"We appreciate the support of our donors who were able to provide the funding to help poor families in Malawi," said Fr Gus Baek, director of the Salesian Mission Office in New Rochelle. "Providing maize helps families have the nutritional support they need, especially during a time of great difficulty during the pandemic. Many families have seen a loss of income and have been pushed further into poverty."
According to data from the World Bank, in Malawi, more than 50% of the population lives in poverty and most families see women as heads of households. According to the United States Agency for International Development, 45% of the country's children under 5 years of age suffer from lack of adequate nutrition. Many children also lack educational opportunities and have few options to improve their situation.
This is why Fr Mulenga Oswald, parish priest of the "Don Bosco" parish of Lilongwe, also wanted to thank the donors for the support given to the poorest families. "Salesian Missions' prompt response helped us to mobilize and assist the people that needed help most," he said.
In Lilongwe the Salesians offer many support programs for poor young people and their families. The Don Bosco Youth Center offers counselling workshops, seminars and educational literature to face the many challenges that young people in the region are facing. The program focuses on Vocational Training and the prevention of high-risk behavior, such as substance abuse and the possibility of joining ill-famed gangs.
During normal operation, the Don Bosco Youth Center hosts more than 600 young people every day and for this reason it has become a symbol of youth empowerment through sports and vocational and technical education. The center also conducts evening motivational talks for spiritual and moral growth.
The campus of the Salesian Youth Center also includes facilities for practicing sports such as basketball, netball and volleyball. They also offer courses in art, fashion arts and beauty, accounting, masonry, automotive mechanics, and information and communication technologies.
Source: Salesian Missions