EL SALVADOR: Salesian programs receive rice-meal donations thanks to Salesian Missions partnerships
Salesian Missions has partnerships with Rise Against Hunger and Feed My Starving Children.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Nov. 16, 2021) The Salesian-run FUSALMO and the Salesian Technical Institute Ricaldone, both located in San Salvador, El Salvador, were able to provide nutritional support to youth, families and students thanks to partnerships between Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and Rise Against Hunger and Feed My Starving Children.
The rice-meals from Feed My Starving Children were provided to Salesian Technical Institute Ricaldone where 1,200 students and community members benefited from the donation. Food baskets were distributed to people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the tropical storms Amanda and Cristobal, and students at the institute.
Daniel Armando Pineda Sánchez, a second-year administrative accounting student, said, “When the COVID-19 pandemic and the tropical storms happened, people were left with limited resources and challenging economic conditions. I’m grateful we received the food basket that had rice with dehydrated soybeans, beans, milk and more. It was essential food for people in the community.”
The Rise Against Hunger shipment provided rice-meals for youth from the Don Bosco Youth Program and communities surrounding FUSALMO. More than 300 youth were impacted by this donation.
FUSALMO provides education and social development programs for children and older youth who are in situations of social vulnerability. The organization was created thanks to the efforts of the Salesians of El Salvador, the Association of Salesian Cooperators and the Foundation for Integral Education of El Salvador. During its time in operation, FUSALMO has served more than 432,000 youth within its programs.
Since 2004, FUSALMO’s flagship program, Don Bosco Youth Program, has helped students complete their secondary education. This program has grown stronger thanks to the support of national and international organizations. Two years ago the program began offering additional skills training to ensure that youth are ready to be part of the changing workforce.
FUSALMO offers traditional and non-traditional educational opportunities for at-risk youth. Through recreational programs, enrichment opportunities in the arts and music, vocational training, and more, youth are encouraged to stay off the streets, learn to cooperate and co-exist, and gain the skills they need to become productive, contributing members of a more peaceful society.
El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in Central America, along with Honduras and Guatemala. In 2016, San Salvador was named the murder capital of the world, seeing more murders and violent crime than any other city. Gang violence is a leading cause of violence in the country, and it’s estimated that some 60,000 young people have gang affiliation. Gang involvement often offers a sense of belonging and family that counters the lack of education and employment opportunities offered in the country.
Crime is often associated with poverty and close to 22 percent of El Salvador’s population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank. Youth in El Salvador are confronted not only with poverty but with instability, high levels of violence and inadequate access to educational opportunities. Despite ranking high for economic indicators, the need for practical education in El Salvador is more important than ever with 12 percent of youth ages 15-24 unemployed and 41 percent underemployed.
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