GUINEA: Scholarships give youth opportunity
Salesians provide education for the poorest children in Conakry
(MissionNewswire) Salesians provide education and social development programs for poor youth and their families in Conakry, Guinea. While Conakry is a modern city, most people rely on informal jobs that yield very little in economic terms.
After school, many youth spend their time trying to contribute to their family’s needs. They sell handkerchiefs and food at traffic lights, polish shoes, and act as window cleaners. In reality, these efforts do little to improve their parents’ economic condition. The government does not prioritize education and youth educational performance is at the bottom of countries in West Africa.
Salesians began their work in the country in 1986 and in 2015 started the Saint Jean Bosco School Group. In Kankan, they built the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center and in Siguiri, they created a school complex where the most vulnerable children and youth are prioritized.
At Saint Jean Bosco School, 370 students receive an education. The elementary school was established in October 2021 to improve the academic level of children, especially those with learning difficulties. The school has grown rapidly both in the number of students and the quality of education offered. Ninety percent of the children attending the school come from families with little means.
Don Bosco Missions has provided 39 scholarships for these students and aims to support 23 more in the upcoming school term. This is financial aid is for children who are 5- to 9-years old-and the funding will cover the first three years of elementary school.
One of the biggest challenges to education is creating awareness among families of the importance of sending their children to school instead of work.
Conakry has a population of about 12 million people who live in a subsistence economy that is not supported by the revenues derived from the natural resources that make the country rich. The country has the world’s largest deposit of bauxite, a mineral essential for aluminum production. A difficult world economic situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been compounded by the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.
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UNICEF – Republic of Guinea