Salesians in South Sudan Offering Education, Medical Care to Thousands at IDP Camp

Salesian Missionaries in South Sudanoffering education and medical care to thousands of Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) at the Don Bosco Gumbo camp n Juba. Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in South Sudan are offering education and medical care to thousands of Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) at the Don Bosco Gumbo camp n Juba.

In a Friday, September 30 report by Mission Newswire, the official news service of Salesian Missions, “Don Bosco Gumbo provides education for more than 4,000 children and older youth in its schools.”

“There are two kindergartens, two primary-middle schools, an accelerated elementary school, a secondary school, and vocational training center, which offers courses in electricity, mechanics, stoneworks-masonry, solar panel technician, welding and computer studies,” the Mission Newswire report indicates. 

In the report, officials of Salesian Missions, the U.S.-based development arm of SDB, say that “more than 700 older youth gain skills for later employment through this training.”

“The camp, established in January 2014 after the outbreak of the civil war in December 2013, currently hosts 10,000 people, most of whom are women, children and the elderly. Salesians provide shelter, food, education, medical care and other basic needs,” they add in reference to the IDP camp served Salesian missionaries based at St. Vincent de Paul Parish of Juba Archdiocese.


The September 30 report quotes the Director of Salesian Missions, Fr. Gus Baek, as saying, “Salesians constantly look for ways to expand what they offer, ensuring that those who need it most have their needs met.”

“The camp now has a Salesian medical clinic, a women’s promotion center, and sports camps to keep the children active and engaged. The clinic has been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fr. Baek add.

Officials of Salesian Missions say that “most of the people living in nearby villages have had little or no access to face masks, hand sanitizers, and immunization.”

“They have also had little information about the spread of COVID-19, leaving the population at risk,” they say, and add, “Salesians are working to create awareness and provide information to create healthy practices to fight the disease.”

"Salesians are also providing face masks, soap and hand sanitizers. After this project (was) launched, students, young adults, and people who are working started taking the necessary precautions while women in the villages and older people focused on engaging in the awareness programs and helping to spread the message," SDB officials say.

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They add, “Cooked meals were also provided for students and adults who required better nutrition.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.