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Salesian Missionaries Offering Education to Togolese Youth at Risk of Social Exclusion

Some youth being trained at the Foyer Jean XXIII Education and Formation Center in the Togolese city of Kara. Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) are offering education to at least 183 Togolese youth who are at risk of social exclusion. 

The youth are trained at the Foyer Jean XXIII Education and Formation Center in the Togolese city of Kara. 

“In Kara, many youth do not have access to education, and youth unemployment is very high. Most young people have unskilled jobs and precarious working conditions, which makes them even more vulnerable,” SDB officials say in a Tuesday, June 22 report.

They say that officials working at the center that is sponsored by Bosco Global, a Spanish Salesian entity, and the Municipality of Malaga, “ensure youth gain an education and find and retain employment.

“Salesian education is sometimes the only education they are able to access to become productive members of their community," members of SDB say in the June 22 report.  

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At the Foyer Jean XXIII Education and Formation Center, the youth who are mostly school dropouts are empowered through courses such as cooking, pastry making and sewing. 

“Once they complete the courses, youth receive a diploma recognized by the state that facilitates entry into the job market,” the Salesian officials say. 

They add that the Salesian Centre “adapts its courses to the needs of students and the local economy, ensuring that youth have access to the internships and apprenticeships they need to apply the skills they learned in the classroom.”

SDB missionaries and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), also called Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, have been working with the youth in Togo for almost half a century. 

In the July 22 report, SDB officials indicate that the Salesians Nuns and Priests present in the West African country "are committed to educating youth who are living in poverty and are marginalized in the community." 

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The Director of the U.S. development arm of the SDB, Salesian Missions, Fr. Gus Baek says, “Salesian missionaries play a vital role in their communities, helping to provide support and assistance to at-risk youth and those in need of an education.”

“Youth should be encouraged to gain an education in order to find stable employment. They are then able to support themselves and give back to their families and communities,” says Fr. Baek.