Youth attending Salesian schools and youth centers in Timor-Leste had access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and “Rise Against Hunger”, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
In the first quarter of 2023, Rise Against Hunger provided the funding that allowed the “Don Bosco Foundation” to buy and distribute locally sourced food to Salesian schools, centers and orphanages.
This project started in 2021. Since that time, Salesians were able to expand the project recipients from 11 to 14 programs. The additional programs include two Salesian orphanages, as well as “Canossa Technical and Vocational Training Center” in Manatuto.
The “Brother Carlos Gamba Technical and Vocational Training Center” in Fatumaca also benefited from the donation. The center was started in 2019 and provides youth an opportunity to gain an education and skills for future employment.
One of the youth recipients at the center is Osvaldo Cosme Nunes, who was not able to continue his education at a senior high school due to financial instability within his family. He was forced to stop his education once he graduated junior high school so that he could help his parents. After he left school, he was caught by the police committing crimes.
Nunes was brought to the “Brother Carlos Gamba Technical and Vocational Training Center”. He is in the process of rehabilitation and gaining an education so that he can later find a job. He is grateful for “Rise Against Hunger” and the meals he receives at the center.
Brother Amilcar Da Silva, head of the center, said, “Osvaldo and his parents are happy for the second chance he received. He is studying to gain future employment so he can be self-sufficient and help his family. The food we are able to give our students enables them to focus on their studies and gain an education.”
Salesian missionaries and Salesian sisters living and working in Timor-Leste operate educational programs, three orphanages for poor and homeless youth, and a medical clinic. In the wake of the devastating war that claimed countless lives, decimated entire communities and resulted in living conditions that are among the worst in the world, the Salesian community has been providing programs to help residents rebuild. Efforts are focused on helping poor youth through education and providing new opportunities for the future.
To find out more about the life-saving work of the Salesians in Timor-Leste, click here!
With thanks to ANS for this story