Cairo Oratory Salesians Reaching Out to Sudanese Refugees with Education, Social Services

General Councilor for Missions meets with Sudanese refugees. Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) are reaching out to Sudanese refugees at Don Bosco Zeitoun Oratory in Cairo, Egypt, with education and social services. 

In a report published October 27, SDB officials say, “Don Bosco Zeitoun, located in Cairo, Egypt, provides education and support to Sudanese refugees in the country.”

“Work with refugees began in 2000 when several arrived at the Salesian organization hoping to celebrate Catholic Mass,” SDB officials say, adding that the Salesian community in the capital city of the North African country “welcomed the refugees with open arms.”

“Initially, the Comboni Fathers were responsible for working with the refugees but gradually that work transitioned over to the Salesian community,” SDB officials further say in the October 27 report.

They add, “Since space is very limited, Don Bosco Zeitoun Oratory organizes activities for refugees three days a week.”


“An average of 250 children attend the oratory, and mothers have their own meetings,” SDB officials say, and add, “On the three days when not working with Sudanese refugees, the Don Bosco Zeitoun Oratory organizes activities for as many youth from the neighborhood as possible.”

Salesians’ General Councilor for the Missions, Fr. Alfred Maravilla, is said to have recently met with Sudanese refugees at Don Bosco Zeitoun “where he celebrated Mass and thanked the refugees for their continued faith.” 

“I encourage parents to share faith with their children and send them to the Salesian oratory, where they can grow in faith and learn skills to integrate into Egyptian society,” Fr.  Maravilla is quoted as saying in the October 27 report.

In the same report, the Director of the U.S development arm of the SDB, Salesian Missions, is quoted as saying that the “Salesian programs across Egypt provide education and social development services for youth and their families living in poverty and for refugees new to the country.”

“Youth, regardless of faith and religious background, are able to access the Salesian programs and gain assistance with homework, connect with their peers, and be connected with adults who provide mentorship and support in their lives,” Fr. Gus Baek says.

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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.