Salesians in DRC Fostering Youth Talent in Art, Craft, Recreational, Religious activities

Salesian Boscolac community provides education and social programs for 100 youth. Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are boosting the talents of dozens of young people through art and craft, recreational, and religious activities.

Realized at the Boscolac educational Centre that is located about 20 Kilometres from the country's city of Goma, the facility is the only Salesian educational center in the suburban area that is inhabited by "the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations", according to a Monday, August 15 report.

In the report, the leadership of Salesian Missions, the U.S.-based development arm of SDB, says that the "youth are happy to participate in the educational, recreational, and religious activities available."

"Boscolac provides an opportunity for youth to learn a trade at the Salesian vocational training center," Salesian officials are quoted as saying in the August 15 report, adding, "Youth take courses in cutting and sewing and develop their talents at the oratory through theater, music, and sports. Close to 100 youths attend these activities."

They express gratitude to Marineo Solidale group that facilitated the realization of Boscolac educational Centre, adding that the partner "initially supported the schooling of 10 youth and the purchase of materials for the oratory’s activities.”


“Other benefactors have also been important for the continuation of activities," SDB officials say in the report in which the Director of Salesian Missions notes that access to education is one way of eradicating poverty among the youth as their talents are boosted.

“Youth who are living in poverty and are able to access education and social programs have a chance at a better life," Fr. Gus Baek is quoted as saying in the August 15 report, adding, "Salesian programs aim to help children live safely while getting the emotional support they need and the education that will help them lead productive lives.”

The Salesian officials further say that their members "have been working in DRC for more than 100 years ensuring that the most vulnerable children are not forgotten."

Salesian primary and secondary learning institutions provide the foundation for early learning while trade, vocational and agricultural programs provide many young people the opportunity for a stable and productive future, SDB officials say.

Despite its vast material wealth, SDB officials say, "DRC has long been a very poor nation. Half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line living on less than $1 a day, especially those in rural communities."

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Because of ongoing strife and violence in the Central African nation, the officials of the New York-based entity say, "more than 8.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 4.1 million Congolese are now displaced with 620,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries. More than 7.5 million people do not have enough food to eat."

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.