DR CONGO: Donor funding supports orphans, teachers
Donor funding from Salesian Missions paid school fees for 55 orphans at Don Bosco Shasha
(MissionNewswire) Orphans attending Don Bosco Shasha, located in the Mupfunya Shanga-Shasha village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo*, received support through donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The funding paid teachers’ salaries and covered the cost of school fees for 55 orphans, including 23 girls, whose families could not afford schooling.
The Masisi Territory is facing armed conflicts and is one of the worst areas of violence. Conflicts have increased the number of orphans and displaced people within the territory. When conditions are too hard and incomes are low, many families remove their children from school because they do not see it as a necessary expense.
The students receiving funding through this project were selected because they have benefited from counseling and additional psychological support. Many of them have continued on with their education despite facing depression and anxiety. Salesians have paid for their schooling as well as additional social support and psychological care.
One of the students, Buuma Bihira Phélicien, is from a family of five children, of which three of them have died. The father also passed away last year leaving the family with little support. Phélicien said, “After my father passed, I was told I had to leave school but the Salesians supported me. My mother sells bananas. It’s a small business that feeds us, but she couldn’t pay for our schooling after the death of our father. Father Kizito, director of Don Bosco Shasha, helped us a lot and he told us that there are benefactors from Salesian Missions who have supported us during this year, offering us free education. I thank all the benefactors who have supported us. I hope that this will continue because if the support ends, I will be forced to abandon my studies.”
Furaha Elodie Karamba, age 9, was also provided free education through this donor funding. Karamaba said, “I am in the 3rd year and live with my mother. There are six children and my father left us because of bad debts. My mother works in the field and we are living in difficulty. Salesians have paid for my schooling this year. I thank those who have helped and I hope that I will be able to continue to study like the other children.”
Salesian missionaries have been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than 100 years ensuring that the most vulnerable children are not forgotten. Salesian primary and secondary schools and programs lay the foundation for early learning while Salesian trade, vocational and agricultural programs offer many youth the opportunity for a stable and productive future.
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.
Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)
Salesian Missions – Democratic Republic of the Congo
UNICEF – DR 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.