Salesian missionaries asking for nutritional support and help for students and teachers in 11 Salesian schools

Report
from Salesian Missions
Published on 02 Jan 2020 View Original

(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.

Levels of malnutrition in Venezuela have tripled in the past two years with nearly 80 percent of families living in a state of nutritional insecurity. Food consumption has halved. The operation of the health system and of the school system has decreased by 60 and 70 percent respectively.

Salesian missionaries have called for nutritional assistance to help ensure that students, as well as teachers and staff at Salesian schools, have access to at least one meal a day. This helps ensure that these teachers and staff remain in Venezuela to continue their important work and students are fed so they can focus on their studies. Salesian missionaries are working to secure the funding and support to feed 1,650 students and 750 employees at 11 Salesian schools in the country.

Msgr. Jhonny Reyes, Salesian and apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, pointed 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. Products that at one time cost the equivalent of $1 will cost the equivalent of $10 million with expected inflation. Many Venezuelans’ monthly salaries cannot cover the cost of a single gallon of milk.

Venezuelan unemployment 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.

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.