RWANDA: Students protect the environment
Salesian organizations around the globe focus on environmental sustainability projects
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Gatenga Green Club, in Kigali, Rwanda, participated in clean-up work to protect the environment. Students collected plastic and other non-biodegradable waste that degrade natural resources, including the water and soil. Most of this waste is thrown into the water channel by people upstream, and it ends up spreading downstream where it contributes to environmental damage. The students used their spare time to volunteer for this effort.
In addition, youth who train at the Don Bosco soccer field at the Scholasticat Kabgayi Oratory participated in a community volunteer effort to protect the environment. One Salesian coach said, “We always push every child at our center to understand their responsibility in environmental issues. Today, we learned about differentiating rotting and composting waste and storing it differently. We learned how non-biodegradable waste could damage soil and plants.”
The Don Bosco soccer school, which has made environmental education one of its goals, is planning a tree planting initiative and an environmental club in the near future.
“Salesian organizations around the globe have been focused on environmental sustainability projects in response to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ to raise awareness and increase action on the values of integral ecology,” said Father Timothy Ploch, interim director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesians are working to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders.”
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