Their commitment becomes even more necessary every day because adding to the ordinarily difficult conditions, new ones appear. Poverty and conflict always constitute a threat to the education of the youngest children, but now the risk is their very survival: to date, Mali is among the top ten countries in the world in terms of neo-natal mortality and more than 850,000 children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition.
Furthemore, more than a million children do not attend primary school, and an additional one million do not attend secondary school. In 2017, over 650 schools were closed by terrorist groups, and Fr Edmond Dembele, Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference, had to observe as the Mali became "the epicenter of jihadi groups that are rampant in the Sahel."
Of heartlfelt importance to the Salesians of Touba is only one thing: being able to continue to educate children and young people and take care of them in an integral and comprehensive manner. The secondary school "St John Bosco" was the first of its kind in the city and has meant a radical change for the local citizenship: until then, children had per force to move to the nearest town to continue their studies.
Thinking of the young and their needs, the Salesians cannot and do not forget or overlook the need for proper nutrition for these children, why they are planning the construction of a kitchen and a refectory in the boarding school "Foyer Don Bosco", which houses about 50 students aged between 12 and 17.
Their families are extremely poor and the reception of the Salesians in the boarding school is the only way for them to go to school and receive an education.
For more information, please visit: www.missionidonbosco.org