NEW ROCHELLE, NY & HYDERABAD, INDIA (Nov. 2, 2015) The Salesian-run organization, Don Bosco Navajeevan, located in Hyderabad, the capital of southern India’s Telangana state, received 20,000 rice-meals from a recent meal packing event held by Stop Hunger Now in collaboration with staff from Synopsys India, a leader in global electronics.
Stop Hunger Now, an international relief organization that provides food and life‐saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable, holds meal packing events with volunteers from corporations, congregations, schools, colleges and universities and civic groups. During the recent event, volunteers worked in teams at packaging stations filling bins with raw ingredients, scooping ingredients into meal bags, weighing and sealing the bags, boxing and stacking them on pallets and loading the pallets and equipment onto a truck for shipment.
Stop Hunger Now partners with Salesian Missions, the U.S development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, which works to identify needs and coordinate delivery of 40-foot shipping containers full of meals supplemented with additional supplies when available. The partnership was developed in 2011 and since that time shipping containers including more than 20 million rice meals have been successfully delivered to 19 countries around the globe. The meals and life-saving aid has helped to nourish poor youth at Salesian schools and care for those in need of emergency aid during times of war, natural disasters and health crises.
Stop Hunger Now staff and volunteers have packed and shipped more than 215,000,000 meals along with other life-saving aid to 71 countries impacting millions of lives. The nonprofit provides more than just food aid. It also provides significant in-kind aid (such as food, medicines and other supplies) that support education and vocational training programs which are proven to have long-term sustainability—like those run by Salesian NGOs around the globe.
The donated meals from Stop Hunger Now are helping to enhance the educational environment for poor youth and are offered to students during the school day. For some students, the meals they receive at Salesian-run centers are the only meals they have each day. The food aid also serves as an incentive for families to send their children to school and as a result Salesian schools have experienced increased enrollment and students are thriving. Many have gained weight, suffer fewer illnesses and are more focused on their studies. Teachers are noting better student performance in classes as well as less conflict among students.
Don Bosco Navajeevan is a shelter and youth center that places special emphasis on rescuing and rehabilitating children engaged in child labor and offers shelter to child laborers and street children. Once a child arrives at the center, they receive shelter, food and clothing and are then eligible to participate in Salesian programs that focus on education and life skills training. The goal being to help the children break the cycle of poverty and go on to lead productive lives free from abuse and forced labor. Supplementary classes at Don Bosco Navajeevan cater to those who have missed school and have fallen behind academically. This necessary extra assistance enables students to enter back into mainstream schools. The donated rice-meals from Stop Hunger Now will be used to feed children living at and enrolled in programs at the center.
“Access to nutritious meals allows youth to be better prepared to take part in school activities and focus on their education,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Prepared students are more likely to learn valuable skills that will help them gain employment, break the cycle of poverty in their lives and enable them to give back to their communities.”
With programs in more than 130 countries around the globe and extensive knowledge and experience with aid shipments, Salesian Missions has one of the largest networks currently working with Stop Hunger Now. Salesian Missions’ programs are an integral part of the existing infrastructure in many countries and the organization plays an important role in making sure aid from the United States reaches its destination country and gets into the hands of those who need it most.
“The partnership with Stop Hunger Now allows Salesian Missions to expand its scope of services to youth in need,” explains Jessica O’Connor, property and logistics officer at the Salesian Missions Office for International Programs. “Stop Hunger Now is one of our favorite partners to work with because they are very flexible. They actively seek out opportunities to enhance shipments with additional donated items that the beneficiaries need and they go the extra mile to help Salesian Missions meet any additional emergency requests for food that it receives.”
Don Bosco India – Stop Hunger Now, Makes A Difference at Don Bosco Navajeevan