RWANDA: Organic farming course launches
Project to combat malnutrition among children under age 5
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Technical School in Gatenga, Rwanda, has launched a new project to teach youth how to practice modern agriculture that improves crop yields while not harming the environment. The project will teach organic and sustainable farming methods at the Don Bosco Youth Center and nearby communities. The project is in a pilot phase that will be expanded as it develops and the first results are seen.
The project has been made possible thanks to the Planning and Development Office of the St. Charles Lwanga Vice-Province of Great Lakes Africa and funding from Salesians in Italy. One of the aims of the project is to combat malnutrition among children under age 5, especially those from poor families. These children will be provided with vegetables as a nutritional supplement.
The first training will take place at Don Bosco Youth Center and will initially focus on greenhouse farming. Father Serivilien Ufitamahoro, director of the Salesian Planning and Development Office, said, “This project aims to promote modern agriculture to make the community food self-sufficient, help students have a firsthand and practical knowledge of organic farming, and preserve the environment.”
Father Jean-Pierre Turabanye, head of the Don Bosco Technical School, added, “The project will not only equip students with new and more sought-after agricultural skills, but will also be a source of income for the school. The Salesians in Gatenga saw the need for this program after the COVID-19 pandemic. Its development will help improve nutrition, not only for the surrounding communities, but also for the students who eat meals at the school.”
After bravely overcoming the trauma of the 1994 genocide, Rwandans looking to transform their country have made remarkable progress. Still, much remains to be done. Close to 39% of Rwandans live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Rwanda is a rural, agrarian country with about 35% of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture with some mineral and agro-processing. Many of the country’s orphaned children are the tragic result of a violent civil war. Half of all children drop out of primary school and 2.2 million people — 22% of the population — face critical food shortages.
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Salesian Missions – Rwanda
UNICEF – Rwanda