REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: Coaches receive training to help vulnerable youth
10 coaches and educators receive updated training from the Real Madrid Foundation
(MissionNewswire) Ten coaches and educators at the Real Madrid Foundation’s socio-sports school in Pointe Noire, Republic of the Congo, had a chance to take their first online training session on soccer and ethics. The school has been operating in collaboration with Salesian missionaries since 2012. Coaches and educators refreshed their knowledge, and they learned about new teaching tools to enhance their training. In addition to training on sports, the participants attended workshops on health and hygiene issues and children’s rights, and they received school materials and food.
Salesian missionaries operate a vocational training center and a youth program that are attended by the 120 youth who take part in the Real Madrid Foundation’s socio-sport school. Youth who attend the programs come from poor and vulnerable families who lives in Pointe Noire, the second most populated city in the Republic of the Congo. Most of the youth live in the Tié-Tié neighborhood, where the socio-sports school is located. This neighborhood has high unemployment rates and a shortage of basic supplies and educational and health infrastructure.
Both the Real Madrid Foundation and the Salesians are aware that sports are important for social integration and the promotion of values like teamwork, communication, respect and team spirit. As part of the Real Madrid Foundation’s “They play, we educate” program, participants receive nutrition, family and psychological support, regular health checkups, the opportunity to participate in social and educational workshops, gymnastics, crafts, reading, and citizenship activities. Training sessions on topics such as health, hygiene, values, and the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse are also provided.
The Salesian Center in Pointe Noire was established in 1964. Since that time, Salesians have established a parish, youth oratory, primary and secondary school, boarding school, vocational training center, and a shelter for youth experiencing difficulties. Salesian missionaries also provide pastoral care in the local prisons.
The Republic of the Congo’s population is concentrated in the southwestern portion of the country leaving the vast areas of tropical jungle in the north virtually uninhabited. One of the most urbanized countries in Africa, it has 70 percent of its total population living in a few urban areas. In recent years, industrial and commercial activity has declined rapidly in rural areas, leaving rural economies dependent on the government for support and subsistence.
According to Rural Poverty Portal, poverty has worsened in the Republic of the Congo since the 1980s, resulting in half the country’s population living below the poverty line. Close to 65 percent of the country’s poor live in rural areas where nearly 50 percent of the population is unemployed with little access to education or long-term stable employment. While more than 75 percent of people living in urban centers have access to water, access drastically decreases to 11 percent in rural areas. In addition, more than one third of children under age 5 that live in rural areas suffer from malnutrition.
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Rural Poverty – Republic of Congo
*Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.