COLOMBIA: 60 children receive healthy nutrition thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions
The children and older youth live in extreme poverty with their families or are homeless
(MissionNewswire) The Youth Services Organization, located in the headquarters of Bosconia, in the Los Martires area of Bogota, Colombia, was able to provide food for more than 60 children and older youth each day during March and April 2022, thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The project is known as the Casa Bosconia Project.
The children and older youth, ages 5-18, live in extreme poverty with their families or are homeless. They are at a higher risk of facing child labor, sexual exploitation, constant homelessness, food insecurity, limited adult supervision, family violence and illegal activities.
To help carry out the nutrition project, Salesians established an agreement with Bogota’s Archdiocese Food Bank to guarantee availability of the required food products. In addition, the Casa Bosconia Project’s health and nutrition team provides an analysis of the current nutritional status of the youth to establish actions that will improve their nutritional well-being. A volunteer nutrition specialist also sets calorie and macronutrient goals for each of the age groups.
José Miguel, one 12-year-old recipient, lives in extreme poverty and is at high risk due to living on the streets. The project served many children his age who were on the street or left locked in at home alone, until their mother or guardian came home from informal jobs with food. During their wait, the children went hungry. Casa Bosconia Project feeds them from Monday to Saturday.
José Miguel said, “I think breakfast is very good and delicious, and so is lunch. I want to thank the foundation because I didn’t eat before.”
Just over 34 percent of Colombians are living below the poverty line. Although Colombia is among the world’s emerging economies, more than three out of 10 Colombians still live in poor conditions. Colombia is also the world’s seventh most inequitable country.
One in five children in the country has no access to education. Many orphaned youth live in poverty and have lost their parents to natural disasters, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, other diseases, war or domestic issues. Some children remain living with a single parent, struggling to survive, and are often pulled out of school to earn income for the remaining family. Other youth live in shelters or on the streets.
By providing education, workforce development services and social programs across Colombia, Salesian missionaries help to give poor youth hope for a better life.
Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)
Salesian Missions – Colombia
World Bank – Colombia