Rwanda

Salesian missionaries are building a brighter future in Rwanda after a very difficult past. Many of the country’s orphaned children are the tragic result of a violent civil war. Half of all children drop out of primary school and 2.2 million people—22% of the population—face critical food shortages. Rwandans are anxious to move their lives and their country forward, but need substantial help to do so.

After bravely overcoming the trauma of the 1994 genocide, Rwandans looking to transform their country have made remarkable progress. Still, much remains to be done. Close to 39% of its people live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Rwanda is a rural, agrarian country with about 35% of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture, and with some mineral and agro-processing.

More Missions In Rwanda

Build primary & secondary schools

Salesian missionaries began their work in Rwanda offering programs to combat poverty through education, skills training and workforce development services, as well as meeting basic needs with shelter and feeding programs. Many initial educational programs focused on teaching how to read and write. However, as more people became interested in learning vocational and trade skills and preparing for the workforce, programs expanded to cover other subjects and incorporate skills training that lead to long-term employment.

Salesian missionaries now operate primary, secondary and vocational schools throughout the country, as well as offer recreational activities, English language classes and agricultural programs. Programs help combat poverty through education, skills training and workforce development services that help students rebuild their lives and their country.

Provide technical & vocational training

St. Mary Mazzarello Technical Secondary School, located in the city of Gisenyi in the Western Province of Rwanda, specializes in hotel operations training. Here, students have the opportunity to acquire all the skills necessary to successfully operate a hotel by taking courses in management, finance and hospitality skills. In addition, students receive support services such as tutoring and training in resume writing and interviewing skills to help them prepare for the workforce. Graduates from the program are fully prepared to find and retain stable employment.

Salesian missionaries in the small village of Muhazi, near the Rwandan capital city of Kigali, operate a vocational center that provides education and training in dressmaking, construction and catering. Students also learn to cook, take care of a home and organize events. In Kigali, many people never went to school or they dropped out when they were attending primary school. Because of this, many residents never had the opportunity to gain an education or the skills for stable employment.

Rescue children facing adversity

With half of Rwanda’s population under the age of 18, lack of educational opportunities is a concern. Half of all children who enroll in primary school don’t finish and go on to face a future of unemployment or employment at low-paying jobs. In addition, almost 4% of children aged 5 to 14 are working in domestic service or other jobs instead of going to school.

Salesian missionaries now operate primary, secondary and vocational schools throughout the country. They also offer recreational activities, English language classes and agricultural programs. Programs help combat poverty through education, skills training and workforce development services that help students rebuild their lives and their country.

Empower girls & women through education

Patience Nyirahabufite, a graduate of St. Mary Mazzarello Technical Secondary School, ranked number one in the country among all graduates taking the national exam. Hailing from humble origins as an orphan and then becoming the mother of two small children at a young age, Patience encountered the Salesian Sisters in Gisenyi who encouraged her to attend school and assisted her in her studies.

Although Patience’s brother cared for her children so she could pursue her studies, it was of constant concern to her knowing that her children were not gaining a formal education. To meet this need, the Salesian Sisters offered Patience a teaching job at St. Mary Mazzarello for a year, enabling her to pay the fees to send her children to school. Speaking at her graduation, Patience credited the Salesian Sisters with helping to make her dreams come true.

Patience continued her studies at the university in Kigali, furthering her education in hotel operations on a government sponsorship. Her goal is to someday to return to Gisenyi and teach in the secondary school where she received her education. In this way, she hopes to give back by helping other young girls further their education just as she did.

Deliver life-saving meals

Students attending Don Bosco Technical School in Gatenga received nutritional support thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions. The support provided for the purchase of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the school.

Don Bosco Gatenga was established in 1976 to help orphans and disadvantaged street youth gain an education. Currently, the school has 366 students, and from that total, 289 students live in conditions of poverty and receive meals at the school.

The funding ensured proper nutrition so students could focus on their studies and had the motivation to learn. Often, the meals students receive at the school are the only meals they have in a day. As a result of this donation, the learning environment improved, and students and staff were more focused on their tasks. The school also has an organic farm. During the first part of 2023, the number of vegetables planted in the garden increased due to more space that became available for the farm.

Images

From Rwanda

In Rwanda, half of children who enroll in primary school don’t finish, according to UNICEF. Without education, youth face a future of unemployment or low-paying jobs.

Fund a project

Help Feed Poor Children

Country: Rwanda

Date Added: March 16, 2021
Country: Rwanda

To provide nutritious meals daily for a year to over 5oo children = $97,000.00

Project Information

Provide a Second-Hand Bus for High School Students

Country: Rwanda

Help purchase a second-hand bus for high school students at a Salesian school in Rwanda

Date Added: July 15, 2021
Country: Rwanda

To purchase a small second-hand bus = $53,000.00

Project Information

From Rwanda

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: Salesian Missions highlights educational and social programs for youth

Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted 75 years ago. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Dec. 10, 2023) Top of Form Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and the internati

WORLD DAY OF THE POOR: Salesian Missions highlights programs that support people in poverty

Education, workforce development and social programs help create a path out of poverty. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Nov. 19, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins Catholic organizations aroun

Planting the Seeds for Brighter Futures

Life is hard for any single mother. It’s even harder for young women in Rwanda, where pervasive gender inequalities and intentional exclusion push them to society’s most distant edges—where they find little support for impro

WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY: Salesian Missions highlights support for educators

Projects help teachers provide high-quality education. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 5, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and countries around the globe in h

INT’L YOUTH DAY: Salesian Missions highlights programs that educate youth about the environment

Theme of International Youth Day 2023 is ‘Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World’. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Aug. 12, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian org

GLOBAL: Hunger has risen, says new report

Globally 2.4 billion people did not have regular access to food. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Aug. 1, 2023) Top of Form Hunger has risen since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and repeated weather events and conflicts, including the war in

GLOBAL DAY OF PARENTS: Salesian Missions highlight programs that care for whole family

Salesian missionaries provide support to the parents of the children in their programs. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 1, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations an

RWANDA: Funding ensures proper nutrition for students

Students provided with 3 daily meals so they can focus on their studies. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 5, 2023) Students attending Don Bosco Technical School in Gatenga, Rwanda, received nutritional support thanks to donor funding from S

INT’L DAY OF FAMILIES: Salesian Missions highlights programs for families in poverty

Programs support people facing poverty, lack of education, hunger and homelessness NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 15, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian and other internation

WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOR: Salesian Missions highlights programs to combat child labor

Salesian programs rescue children from labor and provide basic needs, education. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 12, 2022) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and the

Funding Opportunities

in Rwanda

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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