Salesian students receive better nutrition thanks to partnership with Rise Against Hunger – MissionNewswire

3 centers receive a delivery of donated rice meals to ensure students have a healthy meal during the school day


(MissionNewswire) Students attending the Vincent and Don Bosco Lakay Foundation in Cap-Haitien and Don Bosco Lakay / Lakou in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, benefited from better nutrition thanks to a partnership between the Salesian Missions, the American branch of development of the Salesians of Don Bosco; and Rise Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organization that provides food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people. In 2020, each center received a shipment of donated rice meals to ensure students a healthy meal during the school day.

The Vincent Foundation provides education in six specialized workshops and has a working farm. Students in the Agriculture program study modern practices and technology and explore new techniques in agriculture, horticulture, and animal husbandry. The farm allows students to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom where they grow bananas, peppers and cabbages. There are also rabbits, goats, cows, chickens, pigs, ducks and geese.

Jamesly Jean-Louis, 22, is an agricultural student at the Vincent Foundation. At the end of his three years of studies, Jean-Louis would like to create an agricultural farm with a henhouse to provide access to certain foods that are otherwise rare in the region. Rise Against Hunger meals help Jean-Louis focus on his studies.

He said, “By eating a hot meal, I have the strength to work a whole day. It also encourages all students to do better work. Before meals at Rise Against Hunger, Jean-Louis had difficulty finding food, especially in the morning before going to the workshops. With meals, he no longer goes to his training feeling weak.

The donation of rice flour was also sent to Don Bosco Lakay / Lakou. Each of Don Bosco Lakay / Lakou’s five facilities specializes in a stage of life and the type of assistance needed by the young people served. At Foyer Lakay, the children live with their families for four years until the end of their apprenticeship in a technical profession. The Lakay program for street children provides shelter and educational services to street children in Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince. There are also vocational training programs where young people can study and acquire the skills necessary for long-term employment.

Daniel, 15, is in the Don Bosco Lakay program. He was born to a teenage mother who lived on the streets in Cité Soleil. Daniel survived his early years thanks to neighbors. When he was 8, he left his family and lived alone on the streets for the next five years. To survive, he becomes the lookout for an armed gang. However, one day Daniel did not see a police car pass by, and it led to a shootout between the gang and the police. Daniel was forced to flee and into hiding.

Before receiving meals from Rise Against Hunger, Daniel struggled to find food while living on the streets. He often ate leftovers from restaurants or food from the trash cans, and many times he resorted to food theft. Days passed when he had nothing to eat at all.

Now that Daniel is receiving food assistance, he is much happier and very grateful to those who have helped him. He has made a lot of friends and is well respected. As he gets older, he would like to be a cabinetmaker.

Salesian missionaries began working in Haiti in 1935 in response to the Haitian government’s request for a vocational school. Since then, the Salesian missionaries have expanded their work to include 11 main educational centers and more than 200 schools across the country.

Each of the main centers includes a number of primary and secondary schools, vocational training centers and other programs for street children and young people in need. Salesian programs are spread throughout Haiti, including the cities of Port-au-Prince, Fort-Liberté, Cap-Haitien, Les Cayes and Gressier. Today, Salesian missionaries in Haiti provide the largest source of education outside of the Haitian government with schools providing education to 25,500 primary and secondary students.



Photo courtesy of the Salesian Missions (contact for authorization of use)

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