PHILIPPINES: Clean water for youth center, kindergarten and parish
Salesian St. John Bosco Parish has access to clean water thanks to a new project funded by the Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Jan. 4, 2021) The Salesian St. John Bosco Parish, in Minoyan, Murcia, Negros Occidental, Philippines, has access to clean water thanks to a new project funded by the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.” The new water supply will serve the Salesian Youth Center, kindergarten, parish office and rectory. The project included the installation of pipelines for a new water source, construction of a raised stand for the water tank, and installation of a water tank and motor pump.
The Salesian parish population serves close to 15,000 people, 90 percent of whom are poor subsistence farmers and sugarcane plantation workers. The majority of the people depend on the government for the basic services that are, more often than not, inefficiently delivered.
Inside the parish compound, Salesian missionaries operate a kindergarten program, which prepares disadvantaged children for formal education. Among elementary students in the Philippines, it’s been found that children who attend kindergarten fare much better academically than those who don’t. However, most kindergarten programs are operated by private institutions that require tuition fees. Most parents in Minoyan only earn a meager income for food which leaves nothing for the cost of education.
In addition to classes, Salesian missionaries also offer pastoral activities and gatherings, requiring a steady water supply for the parish. Prior to the project, the Salesian parish received its water supply from an old source that was also supplying water to a large number of households in Minoyan, leading to an inadequate water supply for the parish.
“The water projects we fund ensure that Salesian programs around the globe have access to safe, clean water for the health and safety of those we serve,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Access to clean water brings a sense of dignity to communities and promotes proper hygiene. This also reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools, keeping them away from important study time.”
Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines—working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. According to UNICEF, there are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent of the population are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent.
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