Namibia

Don Bosco Youth Center provides 2 meals a day to give youth energy to focus in school

(MissionNewswire) Youth attending Don Bosco Youth Center, in Rundu, Namibia, received nutritional support thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The funding provided breakfast and lunch to poor children ages 3-11 who attend local Salesian schools.

Hunger has been declared a national disaster in this drought-ridden country. Salesians running Don Bosco Youth Center were able to provide 200 children with two meals a day to help ensure healthy nutrition and give them the energy they need to be able to focus in school.

Emily Liyando, age 5, is one young recipient. Her mother died during childbirth, and she has never met her father. Liyando said, “I am cared for by my grandmother. I go to Don Bosco School in the morning and come home in the evening. We have nothing at home to eat so what I receive at Don Bosco is all that I have. I bring some home to share with my grandmother.”

Don Bosco Youth Center, opened in 2002, provides shelter and services for homeless youth. The center offers computer classes for 65 students, preschool for 70 children and school for 104 students who have dropped out of formal education. In addition, more than 80 youth attend the daily oratory activities including sports programming.

According to the World Bank, Namibia is just one of nine countries in Africa considered as upper middle income, but poverty is still prevalent with extreme wealth imbalances. Namibia’s poverty rate is 32 percent with an unemployment rate of 29.6 percent. Poverty in Namibia is acute in the northern regions of Kavango, Oshikoto, Zambezi, Kunene and Ohangwena, where upwards of one-third of the population lives in poverty. HIV prevalence in the country is 16.9 percent.

Salesian programs across Namibia are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.

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Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)

Salesian Missions – Namibia

World Bank – Namibia