DR CONGO: Rice-meals increase student attendance
Oeuvres Maman Marguerite Center receives shipment of rice-meals thanks to Rise Against Hunger.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept. 19, 2022) The Oeuvres Maman Marguerite Center, located in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo*, received a shipment of rice-meals 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.
Bavon, age 14, is one of the youth who received the rice-meals. He is an orphan living at the Magone Salesian boarding center and attends sixth grade at a primary school nearby. His dream is to become a builder.
Bavon received was happy to receive meals at the Salesian center and said, “Since I have started eating, my health has improved, due to the vitamins that are found in the meal. I like to eat it with my brothers and sisters in the community right after I rest and relax.”
Nicole Kasongo, organizational coordinator, reflected on what the rice-meals meant to the community. “There is a stability of young people in foster homes and Salesian centers, less dropout from classes, improvement in the health of young beneficiaries, motivation, and joy on the part of young people,” she said.
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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