BURUNDI: More than 1,200 students at Lycée Don Bosco have access to better nutrition thanks to Rise Against Hunger rice-meal donation
Rice-meal shipments from Rise Against Hunger improved the lives and health for students, enabling them to better focus on their studies.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 3, 2020) More than 1,200 students attending Lycée Don Bosco, located in Bujumbura, Burundi, had access to better nutrition during the third quarter of 2019 thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
Many of the students attending Lycée Don Bosco come from poor families who barely have enough to eat once a day. The rice-meals are provided to students during school hours so students have the strength and energy to focus on their studies and gain the skills needed for later employment. Salesian missionaries at Lycée Don Bosco noted that the donation has had a positive impact on students and teachers.
“The rice-meal donation has been a critical part of helping students have the proper nutrition they need to focus in school,” says Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Prepared students are more likely to learn valuable skills that will help them gain employment and break the cycle of poverty in their lives while enabling them to give back to their communities.”
Rise Against Hunger partners with Salesian Missions, which works to identify needs and coordinate delivery of 40-foot shipping containers full of meals and supplemented with additional supplies when available. The partnership was developed in 2011 and since that time shipments have been successfully delivered to countries around the globe. The meals and life-saving aid have helped to nourish poor youth at Salesian schools and programs and care for those in need of emergency aid during times of war, natural disasters and health crises.
“The partnership with Rise Against Hunger allows Salesian Missions to expand its services for youth in need,” adds Fr. Baek. “Operating feeding programs and providing other life-changing supplies for youth is integral to the success of our students and their ability to gain an education.”
Burundi, located in the heart of the African Great Lakes region, has seen more than a decade of violence and conflict which has contributed to widespread poverty, according to UNICEF. Burundi ranks 185 out of 189 countries on the 2017 UN Human Development Index and close to 70 percent of its residents live below the poverty line.
Children are some of the most severely affected by the country’s rampant poverty. Fifty-three percent of children under the age of 5 suffer from growth stunting caused by inadequate food, low-quality diet, poor infant feeding practices, poor household management of childhood diseases and the general decline of the country’s health system.
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