BURUNDI: Students facing hunger receive meals
Rise Against Hunger partners with Salesian Missions, which works to identify needs.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 6, 2023) Students attending Don Bosco High School, located in Ngozi, Burundi*, had access to better nutrition during the second half of 2022 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.
The school has been facing challenges with a lack of food due to excessive rain that destroyed crops in the region. Prices have also risen dramatically as a result of the cost of oil in the country due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Oil has become impossible to find, slowing the transport of goods. Don Bosco High School struggles to provide food to students and to pay the salaries of workers so they can feed their families.
In addition to providing Rise Against Hunger meals, Salesians with the school are developing an agriculture project on six hectares of school land. They planted maize, beans and vegetables. Students are already able to eat some of the vegetables grown on the new farm.
Father Elie Nyandwi, economer of the school, said, “Since we started receiving the Rise Against Hunger meals, our organization can now breathe and save some money for solving some of the many other problems that we face. Burundi is in the Great Lakes region of Africa, a region which is socially, economically and politically unstable. We have many orphans and other vulnerable young people who need a lot of support.”
One of the recipients of the rice-meals is Denis Niyonsaba, age 13, who is studying in grade eight. Niyonsaba said that his parents sent him to the school because of its good reputation due in part to the Rise Against Hunger meals and the quality of the education. During lunch and supper provided by the school, he likes to sit with his friends who spend their time together reading books and playing basketball.
Niyonsaba said, “I want to become a journalist to help raise awareness in our society especially among young people to work hard and help develop our country.”
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.
Burundi has seen more than a decade of violence and conflict which has contributed to widespread poverty, according to UNICEF. 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.
*Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.
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