population, depend on humanitarian aid. Thousands of people are displaced, forced to leave their homes due to numerous internal conflicts. The infant mortality rate is among the highest in the world, and the most common causes are diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, respiratory infections and acute malnutrition.
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Salesian Missions – Central African Republic
Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.