, 04 June, 2020 / 4:40 AM
On the occasion of the Global Day of Parents marked Monday, June 1, Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), joined other humanitarian and international organizations in reviewing initiatives toward parents around the globe in general and the support toward women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in particular.
In the Central African nation, Salesian Missions is helping women to become self-sufficient, through Don Bosco Center located in Bukavu Archdiocese in the Eastern region of the country.
The center supports women who wish to join groups run by the Association Villageoise d’Epargne et Crédit (AVEC), which loosely translates to an association for savings and credit in the villages.
“Every week, the women deposit 1,000 to 5,000 Congolese Francs (CF) (US$0.55-US$2.74), which is roughly 60 cents, into the group’s safe, in addition to depositing another 200 CF (US$0.11) in the solidarity fund,” the leadership of Salesian Missions has reported.
In the report published Monday, June 1 by Mission Newswire, the official news service of the Salesian Missions, the leadership adds, “After a few weeks, the group members can apply for credit and receive up to 10,000 CF (US$5.48) to help in situations of necessity such as the birth of a child, an illness or a death in the family.”
Since July 2018, the officials of the US-based agency have, through the center, helped in the creation of 20 groups consisting mostly of mothers.
“The women in the groups often have great ideas and projects, but they need help to start or strengthen their activities,” Salesian Missions leadership has said, adding, “Many of the mothers live in difficult situations and have problems related to their children’s health, food and school.”
In a bid to enable parents start income-generating activities and work towards becoming self-sufficient, officials at the Don Bosco Centre recently selected 100 mothers and a few fathers “all in serious need of additional assistance” to receive a small financial contribution from the Don Bosco Center.
“Supporting parents is essential to helping youth stay in school and focus on their studies,” Salesian Missions Director, Fr. Gus Baek has been quoted as saying and adding, “While our primary focus is on education, we also aim to provide wrap around services that help youth and their families lead healthy and productive lives.”
Celebrated annually throughout the world since 2012, the Global Day of Parents provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents for their commitment to children.
In marking the day, the United Nations leadership stated that the celebration “recognizes also that the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children. For the full and harmonious development of their personality, children should grow up in a family environment and an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.”
This year’s celebration had the theme, “Appreciate all parents throughout the world,” a message that was an endorsement of the struggles and sacrifices parents undergo globally in the process of raising their children to become good people.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa