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TOGO: Funding provided by Salesian Missions aids continued construction at Salesian Institute of Philosophy and Human Sciences in Lomé

(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Institute of Philosophy and Human Sciences in Lomé, the capital city of Togo, has completed a construction project at the school thanks to funding provided by Salesian Missions. The project included building several classrooms within the institute. Further work, including plastering, carpentry, painting and adding electricity and furniture, will be completed as part of a separate project.

There are 274 students enrolled at the institute who will benefit from the new construction. Forty of the students are women between the ages of 17 and 40 who are earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy, education sciences and communications. Most of the students are from Togo with some coming from other West African countries and central Africa. The construction project will also benefit the lecturers who teach at the school and the school’s administrators.

Akpah Fleur Chimènea is a student in the communications department at the Salesian Institute specializing in multimedia production. As a second year student, she appreciates the upgrades and additions to the classrooms that make studying easier. She is grateful for donors who have provided new furniture for the classrooms, school equipment for studios and WiFi for internet access.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the leaders of the Salesian Institute for all that they do for the benefit of students,” says Chimènea. “We hope that they will continue to assist us so that our school can be a reference point for many in the area who need an education. I would like also to express my gratitude to the donors who are helping to complete the construction of our institution.”

Salesian missionaries provide education in more than 5,500 Salesian schools and youth centers around the globe. In addition, there are more than 1,00 Salesian vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools.

“Education has proven to be an effective means of breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty while giving the most vulnerable youth a sense of personal dignity and self-worth,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Vocational and technical training programs help students become contributing adults in their communities. These schools go above and beyond educating. They also assist youth in making connections within industries while preparing them for the process of searching, finding and retaining employment.”

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 in order to help support their families.

Salesian programs in Togo provide participants a place to live, nutritious meals and counseling along with education and job skills training. The goal is to help youth develop a sense of hope for their future and learn the skills necessary to lead independent, productive lives.