SIERRA LEONE: Donor funding helps marginalized students
700 students attend St. Augustine Agricultural Junior Secondary School.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 30, 2023) St. Augustine Agricultural Junior Secondary School, located in Lungi, Sierra Leone, received support from donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The school, which was established in 1984, has 14 classrooms, a computer lab, an infirmary/clinic and an administrative building.
The school provides education to marginalized students in the region. It currently has 700 students, 34 teachers and four auxiliary staff, including a nurse. Given the economic condition of the country and the challenges faced by students, the school recently reintroduced its feeding program. A portion of the donor funding went to support this program and ensure students in need have access to healthy nutrition through school lunch.
In addition, funding provided for school uniforms and to support salaries for the auxiliary staff. Maintenance and repairs of the school buildings, assembly and sport grounds, school fence, bathrooms and canteen also took place with the funding.
At the school, Salesian sports programming provides much-needed recreation and life skills for the students. Funding provided for table tennis equipment, balls, and jerseys for soccer, basketball and volleyball.
One Salesian at the school said, “On behalf of the school community, we want to take this time to say our profound thanks and appreciation to all the donors who helped support these efforts. This was the first time in the history of our school that we have been able to make such far-reaching and important improvements for our students, staff and school grounds.”
Salesian missionaries have been serving in Sierra Leone since 2001 when they began working to rehabilitate former child soldiers through the organization Don Bosco Fambul. Youth across the country face significant challenges in accessing education. With too few teachers and many school buildings destroyed in the war, resources are thin. Persistently high illiteracy rates mean that an estimated 70% of Sierra Leone’s youth are unemployed or underemployed.
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