DR CONGO: Homeless youth benefit from food partnership
Youth at center access long-term services and help with education.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 21, 2023) Youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo* received healthy nutrition 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 rice-meals were sent to the Salesian Projects Office of the Central Africa Province and distributed to Salesian programs in the second half of 2022.
One of the recipients was the Bakanja Center, which serves youth who arrive from the Salesian Bakanja Ville, which acts as a drop-in and reception center for homeless youth who are looking to escape the challenges of living on the streets.
At the Bakanja Center, youth can access more long-term services that help with their recovery and education. Sami Mujinga Lapp is one of the youth who received the rice-meal donation at the Bakanja Center.
Lapp said, “I feel at home in this center that has welcomed me after living on the street. After receiving my education with the Salesians, I would like to be a great mechanic. I think that I would like to move to Zambia to earn a living. I want to contribute to society and help other street youth.”
Lapp also enjoys the camaraderie of eating with his friends. He added, “Often I sit next to my friends and we share our meals and talk and joke. We like to laugh together. Since I started eating the Rise Against Hunger meals, I feel healthy, and my weight even increased. It is a very good meal, especially for malnourished children. I would say it’s important for me to eat this meal because it contains the necessary vitamins for the body. For our community, this meal has allowed those of us who were undernourished a chance to regain normal health.”
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.
*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.
### Contact: [email protected]