ZAMBIA: 4 new classrooms benefit students
Salesian secondary school in Zatti community builds 4 new classrooms thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 21, 2022) Students have four new classrooms at the Salesian secondary school in the Zatti community in Kabwe, Zambia, thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. In addition to the classrooms, the project also installed new toilets for the classrooms.
Salesians were able to construct the foundation, roofing, walls, windows and doors of the classrooms, as well as install electrical and plumbing. They also furnished the classrooms. About 150 male students and 200 female students directly benefit from the new classrooms.
The majority of the households around the Salesian community are vulnerable, and education is needed so youth can learn the skills for employment. Kabwe previously had mining jobs that the local population relied on. Those jobs have left the area due to privatized mines, leaving a large percentage of the population unemployed. Young girls are especially at risk because they often cannot get an education and find themselves on the streets facing exploitation. Many youth in the region are forced to beg for money or engage in drug abuse and criminal activities.
Salesians started the primary and secondary school in Kabwe in partnership with other education organizations and the agreement of the government. The community where the school is based has many youth living in the area, and the other schools could not meet the demand for education, particularly grades 8-12. The Salesian secondary school filled the gap for poor youth who could not afford other schools. The goal is to provide training to equip them with the skills and the knowledge so they can live a self-sustainable life.
“We appreciate the donors who were able to help this Salesian secondary school build more classrooms to meet the growing demand for education,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Gaining an education with the skills needed for employment enables youth to take care of themselves and their families, improving their lives and their communities.”
Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.
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