Thanks to Salesian Missions, food has been provided to those who need it most in Eswatini

At least 2,300 people in Eswatini had access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit Christian organization committed to “feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit.” The food shipment was sent in 2022 and shared with several Salesian programs and communities.

The recipients included Manzini Youth Care residential care homes, Bosco Youth Agricultural Center, Ticancweni Care Point, Skom Care Point, Hosea’s Heart (a girl’s home), Elwandle Community Primary School and five rural communities. The rice-meals helped people who are marginalized, unemployed and living in informal settlements, and from rural communities who are unable to meet their needs.

A Salesian missionary noted, “People residing within these communities often have several other needs, such as clothing, and a lack of access to other basic needs, such as education, skills development programs, and recreational and sporting programs. With the help from Feed My Starving Children, we were able to provide our communities with a balanced diet and allocate our resources to addressing and supporting other various needs of the community. We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the organization for its continued support.”

One of the recipients impacted by the donation was Mancoba Dube, age 17. Dube was rescued from the streets of Manzini where he earned a livelihood begging and doing odd jobs. Before coming to Manzini Youth Care, Dube said he was unsure about his future.

Dube stayed at a Manzini Youth Care residential home for seven years while attending primary school education. In 2019, he was reintegrated into a relative’s community but continues to receive Salesian support with school fees, food, other school related materials and psychosocial support. He has two older brothers who were on the streets of Manzini and were also supported by Manzini Youth Care.

The Salesian missionary added, “With the donated meals, we are able to support young men like Mancoba and give them hope when they feel the most hopeless. The children do not have to worry about when their next meal will be and are constantly eagerly waiting for more meals to arrive.”

The people of Eswatini face immense challenges including poverty, chronic food insecurity, HIV/AIDS and a climate that is often unpredictable. According to the World Bank, an estimated 63% of the population lives below the poverty line, and about 29% lives below the extreme poverty line. The HIV/AIDS prevalence of 31% of the population is among the highest in the world and life expectancy has fallen to approximately 49 years.

Salesian missionaries work to meet the most basic needs while providing education to youth in need. With education, youth can find and retain employment and in turn give back to their families and communities.

With thanks to ANS for this story