SOUTH SUDAN: Students and street children receive education, services
Don Bosco Kuajok has returned 150 street children to their families since 2019
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Kuajok in South Sudan was started three years ago on land barely fit for agricultural use. Today, it’s a thriving Salesian community with a primary school that educates 300 children and employs nine teachers. There is also a program that offers addiction treatment and rehabilitation for street children who are roaming the market in the center of Kuajok. An oratory opens each day and provides for those in distant parts of Kuajok, who are most often internally displaced people.
Brother Lothar Wagner, who is now in Liberia, started the rehabilitation of street children in this area. With the support of Don Bosco Bonn in Germany, 150 children have been returned to their families since 2019. Some children have started school. The program has expanded over three years to also include a Salesian house with volunteer rooms and a medical dispensary. Salesians are able to drive people to the town hospital in cases of emergency.
“Salesian missionaries in South Sudan and around the globe provide safety, shelter and education for street children,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This Salesian program aims to help children live safely while getting the emotional support they need and the education that will help them live independently. It’s a second chance for these children to have hope for a better life.”
South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 but has faced an ongoing civil war that resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis even before the coronavirus pandemic. Responding to the civil strife is nothing new to Salesian missionaries in South Sudan, who are dedicated to the programs and services they are providing across the country.
South Sudan is expansive and largely rural with 83 percent of the population residing in rural areas. Poverty is endemic with at least 80 percent of the population defined as income-poor and living on the equivalent of less than $1 per day, according to the World Bank. More than one-third of the population lacks secure access to food.
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Salesian Missions – South Sudan
World Bank – South Sudan
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.