On International Happiness Day, Salesians Highlight Fostering “youth well-being” in Africa

Students learn computer science with added equipment at Don Bosco College Mimboman in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Credit: Salesian Missions

On the occasion of the International Day of Happiness marked March 20, members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) have highlighted programs promoting youth well-being around the globe, including Africa.

In a Sunday, March 20 report, SDB members say the programs “empower the youth, giving them a sense of well-being and happiness.”

“For the youth to be happy and have a sense of well-being, they must feel valued and have their voices heard,” the Director of Salesian Missions, Fr. Gus Baek, has been quoted as saying in the report.

Fr. Baek adds, “Youth must also have their basic needs met. Salesian missionaries meet the basic needs of disadvantaged and at-risk youth who often have nowhere else to turn. They provide education and skills training in addition to social and workforce development services to ensure a positive transition into adulthood.”

In the Central African nation of Cameroon, SDB members say, “More than 500 youth attending Don Bosco College Mimboman in Yaoundé, Cameroon, have access to additional computer equipment thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions.”


Prior to the donation, Salesian leadership says, “There were only 20 computers available to the students in the new school, which opened this academic year. With the funding, 55 computers will be available so more students can enroll in the computer science class.”

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

Fr. Sabé adds, “Our students have been studying computer science throughout the year without using a desktop or similar device. 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.”

The SDB member further says, “Very few schools in Yaoundé have computer resources at their disposal. We dream of providing two computer rooms with 55 computers in each room. This would give our school the golden opportunity to offer computer science education of quality, in order for our students to be properly trained, as they deserve.”

“The school provides education for vulnerable youth in the Mimboman neighborhood of Yaoundé,” SDB members say in the report.

More in Africa

In the Southern African nation of Namibia, SDB officials say, “Don Bosco Youth Center in Rundu, Namibia, has renovated a children’s playground thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions.”

Prior to the renovations, SDB members say, “The playground was in a dilapidated state and dangerous, leaving children without a place to play and connect with their peers.”

“With the donor funding, Salesians were able to buy renovation materials and paint. The children who attend the youth center come from very poor families and some of them have been abandoned,” Salesians say in the March 20 report.

They continue in reference to youth center in Rundu, “Since the launch of the primary school, close to 120 children use the playground each morning before school. On the weekends, 180 youth attending programs at the youth center utilize the playground. To safeguard the playground, Salesians have asked the school to contribute a small amount of money toward the maintenance.”

In the West African nation of Nigeria, Salesian missionaries have developed St. Joseph’s Farm, in Sagamu thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions. 


“The farm is a center for training, research and production on 25 hectares of land acquired by the Salesians. Forty farmers received training in better methods of crop production to help improve production and revenue. A piggery and fishery were also constructed with this funding,” SDB officials say in the March 20 report by Salesian Missions, the U.S.-based development arm of SDB.

They further say, “St. Joseph’s Farm assisted poor women and unemployed youth from the local area and provided training and hands-on help with farming techniques.”

“In addition, the project helped small farmers develop skills to manage their farms for increased productivity, self-employment and sustainability,” SDB officials say.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.