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Liberia

Liberia

Salesian Missions has been working in Liberia since 1979 when it opened its first vocational technical institute there. Nearly two-thirds of the 3.5 million residents fall below the poverty line and families struggle to rebuild in the wake of a devastating civil war. Among the most vulnerable victims are former child soldiers who must be rehabilitated and guided into a responsible and productive lifestyle.

The country was also devastated by the Ebola outbreak with more than 10,600 people affected and more than 4,800 reported deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Salesian missionaries worked to unite vulnerable Ebola orphans with relatives or with educational programs to provide much needed ongoing care. Other Salesian programs provide food, medical care and education to Ebola orphans and former child soldiers.

More Missions In Liberia

Build primary & secondary schools

Whether working to provide rehabilitation to former child soldiers or assisting young women to overcome barriers to education, Salesian programs in Liberia are providing youth the opportunity to live up to their potential through both academic and social programs. Salesian volunteer programs and Catholic schools have helped more than 2,300 students and their families.

The Mary Help of Christians School provides a foundation of education and support for young students who would otherwise have limited opportunities to better their lives. The School started in 1993 and serves just over 560 students. It also includes a feeding program, which serves a little more than 100 of those students and ensures that youth in need receive a nutritious, healthy meal.

Provide technical & vocational training

St. Theresa Convent School has more than 1,000 students who are engaged in learning employable skills. Students benefited from donated school desks, chairs and textbooks. A sander, table saw, wood planters and other carpentry materials also have been donated to the Don Bosco Technical High School, which educates more than 500 students. These two Salesian-run educational facilities provide poor youth with secondary education and training, enabling them to join the workforce or go on to college.

Operate colleges & universities

The Salesian-run Mother Patern College of Health Sciences at Stella Maris Polytechnic provides degrees in several disciplines in the health and science fields, and graduates go on to be lab technicians, nurses, physician assistants, social workers and nursing educators. A donation to the school provided more than 400 students with donated textbooks to assist them in their studies.

Rescue children facing adversity

For many children and youth in Liberia, their childhood seems lost to the years of war. Former child soldiers are among the most vulnerable victims in Liberia, as the country continues to struggle in the aftermath of the devastating civil war.

Physical wounds heal over time, but the emotional and psychological wounds that both male and female child soldiers face can take a lifetime to heal. Special counseling is provided to these traumatized youth in an effort to rehabilitate and guide them into a responsible and productive lifestyle. The emotional support, education and job placement provided by the Salesians plays a large role in helping these young people overcome their ordeals.

Respond to disasters & emergencies

Salesian missionaries, already living and working in the country, are part of the National Catholic Task Force, which first responded to the Ebola outbreak when it began with the first Liberian case in March 2014. By October, the virus had spread to all 15 counties of Liberia with the number of cases overwhelming health facilities and workers, forcing many hospitals to close down.

The Salesian-run Mother Patern College of Health Sciences, one of five colleges that make up the Stella Maris Polytechnic University in Monrovia, was on the front lines of the Ebola crisis with all 63 of its staff reassigned to address the Ebola outbreak. The College administers programs in health education and HIV/AIDS, offers courses in primary health care and degrees in nursing, social work, laboratory technology and biology.

Salesian missionaries provided education about Ebola and preventative measures with various programs throughout Liberia. In addition, fortified rice-meals and boxes of hand soap were donated to Salesian programs in the country thanks to an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger.

Once the transmission of Ebola slowed, Salesian missionaries turned their attention to educating and preparing teachers for the re-opening of schools. School buildings and classrooms were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and educators took part in training about Ebola. Salesian missionaries also turned their attention to helping Ebola orphans. Missionaries in Liberia report close to 530 children who have lost both of their parents to Ebola and another 153 who have lost either their father or mother to the virus across the three West African countries affected. Salesian programs are working to connect orphans with other relatives or with educational programs and orphanages that will help to provide ongoing care and education. Other Salesian programs provide for the basic needs of Ebola orphans including food, medical care and education.

Provide youth centers & safe activities

The Don Bosco Youth Center provides a foundation of education and support for young students who would otherwise have limited opportunities to better their lives. After school, from 4 to 6 p.m., students have access to the Don Bosco Youth Center. Located in the capital city of Monrovia, the Center gives former child soldiers and other young people the opportunity to experience some of the joys of childhood.

Youth can participate in recreational activities and sports. They receive recreation counseling each day in activities from chess to football. Some participate in a cultural troupe where they sing, dance, act, practice African acrobatics and even perform at local functions.

But it’s more than just play and recreation at the Youth Center. In addition, youth have access to vocational training and academic courses. The Center also offers a women’s development program for women to learn self-reliance.

Deliver life-saving meals

Youth participating in programs operated by Don Bosco Matadi in Monrovia, Liberia have access to better nutrition thanks to an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit Christian organization committed to “feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit.” The fortified rice-meals provided by Feed My Starving Children are given to students during the school day and for some, the meals are the only ones they have each day.

At least six shipments of rice-meals were made over a period of two years. Many were utilized during the Ebola crisis, which continues to affect the many families living in Matadi who lost family members, including primary wage-earners.

Fortified rice-meals and boxes of hand soap were also donated to Salesian programs in Liberia thanks to an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.

The shipment of boxes of hand soap was provided as emergency assistance to those affected by Ebola, particularly the young and the poor. The contents of the shipment were shared among organizations that make up the National Catholic Task Force, including Salesian missionaries, which came together to address the Ebola crisis.

Deliver essential equipment & supplies

The Salesian-run Mary Help of Christians Catholic High School, the Blessed Sandor Matadi Salesian Community offices and the Holy Innocents Matadi Foundation office, all located in Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia, received new furniture thanks to an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and IRN-The Reuse Network. More than 500 students benefited from the new furniture which is being used in classrooms, libraries, laboratories and school offices.

New desks, chairs, tables, bookcases and filing cabinets were among the furniture received in Monrovia. Desks and chairs help to provide a more dignified and organized educational environment for students to complete their studies. As a result, students are often more focused on classroom work and more prepared for their lessons.

Images

From Liberia

From Liberia

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Agriculture Training Programs

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Feed a Child

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Technology Program

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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