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RWANDA: Youth return to in-person education and activities

Don Bosco Oratory in Kabgayi restarts in-person activities following a significant drop in COVID-19 cases


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Oratory in Kabgayi, Rwanda, has returned to in-person activities following a significant drop in COVID-19 cases in the country. At the Salesian Oratory in Kabgayi, youth have the opportunity to play, access education and use the various services offered. Youth, who had previously been attending activities at the oratory, were excited and grateful to be able to return to sports and connecting with their peers.

Salesians offer education and social programs for poor youth and their families in Rwanda and around the globe. Salesians offer primary and secondary education, technical and vocational school, boarding for youth traveling long distance to schools, and oratories, among other programs.

Salesian programs in Rwanda are also working to help at-risk youth who are often living on the streets. UNICEF estimates that there are about 7,000 street children in the country while close to 300,000 live in families where a minor is the head of the household. The economic challenges brought about by the pandemic have exacerbated many of these issues.

Street children face a life that is marked by uncertainty and a lack of education, food, protection and health care access. These children have no understanding of their rights and often fall prey to those who wish to do them harm. Street children have few prospects in life because they are not in school gaining an education. Instead they are on the streets begging or taking odd jobs to have enough food to eat. Most suffer from malnutrition and other diseases such as dysentery, malaria and scabies.

“Most of the children who attend programs at Don Bosco Oratory in Kabgayi come from poor families and need a supportive environment,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian oratories offer a safe place for youth to engage in constructive activities during leisure time—such as sports, art and music. Youth learn teamwork and social skills, which provide opportunities for growth and maturity.”

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 percent of Rwandans live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Rwanda is a rural, agrarian country with about 35 percent 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 percent of the population—face critical food shortages.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Rwanda – Youths of Don Bosco Kabgayi enthusiastic about returning to the oratory

Salesians of Don Bosco AGL Province

Salesians of Don Bosco AGL Province Facebook

Salesian Missions – Rwanda

UNICEF – Rwanda

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