URUGUAY: School celebrates 50 years of serving students
Don Bosco School of Arts and Crafts celebrated its 50th anniversary of educating students in Montevideo
(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco School of Arts and Crafts recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in the Marconi district of Montevideo, Uruguay. The school was founded after the owners of the location decided to donate the land to the Daughters of the Nativity of Mary requesting that they do something to help contribute to the growth of youth in the area. The school was first named the Banneux School of Arts and Crafts.
In the 1980s, Salesian missionaries arrived in the region and began collaborating with the Daughters of the Nativity of Mary, and later, Salesians took over work at the school, linking it to the Tacurú Movement project.
Today the school provides education to close to 200 youth, and it is focused on how to grow the school and enrich programs for its students. Students who graduate are able to go onto one year at the University of Labour of Uruguay and obtain a secondary school diploma. This collaboration between the schools started in 2010, and 50 students access this accreditation every year.
“Don Bosco School of Arts and Crafts collaborates with other organizations in the area to generate mutual enrichment that fosters a culture of peaceful coexistence,” said Beatriz Brites, school coordinator. “There are many good and troubled families who seek the best for their children. I hope they can find dignified work, which is undoubtedly what they need to have the neighborhood grow.”
Uruguay has managed to decrease its poverty rate by almost half since 2007. Today, the poverty rate is close to 10 percent with the majority of poor residents concentrated in rural towns and villages.
Most rural citizens in the country do not have the financial resources or education and training necessary to find and maintain stable employment. Running a profitable business venture or maintaining a small farm with access to the national and international markets is increasingly competitive and remains largely out of reach, especially in households run by women alone. The majority of rural poor are those most often engaged in non-agricultural activities.
In addition to a lack of education and employment opportunities, access to affordable housing is a concern for many poor families in Uruguay. Many do not have the resources to purchase homes or land to build on, and schools are often so far away children cannot attend.
Youth crime is on the rise in the country. More than 35 percent of crime committed by adolescents can be traced back to a lack of educational opportunities and employment inequality, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Economic and Social Reality. The report also noted that crime rates among young people in Uruguay have doubled over the past 15 years and the rate of violent assaults has quadrupled.
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Salesian Missions – Uruguay
World Bank – Uruguay