Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: December 06, 2021

BURUNDI: Students improve at school with rice-meal donation

Students attending Lycée Don Bosco receive healthy nutrition thanks to Salesian Missions partnership with Rise Against Hunger.

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Dec. 6, 2021) Students attending Lycée Don Bosco, located in Bujumbura, Burundi, had access to better nutrition during the second quarter of 2020 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 396,990 cooked meals were provided, and the donation has had a positive impact on students and teachers.

Placide Habimana is one student attending Lycée Don Bosco who benefited from the rice-meal donation. He is in the last class of secondary school and studying biochemistry and earth science. Before receiving the donation, Habimana was having difficulty studying. He’d often fall asleep during school lessons and was too weak from hunger to play sports. After receiving better nutrition, Habimana studies well and follows directions from his teachers. He even has more energy to connect with his peers.

Habimana said, “The Rise Against Hunger rice is well appreciated, not by myself only, but by all students. As it contains nutrients, it is very nourishing and it is good for our good growth.”

Mbaga Corneille, principal of Lycée Don Bosco, also noted how well students are doing since receiving the rice-meals. “Students are happy, work better, keep smiling, play well and are regularly attending school. It is the same with the staff,” she said.

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 United Nations 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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