No matter what issue or country around the world tugs at your heart, Salesian Missions supports what you care about most.
Salesian Missions is dedicated to caring for poor children throughout the globe in more than 130 countries. Its more than just feeding the poor or helping homeless children. Our mission focuses on rebuilding lives and helping young people become self-sufficient by learning a trade that will help them gain employment, which in turn builds communities.
More than 3 million youth have received services funded by Salesian Missions. These programs are provided to children regardless of race or religion. Salesian Missions is innovative and skilled at designing programs that are customized to meet the immediate needs of the communities they serve. Therefore, their programs are vast but generally fall into a few basic categories.
To date, more than 5 million Americans have helped make these programs possible through their generous donations (82% of all donations go directly to programs that help those most in need).
Salesian Missions focuses on these areas:
Youth Education & Trade Schools
There are more than 3,408 Salesian schools around the globe. Education has proven to be an effective means to break the cycle of poverty, while giving the most vulnerable youth a sense of personal dignity and self worth. Elementary and secondary education lays the foundation for early learning. Salesian Missions vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools give practical skills to youth to create productive and contributing adults in their communities—rebuilding communities and stopping the cycle of poverty.
Infrastructure and Capacity Building
Salesian Missions build hospitals, schools and youth centers as well as community infrastructure support for electricity and water when needed. In Bolivia, a new hydro-electrical station built in partnership with Salesian Missions and the community is providing electricity for many places in the regions of Cochabamba and La Paz.
Salesian Missions care for the sick through 216 clinics and hospitals located mostly in rural areas. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease has been part of their concern for the sick for well over 100 years. Salesian Mission leper hospitals and leprosy control programs are found in Brazil, Colombia, India, Thailand, Macao and a number of nations in Africa. HIV/ AIDS prevention programs are also part of the Salesian Missions work in Africa. Dental programs and other necessary health services can also be found in many of the countries that have Salesian Missions programs.
With Salesian Missions global reach, they are perfectly positioned to aid in emergency relief during times of natural disasters, traumatic circumstances and civil war. Salesian Missions programs can be found relieving famine in Africa, assisting flood victims in India, offering refugee assistance in Europe and feeding undernourished children in the Philippines and in the slums of Haiti.
Salesian Missions cares about the growth and development of women in the communities they serve. Women are the backbone of the family structure and by providing women necessary education, training skills and support, families are made stronger. Social outreach programs, child care support, and job training allow for women to work at every level of production and management jobs supporting and keeping their families intact.
One of the biggest struggles in underdeveloped countries around the globe is the rise of children of all ages living on the street. Youth shelters and homes offer an array of basic needs for these children including; safe shelter, food and clothing. More importantly, these programs help to stabilize and educate homeless youth so that they have more options and opportunities than life on the street. Salesian Missions is involved in many projects that help protect and promote the well-being and rights of these vulnerable youth. Efforts are also made to reunite street youth with their families when possible.
Refugee Camps and Displaced Populations
According to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, there were 43.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2009, many of whom were youth. Salesian Missions provides assistance in refugee camps throughout the world, often in the form of technical vocational training and job placement services, which empower refugees and internally displaced persons with marketable skills. Such training and assistance is provided in safe and supportive environments, enabling youth and their families to slowly rebuild their lives.
Functioning side by side with Salesian Missions schools, youth clubs offer youth opportunities for engaging in constructive activities during their leisure time. Through organized projects often including sports and music, youth are taught team work, social skills and have opportunities for growth and maturity. Some youth clubs also offer small medical clinics and where needed lunch programs to protect children from malnutrition.
Food Security Programs
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, there are more than 850 million people who are undernourished around the world, about half are youth. Undernourishment is a direct result of poverty and lack of food resources which affects health and well being as well as the ability to be productive. Salesian Missions food aid programs feed youth healthy meals in schools in order to reduce child malnutrition. Salesian Missions also works to improve household food availability through increased agricultural productivity. Growth and development is the sustainable and long-term way to combat poverty and provide food security.