TOGO: 183 at-risk youth gain job skills
Bosco Global helps provide education to 183 youth at risk of social exclusion
(MissionNewswire) Bosco Global, a Spanish Salesian organization, with the support of the Municipality of Malaga, operates the Foyer Jean XXIII Education and Formation Center in Kara, Togo. This center provides education and support to 183 youth at risk of social exclusion.
The work of Salesian missionaries and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Togo dates back almost half a century ago. They are committed to educating youth who are living in poverty and are marginalized in the community, and Salesian priests and nuns have trained thousands of youth.
The center ensures youth gain an education and find and retain employment. Most of the youth in the program have dropped out of school, but they are now taking courses and workshops in cooking/pastry making and cutting and sewing. Once they complete the courses, youth receive a diploma recognized by the state that facilitates entry into the job market.
The center adapts its courses to the needs of students and the local economy, ensuring that youth have access to the internships and apprenticeships they need to apply the skills they learned in the classroom.
In Kara, many youth do not have access to education, and youth unemployment is very high. Most young people have unskilled jobs and precarious working conditions, which makes them even more vulnerable. Salesian education is sometimes the only education they are able to access to become productive members of their community.
“Salesian missionaries play a vital role in their communities helping to provide support and assistance to at-risk youth and those in need of an education,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Youth should be encouraged to gain an education in order to find stable employment. They are then able to support themselves and give back to their families and communities.”
More than 80 percent of Togo’s rural population lives in conditions of poverty making the country one of the world’s poorest, according to UNICEF. Children in the country suffer the most, with close to 50 percent of those living in poverty under the age of 18. One in eight children will not reach their fifth birthday and the number of children who drop out of school because their parents cannot afford to educate them is high. Children are also often forced to work in exploitative and dangerous conditions to help support their families.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
Salesian Missions – Togo
UNICEF – Togo