ZAMBIA: Youth center begins goat project with funding
Project supported with donor funding through Salesian Missions.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (April 3, 2023) Top of Form Don Bosco Youth Center in Kazembe, Zambia, has launched a goat-rearing project thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The funding provided 28 young goats and the construction of a small barn to shelter them.
Don Bosco Youth Center has a large parish with 6,000 parishioners with 30 outstations, as well as a carpentry school with a boarding house for 20 students. More than 1,000 youth attend programs at the youth center each day. The center is located on a large piece of land with a volleyball court, areas for soccer and basketball, a hall with two offices and three storage rooms, and an outdoor stage.
With the funding, Salesians were able to construct the barn behind the stage and connect their water source to the structure to supply the goats. They are hiring a local worker to look after the goats.
Father Jacek Garus, rector of the Salesian community, explained, “The goats will be used as a food source for the children at the youth center. We aim to become self-sufficient. Instead of buying meat in the market, we can produce it here at our facilities. It can also become a source of income for us as goat meat is very popular here.”
In addition to daily activities at the Don Boco Youth Center, Salesians provide lunch on Saturdays for 70 youth who are part of the distance adoption program where donors help sponsor children to go to school. Twice a year Salesians organize a summer camp for more than 100 youth. During the camp, Salesians provide breakfast and lunch.
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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