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SRI LANKA: Don Bosco Sri Lanka provides 300 war widows with food and hygiene kits

All Salesian institutions in Sri Lanka have been mobilizing to deliver assistance and supplies

SRI LANKA

(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Sri Lanka is reaching vulnerable communities with food aid, health and hygiene kits, awareness campaigns, and other initiatives to help those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts are especially focused on helping war widows in the northern part of the country. Don Bosco Sri Lanka has helped provide women with kits consisting of rice, flour, sugar, tea, soy meat, chili, nourishing powder, bath soaps, washing powder and shampoo. More than 300 women received these kits.

All Salesian institutions in Sri Lanka have been mobilizing to deliver assistance and supplies. Don Bosco Development Center in Dungalpitiya is keeping a register of those most in need and distributing basic necessities within the local communities where the government has imposed strict lockdowns.

“The pandemic has been particularly challenging for families and war widows on their own who were already living in poverty and relying on the informal economy to make enough money to put food on the table,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian organizations in Sri Lanka and around the globe have been working since the start of the pandemic to ensure that vulnerable people are taken care of and have the food and basic supplies they need to survive.”

Salesian missionaries have been operating in Sri Lanka since 1956. In 1963, missionaries set up their first technical institute. Since then they have established 17 more in locations across the country, as well as youth centers and other programs to help youth in need.

Sri Lanka suffered a long civil war that ended in 2009, two tsunamis in the past 13 years and a deadly dengue crisis. Nine out of 10 poor people in Sri Lanka live in rural areas, according to the World Bank. More than 40 percent of the country’s rural poor are small-scale farmers with farm production often hampered by neglect and low investment levels resulting from poor financial services and limited technology.

Sri Lankans are affected by a significant lack of infrastructure including roads, electricity, irrigation systems and communication channels. In several areas of the country, seven out of 10 people have no access to electricity and almost half of the population does not have access to safe drinking water. Malnutrition among children is also common.

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Sources:

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

ANS – Sri Lanka – “Don Bosco Sri Lanka” supports war widows

Salesian Missions – Sri Lanka

World Bank – Sri Lanka

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