INDIA: Don Bosco Konkan Development Society provides more than 50,000 people with nutritional support thanks in part to Salesian Missions funding
Donor funding ensures poor youth and their families receive the nutritional support they need, especially now in times of food scarcity.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 5, 2020) Salesian missionaries with Don Bosco Konkan Development Society in Goa, India, were able to provide more than 50,000 people with nutritional support thanks to donors, including funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. While Goa faced food scarcity, Salesians were able to secure rice and other rations from sources in Maharashtra, as well as local suppliers.
The work in securing, sorting, storing, packing and then delivering the food was extensive. Given there was no labor available to help, Don Bosco Konkan Development Society staff members unloaded the trucks, packaged to-go kits and distributed the kits across Goa in smaller personal vehicles. Staff members Walter and Yasin were heavily involved in the operation and made delivery trips covering the state of Goa. Don Bosco Konkan Development Society used its local networks to deliver the kits to every needy household and distributed thousands of kits over several months.
As the crisis continued in Goa, there was an exodus of migrant workers back to their villages. To help them, camps were set up for them to stay while trains took them back home. Don Bosco Konkan Development Society provided cooked food for migrants for their stay in the camps and provided 5,500 food packets for them to take on their travels. Don Bosco Childline South Goa pitched in by distributing biscuits and water at the railway station.
“We continue to supply food and sanitary kits to people who are now dealing with loss of employment or those unable to move out of containment zones,” said Father Laurence Monteiro, executive director of Don Bosco Konkan Development Society. “We have crossed the 50,000 mark in terms of people reached. We have now extended our operations to regions in Karnataka and Maharashtra.”
Donors make a real impact on programming for poor and at-risk youth in Salesian programs in India and around the globe. Salesian missionaries, teachers, staff and students are all grateful for the support.
Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.
Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.
India has the world’s fourth-largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
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