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EL SALVADOR: New building receives sustainable construction award

Walking Anew!’ project launches new building and technologies for medical rehabilitation practitioners thanks to USAID funding


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco University in San Salvador, El Salvador, is empowering the next generation of medical rehabilitation practitioners to transform the lives of people with mobile disabilities through its “Walking Anew!” project. This project was made possible thanks to a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID-ASHA) program secured by Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

The “Walking Anew!” project is expanding and upgrading the facilities at Don Bosco University’s School of Rehabilitation Science and the equipment used to train medical rehabilitation professionals. The project is pioneering innovative techniques in the treatment of people with disabilities.

The construction of the new building, which houses the Applied Research Center, allows for the exchange of information with professionals in the field at an international level as well as provides space for a new podiatry laboratory and other specialized practices. The program has already trained people from El Salvador, other countries in Central America, South America, Haiti, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

With the new building, Don Bosco University will become the first university in El Salvador with a building built under LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) parameters. The building has incorporated aspects related to energy efficiency, the use of alternative energies, the improvement of indoor environmental quality, the efficiency of water consumption, the sustainable development of open spaces on land and the selection of environmentally friendly materials.

The annex building, which houses a laboratory and research building for people with mobility disabilities, recently won the Sustainable Construction Award granted by the Salvadoran Chamber of Construction (CASALCO) in the medium project category.

“We are grateful to USAID for its ongoing support and funding and exceptional job done by Don Bosco University in the construction of this new building,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “People with disabilities have the same ability to achieve as their peers if given the opportunity. Projects like this help pave the way for advanced research, learning and innovation that help aid inclusion of people with disabilities.”

Don Bosco University is also updating technological infrastructure for the existing orthosis and prosthesis laboratories as well as for movement and gait analysis. Similarly, the Applied Research Center will be equipped with the necessary technology for the exchange of knowledge and experiences with physical and academic rehabilitation centers identified in the United States and Latin America. A specialized laboratory area has been prepared, and third-year students studying to be technicians began using the space for the Practice in Orthotics and Prosthesis II class.

In September 2021, Don Bosco University Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences held an open house to provide a presentation to those interested in technician careers in orthotics and prosthetics.

Don Bosco University is one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the country, particularly in the technical and technological sector. The university has close to 6,000 students enrolled and maintains a strong link to the local employment sector through research, technology transfer programs, continuing education courses and consultancy services. Degree programs are offered in engineering, social sciences, humanities, economics, technology and aeronautics, among others.



Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)

Don Bosco University

Salesian Missions

Salesian Missions – El Salvador

USAID American Schools and Hospitals Abroad

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