Salesians in El Salvador offer three meals a day so children can focus on what is most important to them at that age: being students. "Giving opportunities and changing the future of children and young people starts with being able to eat every day," says the Children of Don Bosco.
"It's not just about giving them breakfast. Many of these children did not even have food on their plates for dinner. They went to bed on an empty stomach. This makes it very difficult for anyone to concentrate: hencethe importance of the food program we have implemented."
In El Salvador, 35% of the population lives in extreme poverty. There is widespread violence, scarcity ofopportunities and access to basic services.
The country's already difficult situation is further aggravated by the violence of rival youth gangs, the "Maras". The BBC has rightly reported that San Salvador, the country's capital, is "the city of coffins, a place that lives on violence." According to data, "El Salvador, a country with 6 million inhabitants, is the world's most violent country, with a homicide rate of 103 per 100,000 inhabitants."
The "Poligono Don Bosco" center is located in one of the poorest areas of San Salvador and tries to act upon and influence the causes of poverty through education. Currently, the center assists 700 students - children, teenagers and young people in schools spanning from maternity to high school and the training center. "We have come to realize that many children came to school without having eaten anything, why we started this food aid program," the Salesians conclude.