Salesians Facilitate Water Access in Burkina Faso,
Food Relief in Southern Africa
The leadership of Salesian Missions, the U.S.-based development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), has facilitated access to safe drinking water to hundreds of youths in Burkina Faso and food relief to the deprived in three Southern African nations.
In a report shared with ACI Africa Thursday, August 27, the leadership of the New York-based agency has funded the construction of the “Sun Helps Us Succeed” water project, at the Don Bosco Center in Burkina Faso’s Archdiocese of Bobo-Dioulasso through the “Clean Water Initiative.”
“There had been a borehole dug and water tower ready, but the pump was required to complete the project. Photovoltaic installations are very appropriate in the area because it is sunny the whole year,” the leadership of Salesian Missions say in the August 27 report.
To sustain the water project, SDB Missionaries who have been working in the landlocked country since March 1993 are charging a “small fee” to people from outside the Center who get more than 50 liters of water daily from the project, officials of Salesian Missions say.
The money, they add, is expected to ensure “the maintenance of the water tower equipment.”
Started in October 1993, the Center hosts a technical school with a population of 306 students, and a home for 25 young people aged between 15 and 24 years.
On a weekly basis, members of SDB at the Center welcome more than 600 youths who gather to study, Salesian Missions officials indicate in the August 27 report.
To Ballé Diane, a professor of electricity at the technical school, the water project “has been of great benefit” since besides the clean water supply, his students were able to participate in the installation of the solar pump, thereby improving their knowledge.
“This project has impacted 540 students from the Don Bosco Center and many families benefit from this installation for water and energy. Many thanks to Salesian Missions and benefactors,” Prof. Diane has been quoted as saying in the report shared with ACI Africa.
Meanwhile, in the Southern African countries of Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa, the leadership of Salesian Missions has facilitated food relief efforts to support vulnerable families.
With funding from the development agency, SDB Missionaries in partnership with the Salesian Planning and Development Office in Johannesburg, South Africa were able to provide food to their centers in the three countries for donation to the needy.
“All Salesian sites that have received the donation have distributed the first food packages to youth and families in need and are now preparing for the second distribution in the coming weeks,” the leadership of Salesian Missions say in a separate August 27 report shared with ACI Africa.
They add, “The feedback Salesians are receiving from people receiving the donation is very positive.”
Further funding from Don Bosco Mondo in Germany is expected to boost the food relief program, besides supporting the production of masks for donation amid COVID-19 challenges, Salesian Missions officials say in their report.
According to the Director of Salesian Missions, Fr. Gus Baek, “Salesian missionaries have been providing education and social development programs to poor youth and their families long before the pandemic.”
“With these relief efforts, Salesian missionaries are ensuring families have their most basic needs met. Many people are out of work and unable to care for their families at this time. Salesians know the local landscape and help those most in need,” Fr. Gus Baek adds in the August 27 report.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa