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Salesians in Zambia Undertaking Agricultural Projects to Educate, Feed Children

On the farm in Zambia, Salesians will increase crop cultivation and hope to start raising animals including poultry, goats, pigs and rabbits. Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SBD) in Zambia have engaged in farming initiatives to help in the education and nutritional support of children at an orphanage in the Southern African country. 

In a report earlier this week, SDB members in Makululu settlement covered by Zambia’s Catholic Diocese of Kabwe say the realization of the farming initiative has been facilitated by the US development arm of the SDB, Salesian Missions. 

"Salesians developed the farm near the Don Bosco Children Home so that the food grown is a source of nutrition for the children and the local community," SDB members say. 

They add that during the November 2020 to April 2021 rainy season, maize, beans, soya beans and sweet potatoes were cultivated.

"The harvest was good and provided nutrition for the children at the center," SDB members involved in the initiative report about their project that was launched in 2018.

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They plan to increase crop cultivation in the next rainy season and to start rearing poultry, pigs, rabbits and goats, they say in the October 11 report.

In the report, the Director of Salesian Missions, Fr. Gus Bark, says the farm is also “a source of education for the young students.” 

According to SDB members at the helm of the project, more than 40 percent of children between the ages of 7-14 do not attend school in Makululu, a settlement that is also characterized by "great poverty".

The farm is also used as an agricultural training centre, SDB members say, adding that the initiative "helps break the cycle of poverty and provide for financial independence."

Meanwhile, in Cameroon, SDB members have also acquired computers to be used by 500 youth attending Don Bosco College Mimboman in the Archdiocese of Yaoundé, an initiative that Salesian Missions has facilitated. 

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In an October 12 report, SDB members overseeing the running of the institution say before acquiring the 55 computers, "there were only 20 computers available to the students in the new school, which opened this academic year."  

“This is the first time that our students are learning computer science using a computer,” Fr. José Maria Sabé, the bursar of the SDB institution, has been quoted as saying. 

The Salesians serving at the Cameroonian institution are excited with the partnership because "our students have been studying computer science throughout the year without using a desktop or similar device," Fr. Sabé further says.  

"Now, we are thrilled that they can do so, and students are very excited about it. On behalf of our student population, we truly appreciate your help to make this situation a reality," says the SDB Priest, addressing himself to the US development arm of SDB, Salesian Missions.

The new computers provide Don Bosco College Mimboman a "golden opportunity to offer computer science education of quality", he further says of the Don Bosco College Mimboman that provides education to vulnerable youth in Yaoundé.

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Fr. Sabé observes, “Very few schools in Yaoundé have computer resources at their disposal."