EL SALVADOR: Don Bosco University provides 33 scholarships to students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and facing financial hardship
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco University in Soyapango, El Salvador, has provided 33 students academic scholarships which will allow them to continue their higher educational studies. The students selected have shown an attitude of commitment and responsibility to contributing to the country’s socio-economic and cultural development.
The students will take engineering and technical university courses. According to Don Bosco University’s secretary-general, Xiomara Martínez, the scholarships add to the university’s efforts to provide financial support to students whose families have been affected by the pandemic and who are at risk of discontinuing their university studies.
During the virtual ceremony to award the scholarships, Martínez said in a statement, “The assignment of 33 new scholarships on this day, in addition to the 459 already assigned, is an important milestone for Don Bosco University. Even during this crisis, we have always tried to support our young people, and it is of great satisfaction for us to be able to do that this year, facing so many adverse circumstances. We must appreciate the effort, commitment and courage that each of us has put forth to get through this moment.”
Martínez added, “Dear students, this scholarship is encouragement and recognition of your good academic performance and your desire to improve. We trust that you will continue to give your best to maintain it and to give life to the teachings of our beloved founder, Don Bosco, to be good Christians and upright citizens.”
For Josué Adolfo Ángel, one of the beneficiaries of the scholarship, the lack of economic resources can be difficult but not an obstacle to success. He is currently a student in a three-year degree course in communication sciences. Ruth Escobar, a student in a three-year degree course in arts and graphic design, expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to have this privilege.
The scholarships awarded come in part from Don Bosco University funds, and in part, from external funds, thanks to donors, private companies and institutions that support young people in the country.
El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in Central America, along with Honduras and Guatemala. In 2016, San Salvador was named the murder capital of the world, seeing more murders and violent crime than any other city. Gang violence is a leading cause of violence in the country, and it’s estimated that some 60,000 young people have gang affiliation. Gang involvement often offers a sense of belonging and family that counters the lack of education and employment opportunities offered in the country.
Crime is often associated with poverty and close to 35 percent of El Salvador’s population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank. Youth in El Salvador are confronted not only with poverty but with instability, high levels of violence and inadequate access to educational opportunities. Despite ranking high for economic indicators, the need for practical education in El Salvador is more important than ever with 12 percent of youth ages 15 to 24 unemployed and 41 percent underemployed.
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