DR CONGO: Farm helps students overcome food insecurity
Don Bosco Kansebula improves the yield from its farm thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (April 18, 2022) Don Bosco Kansebula in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, was able to improve the yield from its farm thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The “Food security for the youth of Don Bosco Kansebula” project helped to provide food for 360 children and youth ages 6-22, as well as 83 young Salesians who are studying philosophy at Don Bosco Kansebula.
Most of the children and youth who received nutritional support are attending the local secondary school and college and live in the village. Single mothers were also supported as a part of this project.
Don Bosco Kansebula has a 44-hectare farm that supplies food for the Salesian formation house and to the village nearby. Since its beginning, Don Bosco Kansebula has provided young Salesians with philosophy education and has given them shelter and nutritional support while at the school. Villagers living near Don Bosco Kansebula have used the farm to cultivate food for themselves and the community.
Most of the youth in the village cannot afford to have more than one meal a day and the quality of the food is not sufficient. With COVID-19, many have been pushed further into poverty and do not have the means to support themselves. The goal of this project was to help increase the yield from the farm to provide for the nutritional needs of those in Salesian programs and in the village.
Wilondja Mayayu Luc is a young Salesian and one of the recipients. He is in his third year studying philosophy and completed high school as a technician agronomist. He said, “I am very happy for the generosity shown in supporting our small community projects. The financial assistance provided has helped us solve difficulties related to food insecurity. With this project, we were able to start raising broilers and laying hens and buy some goats. We have also added some vegetables to ensure food security. It was a great joy in our community to have a diversity of vegetables and animals.”
Salesian missionaries have been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than 100 years ensuring that the most vulnerable children are not forgotten. Salesian primary and secondary schools and programs lay the foundation for early learning while Salesian trade, vocational and agricultural programs offer many youth the opportunity for a stable and productive future.
Despite its vast material wealth, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has long been a very poor nation. Half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line living on less than $1 a day, especially those in rural communities. Because of ongoing strife and violence within the country, more than 8.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 4.1 million Congolese are now displaced with 620,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries. More than 7.5 million people do not have enough food to eat.
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