ESWATINI: Youth programs gain new furniture
Donation made through partnership between Salesian Missions and Furniture Reuse Solutions.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 15, 2023) More than 1,400 youth participating in three Salesian programs in Eswatini are benefiting from furniture thanks to a donation secured by Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The furniture was provided by Furniture Reuse Solutions, which has a commitment to sustainability and societal benefit. The company provides charities and nonprofits with gifts-in-kind donations that aid in their humanitarian missions.
The furniture was provided to the Salesian-run Manzini Youth Care in 2022 and distributed to Bosco Study Center, Bosco Youth Agricultural Center, and the Enjabulweni Residential Care Home. Manzini Youth Care was established in the 1970s and provides services to marginalized youth. The services include free primary school for children who have dropped out of school due to poverty, two vocational training centers for older youth, residential care for former street children and a drop-in school for street children when they first come in off the streets.
At the Bosco Study Center, Salesians replaced the furniture in the library and the staff room, allowing both students and teachers to do their work comfortably. The donation also provided comfortable and durable furniture for the study rooms and dining hall at the Enjabulweni Residential Care Home.
The offices at Manzini Youth Care also benefited from the donation. Salesians were able to replace the old office chairs and the tables, enhance the learning facilities, and improve the working, learning and study conditions.
One of the beneficiaries, Lucky, attends the Salesian High School and is currently living in the residential care home. He expressed his gratitude for the furniture donation and said it has helped him and his brother, especially when they are studying.
Lucky said, “Each person now has his own chair and table to study peacefully which is very exciting. This furniture has enhanced our living and study environment.” The brothers also said the shelves have helped to better organize their schoolbooks and textbooks. “It is no longer untidy in our living room and study room. Everything is perfect.”
Lucky finds the beds to be extremely comfortable and is grateful for the donation. He no longer shares his bed with his siblings and feels privileged to have a bed of his own. He expressed his appreciation by promising that he and other youth living in the residential home will carefully take care of the furniture as it will be of great use to others who will come after them.
The people of Eswatini face immense challenges including poverty, chronic food insecurity, HIV/AIDS and a climate that is often unpredictable. According to the World Bank, an estimated 63% of the population lives below the poverty line, and about 29% lives below the extreme
poverty line. The HIV/AIDS prevalence of 31% of the population is among the highest in the world and life expectancy has fallen to approximately 49 years.
Salesian missionaries work to meet the most basic needs while providing education to youth in need. With education, youth can find and retain employment and in turn give back to their families and communities.
### Contact: [email protected]