Through the generosity of donors, breakfast and lunch have been provided to poor children aged 3 to 18 years at the Don Bosco Youth Center, in Rundu. 200 children have been provided with two meals a day to help ensure healthy nutrition and give them the energy they need to be able to focus in school.

Emily Liyando, age 5, is one young recipient. Her mother died during childbirth, and she has never met her father. Liyando said: “I am cared for by my grandmother. I go to Don Bosco School in the morning and come home in the evening. We have nothing at home to eat so what I receive at Don Bosco is all that I have and I save some to share with my grandmother.”

Don Bosco Youth Center, opened in 2002, provides shelter and services for homeless youth. The center offers computer classes for 65 students, preschool for 70 children and school for 104 students who have dropped out of formal education. In addition, more than 80 youth attend the daily oratory activities including sports programming.

Salesian programs across Namibia are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.

The Salesians first came to Namibia in 1998 and are based in Rundu, the country’s second largest town. Namibia is just one of nine countries in Africa considered as ‘upper middle income’; but poverty is still prevalent with extreme wealth imbalances.

This means that poverty is still extremely prevalent, with matters made worse by the declaration of hunger as a national disaster in the drought-ridden country.

Republished from the Spring 2022 Salesian Bulletin