Goma, Congo & New Rochelle, NY (June 29, 2012) - According to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, the eastern most part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen continued military operations against armed groups which has led to internal displacement and food shortages. A Salesian-run school, Don Bosco Ngangi Center located in Goma, in the eastern section of the country, is feeling the effects and has begun raising funds to provide continued food aid to the children they serve. A recent cut-back in food aid from an organization that serves the Salesian-run school makes the situation even more critical.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has a long and checkered past, torn apart by years of civil war and continued internal security threats. According to the UNHRC, the Democratic Republic of Congo has more than 1.7 million people internally displaced and suffers from poverty and lawlessness. Young people are often recruited by warlords and serious infractions of violence against one another are committed by armed groups as well as civilians. The country ranks last for human development and has the lowest Gross National Product in the world.
The Salesians, with a long standing commitment of working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - having celebrated their 100th year in the county last year - are making sure that many of the country’s most vulnerable children are not forgotten. Close to seven million children do not have access to education because their families cannot afford to pay the required tuition for school. At the Don Bosco Ngangi Center though any child is welcome free of charge. The Center serves as a haven for the poor and suffering and many of the children have nowhere else to turn.
Built from the original school and sports field, the Center has grown to provide vocational training, refugee housing, a rehabilitation facility for child soldiers, nutritional center and medical center. In addition, Don Bosco Ngangi Center provides aid and services to the many surrounding refugees camps. Orphans, abandoned children, victims of disaster and refugees are among the 2,338 students who rely on the Don Bosco Ngangi Center as their only hope for a better future. For most of them, it’s also the only place where they can get a nutritious meal each day.
“Despite overwhelming obstacles confronting these children – not to mention the challenges of teaching and feeding them with limited resources – the results are encouraging and inspiring,” said Fr. Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions – the U.S. arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Students at Don Bosco Ngangi Center consistently boast the highest scored on the national exam for secondary school admission, a hopeful sign that children who need the most can be empowered to succeed.”
Donations are urgently needed to help feed the youth at this organization. To make a donation please visit SalesianMission.org.
International Human Development Indicators – Democratic Republic of the Congo
Protagonist of the Future Centenary of Salesians presence in the Congo – Video