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DR CONGO: 166 young women graduate vocational training

Efforts part of project to empower women to help eradicate violence


(MissionNewswire) Young women in need of vocational training turn to Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo*, for courses at Salesian centers such as Maison Marguerite and Foyer Annuarite. Recently, 166 young women, including many single mothers, graduated from vocational training. More than 80 of them were trained in cutting and sewing, 49 as hairdressers and beauticians, and 33 in culinary arts.

International Voluntary Service (VIS) supported Salesian efforts to train young women as part of the project to eradicate forms of violence against adolescent girls and adult women in vulnerable situations as well as victims of conflict in Goma. Empowering women is only one step in the fight to end violence.

The graduation ceremony began with a Catholic Mass presided over by Father Jean-Pierre Muhima, rector of Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center. This was followed by the distribution of the vocational placement kits to the newly graduated women. There were numerous state authorities in charge of vocational training from labor and social affairs, Salesian trainers, and lay staff from VIS present at the graduation.

“Young girls and women who have access to education have a chance at a better life,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “By empowering women through education, we are putting their futures in their hands. They will be able to earn an income and support their children, make healthier choices and have more stability in their lives while giving back to their communities.”

Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center has been providing social development, medical, and educational services to poor youth and their families since 1988. Started first as a youth center, it expanded to provide assistance to those in the region affected by war, other violence and natural disasters. In 1997, the center added kindergarten, elementary, secondary and vocational education as well as a literacy center and medical facility. In the midst of wars, violence, and poverty, the center has welcomed, educated, cared for, and supported more than 26,000 children.

Despite its vast material wealth, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has long been a very poor nation. Half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line living on less than $1 a day, especially those in rural communities. Because of ongoing strife and violence within the country, more than 8.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 4.1 million Congolese are now displaced with 620,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries. More than 7.5 million people do not have enough food to eat.



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ANS – D.R. Congo – 166 girls and mothers in need graduate from “Don Bosco Ngangi” vocational training programs

Salesian Missions – Democratic Republic of the Congo


*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.