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Salesian Missionaries in Mali Offering “healthy educational entertainment” to Needy Youth

Salesian missionaries provide safe activities and education to help disadvantaged youth in Mali/ Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) ministering in Mali are offering educational entertainment to “disadvantaged young” in the neighborhood of Bamako in the country’s Archdiocese of Bamako. 

The youth are empowered through the “promotion of healthy educational entertainment for disadvantaged young people in the Niaréla neighborhood,” a project supported by Spain’s Municipality of Pozoblanco.

The program, SDB officials say in a Monday, June 28 report, “aims to strengthen support for disadvantaged youth through educational activities that promote cultural values ​​and the talent of each person.”

“Youth take part in organized sports, music, and free-time activities that are healthy and safe,” they say. 

In the report obtained by ACI Africa, the Priest ministering among the youth, Fr. Romeo Salami, says the project is important as “young people always need to feel together and united.”

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“Soccer and sport in general, as well as music and theater, are a way to bring joy even in times of confinement and social distance,” Fr.  Salami says, and adds, “Seeing the boys and girls so happy in this project is something that gives me joy.”

Apart from supporting the youth, the Salesian missionaries have been reaching out to vulnerable families amid COVID-19.  

With the support of Bosco Global, SDB members in Mali have been able to “provide essential food during the most difficult phases of the pandemic, carry out campaigns for raising awareness on COVID-19, promote proper hygiene and distribute materials to stem infections.”

Fr. Salami adds that courtesy of the collaboration, SDB members in the West African country “managed to comply with the safety measures required in most of our projects.”

“We distributed masks to every student and distributed disinfectants to the whole educational community,” he says, adding that last year, SDB missionaries in Mali availed hand-washing stations to Salesian vocational training centers across the West African nation. 

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“As in the whole world, here too COVID-19 has caused not only a health problem, but also a problem of reduced income or loss of jobs due to the confinement measures. And for the most vulnerable people, those who earn their living day to day, it’s a very tough situation,” Fr. Salami says in the June 28 reports. 

He adds, “Our goal is to stand by the side of the most vulnerable young people and their families in Mali.”