In February, the support project for the "St John Bosco" secondary school in Touba, Mali, was completed. It was built by the Spanish Salesian NGO "Solidaridad Don Bosco", which aims to facilitate young people at risk of social exclusion accessing quality education. The project helped improve school performance, the center's library service, teaching materials and teacher formation.
In the past, many young people from Touba ended primary school at the age of 12 or 13, and then had to move to the nearest city, more than 20 kilometers away, to continue their studies, why the Salesians started the construction of the secondary school, since the area offered no educational institute for forming local young people.
Together with the construction of the new school, the gender awareness development plan developed by the Salesians also continued to facilitate girls' access to education and to foster and welcome their participation in the activities of the Oratory.
The recently built "St John Bosco" high school now serves over 400 adolescents and young people at risk of social exclusion, children from 17 villages in the region, each poorer than the next.
"Do you want to do something good? Educate the young," Don Bosco would say. "Do you want to do something sacred? Educate the young. Do you want to do something holy? Educate the young. Do you want to do something divine? Educate the young. In fact this is one of the most divine things." The words of Don Bosco are valid today as they were more than a hundred years ago and the Salesians continue to do one of the "most divine things": schools to form future generations.
In Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, the Salesians continue to struggle to change the history and future of humanity.