UGANDA: Don Bosco Green Club workshops held in Bombo and the Palabek Refugee Settlement
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Green Clubs in Uganda launched several initiatives and workshops in August. These were launched as part of the solar technology skills and environmental education program, which is funded by the Salesian Austrian Development Agency and initiated by the Austrian Salesian organization Jugend Eine Welt, which is a member of the Don Bosco Green Alliance.
Don Bosco Green Alliance members work to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders. The Alliance’s priorities are combating pollution, reducing global warming and eliminating disposable plastics. In each of these areas, it aims to partner with ongoing global campaigns promoted by the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment) or other international organizations.
Green Club students and leaders gathered in for a three-day workshop at the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Bombo. The workshop, facilitated by young trainers from Jugend Eine Welt and local experts, focused on environmental education. Among the participants were students and patrons of three Don Bosco Green Clubs including the clubs in Kamuli, Bombo and Palabek. The workshop equipped participants with materials and tools for environmental awareness-raising among local populations.
After the workshop in Bombo, the team continued its work at the Palabek Refugee Settlement in northern Uganda. The Palabek Refugee Settlement is currently home to 34,000 people. It was officially set up in April 2016 to reduce congestion in larger refugee camps in the northwestern corner of Uganda. Several agencies are involved in providing food and education within Palabek.
Salesian missionaries recently opened the first Vocational Training Center in the settlement. It currently has 450 students, 400 of whom are refugees and 50 whom are host community Ugandans. The majority of students are young women and mothers who are finally having an opportunity to learn a skill. They are taking courses in tailoring, cosmetology and salon services such as hairdressing. Young men are learning automobile mechanics and motorcycle repair training. Agriculture classes are taught to all students no matter their primary area of study.
With the support of Father Jeffery Canisius Albert, principal of the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Palabek, a Green Club workshop and tree planting activities took place. He said, “The positive, optimistic approach of the young trainers from Jugend Eine Welt, their open-minded and cheerful appearance is very contagious. We really look forward to continuing this fruitful cooperation in the future.”
Close to 67 percent of Ugandans are either poor or highly vulnerable to poverty, according to UNICEF. While the country has seen some economic growth, as well as improvement in its Human Development Index ranking over the last 20 years, the country still ranks near the bottom at 163 out of 188 countries. After decades of war left many displaced, the people of Uganda face many significant challenges as they work to rebuild their country.
Uganda’s literacy rate has improved with 73 percent of the population literate but only 23 percent of Ugandans go on to acquire a secondary education. According to UNICEF, one of the biggest challenges in the country is combating the serious increase of HIV/AIDS that has left millions of children orphaned.
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Jugend Eine Welt – Don Bosco Green Clubs
UNICEF – Uganda
Salesian Missions – Uganda