DR CONGO: Workshop focuses on protecting children and youth
Don Bosco Center Ngangi provides capacity-building workshop on the protection of minors
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Center Ngangi, located in the eastern city of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, provided a capacity-building workshop on the protection of minors. The workshop brought together 30 Salesian missionaries, Salesian sisters from Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salvatorian sisters and lay collaborators.
Father Jean-Pierre Muhima, rector of Don Bosco Center Ngangi, said the goal was to provide people working in the field of child protection with a solid legal and practical foundation for better performance. The workshop, given by Salesian Father Pascal Mumba, focused on the civil rights of children under international and national law and the policy of protection of minors and vulnerable persons in the Salesian Province of Central Africa.
“Continuing education is important in any profession and particularly for Salesian staff working with at-risk children and vulnerable populations,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “While education is always the primary focus, youth who come to our programs are dealing with trauma and neglect that must be addressed first before we can expect them to excel in their studies.”
Don Bosco Center Ngangi has been providing social development, medical and educational services to poor youth and their families since 1988. Started 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 a kindergarten and elementary, secondary, and vocational schools, as well as a literacy center and medical facility. The center also provides aid and services to the many refugee camps that exist in the areas surrounding Goma. Refugees, orphans, abandoned children and victims of disaster are among the school students, and they rely on the center. For most of them, it’s also the only place where they receive a nutritious meal each day.
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.
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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.