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When unforeseen events disrupt the patterns of daily life, those who are already marginalized suffer the most. The poor become poorer. The hungry get hungrier. More and more children and families plunge into despair.

As Salesian missionaries, we are called to do whatever we can on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable—now, as they face the COVID-19 crisis; and later, when its lasting effects strike particularly hard.

You can help deliver hope today—and tomorrow.

In addition to immediate assistance, people under our care need the programs and services they already depend upon to continue … so they don’t slide backward into insurmountable hardship.

We invite you to learn more about our work around the world to address the pandemic. And then we invite you to make concrete what you carry in your heart: a special gift, in any amount, that will help maintain the continuity of our programs long after this crisis fades.

As Father Ángel Fernández Artime says, every “humble but important contribution” matters!

Now more than ever, we are grateful for your compassionate support.

A Special Message from Father Ángel Fernández Artime, Salesian Rector Major

Around the world, Salesian missionaries are responding to the needs of the poor and homeless youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. While most Salesian-run schools are closed, missionaries continue to care for the children who live on school grounds and at other institutions. Here are just a few examples of our missionaries’ tireless work.

Mission Updates

At Casa Magone, Mama Margherita, Anuarite, and Kalakala, nearly 300 youth rely on our Salesian missionaries to provide shelter, clean water, meals, clothing and the chance to go to school.

Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Angolan government has asked our missionaries to host an additional 100 girls and boys currently living on the streets. With assistance from the wider community, these missionaries are preparing to protect the health and well-being of all 400 youth.

In Santiago, the Salesian Polytechnic Institution has started manufacturing masks and offering food delivery from the Hainamosa Educational Center in Santo Domingo Este. With a total of 3,250 students and a staff of 235 collaborators, the Salesian Polytechnic Institution has launched its current campaign of solidarity against COVID-19 called “Let’s viralize love.”

Don Bosco Anbu Illam, located in Chennai, is supporting the health department of Greater Chennai Corporation and has united their efforts to aid homeless people who have been neglected during the quarantine period. Almost 2,000 destitute and migrant people are being provided temporary shelter and access to crisis counseling. Also, to help with social isolation, they are being given access to movies, games and other activities to pass the time.

The Salesian community of The Retreat in Yercaud, India, has provided food for 100 abandoned elderly and physically challenged people. In addition, 200 families spread across tribal villages are receiving a grocery bag full of necessities that could sustain them for 4 to 5 days.

The Don Bosco Center for Human Resources Development in Gagillapur has produced and distributed over 1,000 masks to the poor in the area. And in Bangalore, fishermen’s wives are sewing masks for railway staff and health care workers at the Holy Cross Hospital with fabric and materials provided by the Salesians.

The Don Bosco Youth Network is preparing the community through educational programs and food-sharing campaigns. Don Bosco Online Radio (Akure) produces and broadcasts daily announcements with information about the COVID-19 virus. The Parish Community of Akure is gathering food items through the support of some parishioners to be shared with poor and low-income families to help them through this crisis. The number of families in need keeps increasing due to the lockdown. Farming projects are beginning to increase sustainability, while other education and hygiene programs target already vulnerable families in Koko, in northern Nigeria.

The Salesians of Don Bosco in Portugal are supporting measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in their country. Salesian schools in Évora, Estoril and Mogofores offered their facilities while Father José Augusto Fernandes, director of the Salesians of Mogofores and director of the National Shrine Our Lady Help of Christians, gave his support to the local authorities to collaborate with the Social Support Line.

In Lisbon, Salesians have distributed 500 daily meals to the homeless. SolSal (the Salesian Solidarity family focus service in Évora, Funchal and Lisbon) continues to support families, in particular with the distribution of food baskets.

The Don Bosco Muhazi (African Great Lakes Province) is being overwhelmed with demands for food assistance. In response, food support in Rwanda is targeting vulnerable citizens in Kimihurura (Kigali), Kabgayi, Rango and Don Bosco Muhazi, where staff of Don Bosco House and Teachers of Don Bosco Muhazi TVET School have also benefited from the support. The Province has dispatched food to other communities and so far, a total of 400 families have served. Throughout the Province, community mobilization and awareness efforts focus on handwashing with soap, avoiding unnecessary travel and practicing physical distancing.

At the Palabek Refugee Camp in Uganda, the Salesians of Don Bosco have successfully prepared and distributed sanitizing products, soaps and face masks to various beneficiaries. The delivery of these items has been carried out in close collaboration with local leaders who are working on a daily basis to ensure that the most vulnerable citizens are supported during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Don Bosco Community Center, one of only a few food pantries in the Village of Port Chester, New York, is providing an average of 230 meals a day to support people who are unable to shop because of the stay home order and the closure of local businesses. In addition to the food program, St. John Bosco Parish provides awareness of prevention measures, home delivery of food, making and distributing masks, online counseling, online classes, transport of the sick to hospitals and resources for accommodation of the sick or homeless.

Students of the “Integrated Design, Engineering & Art” (IDEA) technology program at Salesian “Bosco Tech” in Rosemead, California, U.S., have designed and are producing face protection devices with the school’s 3D printers for medical personnel.