ZIMBABWE: New school welcomes first 90 students
Salesian missionaries provide education and social development programs for poor youth and their families
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries have been providing education and social development programs for poor youth and their families in Zimbabwe since 1995. Salesians, part of the ZMB Salesian Vice Province, started in the capital city of Harare and then in 2001 in Hwange. Between the locations there are two growing Salesian church parishes, a youth center, a secondary school and a technical school.
Recently, Don Bosco Hwange welcomed its first 90 students for grade 8 at the newly opened Don Bosco Secondary School. Both boys and girls, mostly from poor mining families, are attending the school.
The Don Bosco Hwange community is located within a large 28-hectare compound. On the compound is the fast-growing multicultural parish of St. Theresa in Empumalanga. The parish community has grown from four families when it started to 316 families in 2021. In Harare, Salesians are also working to open a Salesian Youth Spirituality Animation Center within the complex of the main parish center. The Don Bosco Technical School has a long history in the region and is growing with the help of 40 lay mission partners that assist with education, legal, financial, engineering and coordinating teams.
“We congratulate the ZMB Vice Province for their steadfast development and work for poor youth in this beautiful and also very challenged country where many young people are waiting to meet Don Bosco on their life and faith journey,” said Father Václav Klement, a Salesian missionary.
According to the United Nations, poverty has reached unprecedented levels with more than 70 percent of Zimbabwean children in rural areas living in poverty. A report, compiled by UNICEF and the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, shows high levels of poverty in rural regions and more than half of children do not have enough to eat. Humanitarian organizations have warned that if nothing is done to address food security issues, child poverty will only grow.
The World Bank estimates that extreme poverty in Zimbabwe has risen from 29 percent in 2018 to 34 percent in 2019 and continued to rise into 2020 and 2021. The rise in poverty has been attributed to acute food shortages that are the result of the country’s current economic crisis and the effects of drought on agricultural productivity. Close to 5.5 million people in rural Zimbabwe face starvation.
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World Bank – Zimbabwe