The coronavirus pandemic, in fact, required immediate and effective responses. All over the world, many people have lost their jobs and many have found themselves below the poverty line.
“Salesian missionaries live in the communities in which they work so they are well-positioned to understand the local needs and come up with solutions to address them,” said Fr Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “We have funded projects in seven countries to date that address nutritional support, sanitation and hygiene, and educational materials for prevention.”
Through the funding of “Salesian Missions”, the Salesian Parish of Rukago in Burundi was able to provide community prevention measures to counter the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to this project, which benefited 65,000 people from the parish and the local community, hand-washing stations were installed in 8 churches, 15 schools and the Don Bosco Oratory.
The communities of Dili, Lospalos and Venilale have benefited from the aid provided by Salesian Missions. In particular, widows, orphans, disabled, poor and elderly people were helped, for a total of 1,174 beneficiaries.
Thanks to “Bosconet”, food rations have been provided to the people most affected by the pandemic. A total of 780 families benefited from the aid, as well as workers and temporary workers employed in tea plantations.
The Salesian missionaries of the Don Bosco Youth Center, located in Rundu, carried out a nutritional program for children who suffer from hunger and provided food support for young people who have dropped out of school and other vulnerable children.
The "St John Bosco" parish in Lilongwe received support for the purchase of corn to help 382 families. In Malawi, already very poor families have seen their conditions worsen due to the pandemic.
The Salesian missionaries, together with the local Planning and Development Office in South Africa, were able to provide food support to the communities of Eswatini (Swaziland) and Lesotho.
In the Gumbo camp for internally displaced persons, the Salesian missionaries distributed food, soaps, blankets and other basic necessities.
In Kasama, thanks to the collaboration with “Feed My Starving Children”, food was distributed to children, orphans, the blind and other people in need.