BENIN: Children receive food support thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions
Foyer Don Bosco serves children in complex situations, including those who have been abandoned.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (July 18, 2022) Children at Foyer Don Bosco, a home for abused and abandoned children in Kandi, Benin, have received food support thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The funding provided food support for 36 children, as well as cleaning products and medicines for the infirmary. Ten girls and boys have also benefited from the purchase of toolboxes for various trades.
Lamidi Mounira, age 17, was one of the recipients. “I dropped out of school because my parents couldn’t afford it. I was at home when I was approached by Foyer Don Bosco and convinced to continue my education so I can learn a trade.”
Foyer Don Bosco serves boys and girls in very complex situations, including those who have been abandoned by their families, victims of abuse, and victims of forced marriages. The area of Kandi often has an influx of children who are on their own. Children are sometimes sold on the black market and exploited in the workforce. A transit home was started with the support of UNICEF to host these children, while guiding them to other homes or trying to find their families.
Foyer Don Bosco was created for children who have nowhere else to go or need to stay for long periods of time. In collaboration with the juvenile courts of Benin, minors who are in conflict with the law and in high-risk situations are assisted by the Salesians. The border police also intercept children being trafficked from Niger and Burkina Faso.
Foyer Don Bosco relies on donations so that Salesians can provide youth with food, clothing, education and medical care. Salesians also work with families and try to provide reunification when appropriate. Currently, there are 40 youth in the home, ranging in age from 5 to 15.
Children in Benin face significant challenges gaining an education within the country’s poor educational system. According to UNICEF, Benin remains one of the poorest countries in the world with close to 70 percent of its population living in poverty. About half of all children between the ages of 5 and 13 are engaged in some kind of forced labor in the country and almost 20 percent are chronically undernourished. Youth in Benin also face overwhelming challenges in combating poverty, one of the root causes of child trafficking.
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