Salesians in DR Congo Securing Young Women’s Future in Education Partnership

166 girls and mothers in need graduate from “Don Bosco Ngangi” vocational training programs. Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are securing the future of young women in an education partnership with International Voluntary Service (VIS).

In a report published Wednesday, November 30, SDB officials say 150 women have benefited from the training organized at Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center in the country’s Goma Diocese.

“International Voluntary Service (VIS) supported Salesian efforts to train young women as part of the project to eradicate forms of violence against adolescent girls and adult women in vulnerable situations as well as victims of conflict in Goma,” Salesian officials say.

They add that the training is important because “empowering women is only one step in the fight to end violence.”

In the November 30 report, the Director of the U.S. development arm of the SDB, Salesian Missions, says that young girls and women exposed to formal education have a chance for a better life.


“By empowering women through education, we are putting their futures in their hands. They will be able to earn an income and support their children, make healthier choices, and have more stability in their lives while giving back to their communities,” Fr. Gus Baek is quoted as saying.

Salesian officials say that I66 young women, including many single mothers, have recently graduated from Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center. 

“More than 80 of them were trained in cutting and sewing, 49 as hairdressers and beauticians, and 33 in culinary arts,” they say. 

Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center has been providing social development, medical, and educational services to poor youth and their families since 1988. 

In the report, SDB officials say that despite its vast material wealth, DRC has long been a very poor nation. 

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“Half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line living on less than $1 a day, especially those in rural communities,” SDB officials say, and add, “Because of ongoing strife and violence within the country, more than 8.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.”

The Salesian officials say at least 4.1 million Congolese are now displaced with 620,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries while more than 7.5 million people do not have enough food to eat.

Amid the violence, SDB officials say the Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center “has welcomed, educated, cared for, and supported more than 26,000 children.”  

The institution, which started as a youth centre has expanded to assist those in the region affected by war, other violence and natural disasters, they say. 

In the November 30 report, SDB officials say that in 1997, the center added a kindergarten, elementary, secondary and vocational education as well as a literacy center and medical facility.


Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.