NAMIBIA: Don Bosco Youth Center renovates playground thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions
Don Bosco Youth Center provides shelter and services for homeless youth
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Youth Center in Rundu, Namibia, has a renovated a children’s playground thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Prior to the renovations, the playground was in a dilapidated state and dangerous, leaving children without a place to play and connect with their peers.
With the donor funding, Salesians were able to buy renovation materials and paint. The children who attend the youth center come very poor families and some of them have been abandoned. Since the launch of the primary school, close to 120 children use the playground each morning before school. On the weekends, 180 youth attending programs at the youth center utilize the playground. To safeguard the playground, Salesians have asked the school to contribute a small amount of money toward the maintenance.
“Youth at the center would like to extend their thanks to donors who gave so generously to help renovate the playground,” said Martha Kalilomba, who attends activities at Don Bosco Youth Center. “The youth center has become more appealing since the renovation and we cannot express enough how much that means to us.”
Don Bosco Youth Center was opened in 2002, and provides shelter and services for homeless youth. The center offers computer classes for 65 students, pre-school for 70 children and school for 104 students who have dropped out of formal education. In addition, more than 80 youth attend the daily oratory activities including sports programming.
According to the World Bank, Namibia is just one of nine countries in Africa considered as upper middle income, but poverty is still prevalent with extreme wealth imbalances. Namibia’s poverty is 26.9 percent with an unemployment rate of 29.6 percent. Poverty in Namibia is acute in the northern regions of Kavango, Oshikoto, Zambezi, Kunene and Ohangwena, where upwards of one-third of the population lives in poverty. HIV prevalence in the country is 16.9 percent.
Salesian programs across Namibia are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.
Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)
Salesian Missions – Namibia
World Bank – Namibia