Chad – Salesians in Doba, committed to ensuring children's nutrition

17 June 2022

(ANS - Doba) - Complicated also by supply difficulties due to the international situation, a serious food emergency is affecting many African countries. This is a real danger to the lives of millions of people throughout the continent. On the sidelines of the Day of the African Child, celebrated yesterday, June 16, throughout Africa, it seems appropriate to recall the Salesian commitment to guarantee the right to food for the youngest children, a commitment that is being carried out in many different places, including Chad.

The Chadian reality is one common to many African nations: the great abundance of resources, but extremely widespread poverty. The country's subsoil is among the richest in Africa, thanks to numerous deposits of oil, gold, and uranium. Nevertheless, the country is among the world’s poorest. The presence of natural resources benefits only a tiny elite, while 43% of children under 5 are malnourished and 66% live below the poverty line. In addition, schooling, public health, and employment… all the most important areas of a State's life stand in a precarious climate, and in fact, almost the entire population has difficulty accessing education and health care.

The Sons of Don Bosco have also established themselves in this complicated country since 1995, aware that they cannot, by themselves, solve every problem, but are well determined to improve the situation of the poorest of the poor with all their means and resources.

Their first work was established in Sarh, a city in the south, which with its 120,000 inhabitants represents the country’s third-largest city. In 1998 the Salesians began their work in the capital, N'Djamena, and in 2013 they started a third work in the city of Doba.

The Salesians at the Doba mission run a kindergarten and an elementary school within the small "St. Dominic Savio" complex. Partly due to endemic shortages, partly due to the international crisis, they currently need international support to continue their mission to feed the youngest children. There is a need for flour, oil, rice, beans, sugar, peanuts... which will be used to feed and foster the growth and development of the hundreds of children who attend the missionary schools, who are ages 3 to 12.

In Chad, only 1% of children are enrolled in pre-school, while nearly 6 million are considered at health risk due to malnutrition and exposure to serious infections. The United Nations says 5.5 million people in Chad will need humanitarian assistance this year, an emergency that, as always, affects the youngest and most fragile first.

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ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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