Over 300 Vulnerable Youths in Namibia Receive Nutritional Support from Salesian Missions

Some members of the Don Bosco Youth Center after receiving nutritional support from Salesian Missions donors in Namibia

More than 300 vulnerable youth and children in the Southern African nation in Namibia affected by COVID-19 restrictions are receiving nutritional support through a feeding program at Don Bosco Youth Center, located in the Apostolic Vicariate of Rundu in the northern of the country.

Through funding from various partners, the U.S. development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), Salesian Missions, is facilitating the feeding program, the leadership of the project has said in a report shared with ACI Africa.

“The funding provided from Salesian Missions enabled us to feed the children, especially with the outbreak of coronavirus. The children were able to stay indoors during this tough time because of the food supply that was available for them,” the center’s Project Manager, Fr. Louis Malawi has said in a report published by the Salesian Missions official news service, the MissionNewswire.

In the June 25 report, Fr. Louis adds, “The aim of the feeding project is to provide food for the children who are now going through difficulties due to the hunger that has stricken the country.”

Opened in 2002 to provide shelter and services for homeless youth and vulnerable children, the center offers computer classes for 65 students, pre-school learning for 70 children, and school for 104 students who have dropped out of formal education, officials of Salesian Missions have reported.


More than 80 youth also attend the daily oratory activities including sports programming.

“As a center we want to provide these children with breakfast and lunch every day so that we can stop them from going back to the streets to beg and to expose themselves to the evils that take place in the streets,” Fr. Louis reported.

Located 700km from the capital city, Windhoek, Rundu is the second largest city in Namibia lying on the borders of Angola, Zambia and Botswana. 

The city is a desert area making cultivation of food very difficult, thus leaving the population of close to 110,000 people in abject poverty.

To cushion the natives against hunger, the DB center intends to train people in food security so that “whatever they may produce through alternative farming, they can stock it for the future use instead of using it immediately,” Fr. Louis says.

More in Africa

While Salesian Missions programs in the 2.4-million-population nation primarily focus on education, SDB members in Namibia strive to offer feeding support to youths who have dropped out of school, as well as vulnerable children.

“We appreciate the donor funding, which is helping us to feed the children,” Fr. Louis says.

Meanwhile, in Ethiopia, the Director of Bosco Children, Salesian Fr. Angelo Regazzo has explained why he could not dismiss the beneficiaries of the SDB program when the government directed the closure of all institutions of learning.

“We could not send the children gathered from the streets of Addis Ababa to the streets, they who had not yet finished the rehabilitation process to be reintegrated into their families. We would have lost them,” Fr. Angelo said in a report published by Agenzia Info Salesiana (ANS), the Salesians communication agency.

He further explains, “It was forbidden to go out and those very few who could go out and come back, including the driver, had to disinfect and wash thoroughly at the entrance gate. In this way, we have been able to stay healthy to date, but we must not let our guard down.”


Bosco Children have access to a library, computer school, sports, manual work, projection of educational videos, drawing competitions, as well as language study.

In their contribution towards curbing the spread of COVID-19, the Salesian Technical school within the center has set up a surgical mask factory that has distributed at least 15,000 masks for free.

“Every two or three days our driver with the pickup truck brings all these goods to the street children in the Assistance Centers and to many other poor people,” Fr. Angelo has reported.