HAITI: Students benefit from food program partnership
Students attending Timkatec schools in Pétion-Ville had access to better nutrition thanks to rice-meal shipment from Rise Against Hunger.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (July 25, 2022) Students attending the Salesian-run Timkatec schools in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, had access to better 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 shipment provided rice-meals from December 2021 to January 2022.
The rice-meals were distributed at the school canteen and sent home with students in need. A Salesian reported, “Since the canteen was suspended for the months of November to December for lack of rice, we decided to make a first distribution of dry rice to take away on the occasion of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 7. The rice was distributed after mass in the courtyard of the Professional School: Timkatec 2.”
The Timkatec school has existed since 1994 and was founded for former street children. Later, it was expanded to include local disadvantaged children who had not had the chance to attend school until ages 8-10. The vocational schools were added later so youth could learn a trade for employment. Additional rice-meals were distributed at the canteens in the three Timkatec schools and provided to students to take home during times of school closure.
Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, said, “Salesian feeding programs not only help with a balanced diet, but they also allow students to focus on getting an education without worrying about where they will find their next meal. Hungry students have a harder time focusing on their education.”
Salesian missionaries began working in Haiti in 1935 in response to the Haitian government’s request for a professional school. Since then, Salesian missionaries have expanded their work to include 11 main educational centers and more than 200 schools across the country.
The 11 main centers each include a number of primary and secondary schools, vocational training centers, and other programs for street children and youth in need. Salesian programs are located throughout Haiti, including in the cities of Port-au-Prince, Fort-Liberté, Cap-Haïtien, Les Cayes and Gressier. Today, Salesian missionaries in Haiti provide the largest source of education outside of the Haitian government with schools providing education to 25,500 primary and secondary school students.
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