VENEZUELA: Salesian missionaries continue educational services at 18 centers
(MissionNewswire) Despite the ongoing political, social and economic challenges in Venezuela, Salesian missionaries continue providing education at 18 educational centers across the country so that students are able to prepare for the future. The schools also help support teachers who remain in a vulnerable situation in the country.
The population in Venezuela faces daily despair due to food scarcity. The currency is so devalued that a month’s salary is just enough to buy a chicken. The educational sector has been abandoned and schools have lost many teachers. In the last school year, the Maduro government left schools without teachers, students and resources.
Salesian missionaries in Venezuela believe that education is the first resource for the country’s moral revival. Salesian education is aimed primarily at poor children and older youth, as well as those who might need a second chance at education in a less formal setting.
People in Venezuela also receive the support of the entire Salesian congregation led by Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime. To the people of Venezuela, he has said, “You are not alone. From the different parts of the Salesian world, we are attentive to what you experience and we are aware of everything that happens.”
Msgr. Jhonny Reyes, Salesian and apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, points out that in many rural schools in the Venezuelan Amazon teachers are heroes. He said, “With the difficulties that exist, they refuse the job offers and salaries that come to them from the other side of the border, from Colombia, and decide to continue to take care of children and young people. That’s why we must continue to help them and do our part for the future generations of the country.”
Salesian missionaries continue their work in the country providing education, workforce development and social development services to poor youth and their families despite volatile conditions.
More than 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country since the crisis began, many of them on foot. International Monetary Fund (IMF) experts estimate that inflation in Venezuela will reach 10 million percent in 2019. Products that at one time cost the equivalent of $1 will now cost the equivalent of $10 million. Many Venezuelans’ monthly salaries cannot cover the cost of a single gallon of milk.
Venezuelan unemployment is estimated to surpass 44 percent this year and will likely hit the 50 percent mark by 2020. The state, however, has not released an official unemployment figure since 2016, when it noted a 7.3 percent unemployment rate.
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Salesian Missions – Venezuela
Any goods, services or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.