GLOBAL: Salesian Missions provides funding to Salesian COVID-19 related projects in 7 countries
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, has answered the call to help Salesians in countries around the globe respond to local needs brought about by COVID-19. As countries try to respond during the pandemic, families in poverty face even more challenges. Migrant workers and those who work in the informal sector cannot work because of lockdowns and don’t have money for food or shelter. Homeless children who beg on the streets to earn money for a small amount of food to eat are even more at risk. Some countries have limited access to medical care so prevention is even more critical.
“Salesian missionaries live in the communities in which they work so they are well-positioned to understand the local needs and come up with solutions to address them,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “We have funded projects in seven countries to date that address nutritional support, sanitary and hygiene, and educational materials for prevention. These activities help respond to the local need and help families who have been pushed even further into poverty.”
The Salesian Parish in Rukago, Burundi, has access to hand-washing stations thanks to the funding from Salesian Missions. This project, which benefited 65,000 people in the parish and local community, provided hand-washing stations in eight churches, 15 schools and the Don Bosco Oratory.
“Installing hand-washing stations in front of churches, offices, schools and playgrounds is an effective means of fighting the coronavirus pandemic while giving the local population the hope of living,” said Father Raphaël Katanga, economer of the Salesian Community in Rukago. “With the funding, we have also supported some vulnerable families from a local indigenous group, who were at risk of facing food shortage due to the limited circulation of goods and people.”
Salesian Missions funding also supported Sisters of Maria Auxiliatrix in Madhavaram, Chennai, India, to provide help to those impacted by the lockdowns in local slum communities. The funding will help purchase groceries such as rice, dal, oil, sugar, vegetables and grains for 510 families. The Sisters of Maria Auxiliatrix will also be able to provide 2,500 masks and antibiotics to those in need, as well as sanitary supplies like soap and hand sanitizer. In addition, funding will be used to help individuals with medical and travel expenses to be able to go to the hospital if needed.
Other COVID-19 related projects have been funded in Peru, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Togo and Uruguay. While Salesian missionaries are responding to new needs brought about by the pandemic, they are still working to meet their core mission of providing the programs and services children and families need to break the cycle of poverty for good. Missionaries are still feeding malnourished families, rescuing homeless children from the streets, educating impoverished children and teaching youth the skills they need to have hope for a brighter future.
Salesian Missions has set up a donation page for those who wish to provide support to projects like these: https://salesianmissions.org/lp/faith/.
Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)