In Kenya: A Practical Path Out of Poverty

Publication Date: 
July 30, 2012

In Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, most of the 3 million residents endure lives of extreme poverty—somehow persevering on a daily income of less than $1 a day.

Inevitably, slums have taken hold surrounding the more affluent neighborhoods, with associated high crime and meager availability of medical care. The few schools serving the disadvantaged community are beyond the means of most parents.

In such an environment, the combination of street children and drug addiction is a heartbreaking and growing complication.

But with its mandate to serve “the poorest of the poor,” Don Bosco Boys’ Town is making a real impact—transforming the lives of hundreds of destitute young people by providing a practical path out of poverty.

Established by the Salesians in the mid-1980s, it now provides technical and trade skills training to more than 300 students a year, and has long since opened its doors to girls as well. But its mission extends beyond job training, with a greater vision—to offer each student the opportunity for a life of dignity and good citizenship.

The two-year training program covers a wide variety of vocations, including electrical, carpentry, plumbing, welding, auto repair, dress-making, secretarial and a full spectrum of computer-related jobs. As part of a well-rounded education, extra-curricular programs—such as sports, music, scouting and prayer groups—are included. After graduation, the job placement statistics are excellent, with more than 80% of the graduates employed in their fields of study.

Hundreds of young lives are transformed by the experience at Don Bosco Boys' Town. Like Luciane Kimasha, a soft-spoken young woman, whose mother died in an accident and her father “soon followed due to the stress.” Orphaned and moving constantly among the houses of neighbors and relatives, a friend told her about Don Bosco Boys’ Town. She filled out the application and was accepted.

“I’m going to be a car mechanic,” Luciane explains quietly but with pride lighting up her eyes. “I was the only girl in the automotive program, but I never gave up! In the second year, another girl joined me, so now there are two of us. From the moment I set foot in here, I got very many advantages. First, I learned my automotive mechanics and I can handle any issue. But I also got spiritual nourishment in the Church and seminars on life choices.” Smiling modestly, she adds, “I have learned a lot.”

Your support of Salesian Missions enables us to fund programs like Don Bosco Boys’ Town and allows us to expand our efforts for the poor around the globe. Your contributions are a practical and effective way of demonstrating your love and compassion for children and families in need. Thank you for anything you can give today.

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