NIGERIA: Church completes new roof with funds from Salesian Missions
St. John Bosco Catholic Church has funding for roof thanks to Salesian Missions.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 19, 2021) Salesian missionaries were able to finish the roof of the new St. John Bosco Catholic Church, Ondo, Nigeria, thanks to funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The new church has been in construction for the last three years and was needed because the previous church was no longer able to accommodate the number of people showing up for Catholic Mass.
The current parish raised funding over three years to provide the structure, foundation and walls to the roof level. Salesians ran out of funding to finish the roof, and the situation was complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Salesian Missions was able to provide the funding for its completion.
The church structure is now fully built. Salesians are still seeking additional funding to finalize the internal workings of the church.
“We are happy to have helped with the roofing for this new church project,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “It’s important for the community that parishioners are able to attend church services and having a bigger church was a more realistic option than holding multiple services to accommodate the growing number of people coming to the parish.”
Salesian missionaries in Ondo provide a range of educational and spiritual services for the local community. John Bosco Institute of Technology was established in Ondo in 1987. Today, 400 students are taking courses in mechanical engineering, wood and aluminum technology, automotive engineering, electrical installation, business administration, computer science and technology, and event management and decoration. Youth at John Bosco Institute of Technology are learning important skills and trades in order to be prepared for the workforce.
According to UNICEF, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the ninth most populous country in the world. By United Nations estimates, Nigeria will be one of the countries responsible for most of the world’s total population increase by 2050. While Nigeria has the second strongest economy in Africa, it also has extreme rates of poverty with 100 million people living on less than $1 a day.
About 64 percent of households in Nigeria consider themselves to be poor while 32 percent of households say their economic situation had worsened over a period of one year, according to UNICEF. Poverty still remains one of the most critical challenges facing the country and population growth rates have meant a steady increase in the number of people living in conditions of poverty.
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