(MissionNewswire) Students attending Salesian schools in Egypt have received scholarships thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. In total, 235 scholarships were provided for Sudanese and Egyptian students attending Salesian schools including the Don Bosco Center Zeitoun, Don Bosco Alexandria Institute, and a Salesian technical and vocational training center in Cairo.
The Salesian technical and vocational training center provides education to 859 young Egyptians to help them acquire professional and technical skills and expertise through five-year or three-year study paths. The Don Bosco Alexandria Institute provides education to 986 Egyptian students enrolled in kindergarten, primary, preparatory and secondary schools. Finally, the Don Bosco Center Zeitoun provides Sudanese and Egyptian youth recreational and educational activities. It welcomes 200 Sudanese youth and 220 Egyptian youth who benefit from psychological counseling and sustainable livelihood opportunities each year.
All of the students who received scholarships were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggled to pay their school fees due to the economic circumstances of their families. The funding also helped provide 13 projectors and 13 smartboards helping 50 teachers to have access to better technology to provide remote online learning for students.
One the students who received the scholarship said, "Economically speaking, I benefit from a scholarship due to my dad's incapacity to cover the expenses, and also because I have another brother and my mum has a chronic disease. Because of this, we have many expenses and educational needs."
Other students who received the scholarship funding come from single parent households and paying for school fees is a challenge. A student said, "I have a sister and we live with my mum, who is divorced. My mum's income is not enough for us, since she pays the institute fees and my sister's educational fees as well, and we don't have anyone else to support us. In addition to this, there are also the daily expenses."
Another student noted his academic achievement. "I applied for the Merit Scholarship because I have done my best, so that I could be the top of the class, and I finished my studies. Therefore, the scholarship will decrease the burden of the educational fees that my dad must pay."
Salesian missionaries have been working in Egypt for more than 100 years. Primary and secondary education, high-quality vocational and technical schools, and youth centers are accessed by both Muslim and Christian youth, as well as refugees in need of services.
Egypt serves as both a destination and a transit country for refugees and asylum seekers. Egypt hosts more than 265,000 registered asylum seekers and refugees from 65 countries. The majority are from Syria, followed by Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Yemen and Somalia according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The vast majority have fled wars and conflict in their homelands and have come to Egypt seeking shelter and safety before moving on to their next destination. Many end up in Cairo's slums and other urban settings without the means to make a living due to restrictive national labor laws for refugees and discrimination by Egyptians. Many of these refugees are women and children who have been forced into poverty with little means to provide for themselves. Egypt's economic conditions have also increased the vulnerability of both refugees and host community members.
Salesian Missions -- Egypt
UNHCR -- Egypt