Hundreds in Lubumbashi Archdiocese in DR Congo Benefit
from Salesian Food Project
Wilondja Mayayu Luc is a young Salesian and one of the beneficiaries of the project. Credit: Salesian Missions
Close to 500 youth in Kansebula, a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Lubumbashi Archdiocese, can have a decent meal thanks to a food project started at a 44-hectare farm that belongs to the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB).
In a Monday, April 18 report, Salesian officials say the situation of the Kansebula youth who were unable to afford at least a meal each day was made worse by COVID-19, which pushed people into poverty.
“The ‘Food security for the youth of Don Bosco Kansebula’ project helped to provide food for 360 children and youth aged 6-22, as well as 83 young Salesians who are studying philosophy at Don Bosco Kansebula,” SDB officials say.
They explain that the goal of the food security project realized in partnership with the Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the SDBs, was “to help increase the yield from the farm to provide for the nutritional needs of those in Salesian programs and in the village.”
“Villagers living near Don Bosco Kansebula have used the farm to cultivate food for themselves and the community,” say Salesian officials.
In the report, a beneficiary of the SDB project says they have been able to solve some of the food insecurity challenges.
“I am very happy for the generosity shown in supporting our small community projects. The financial assistance provided has helped us solve difficulties related to food insecurity,” Wilondja Mayayu Luc has been quoted as saying.
The Seminarian who is his third-year of philosophy says the project enabled the Salesian Seminary to start raising broiler chicken, laying hens and to purchase some goats.
"We have also added some vegetables to ensure food security," Seminarian Luc says, and adds, “It was a great joy in our community to have a diversity of vegetables and animals.”
In the April 18 report, SDB officials express concern about DRC's poverty level.
They say, “Despite its vast material wealth, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has long been a very poor nation. Half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line living on less than $1 a day, especially those in rural communities."
They add that violence in the Central African country has made the situation worse.
"More than 8.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 4.1 million Congolese are now displaced with 620,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries. More than 7.5 million people do not have enough food to eat," say the missionaries who have been working in DRC for more than 100 years.
SDB officials say they have been working to ensure the most vulnerable children in DRC are not forgotten.
“Salesian primary and secondary schools and programs lay the foundation for early learning while Salesian trade, vocational and agricultural programs offer many youth the opportunity for a stable and productive future,” they say in the April 18 report.
Source : aciafrica.org