On International Charity Day, Salesians Highlight Programs for Vulnerable Youth in Benin

Credit: Salesian Missions

On the occasion of the International Day of Charity marked September 5, members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) have highlighted their social programs seeking to empower vulnerable youth and families in Benin.

In a Monday, September 5 report, SDB members say that the “programs help youth meet their basic needs, receive an education and find a path out of poverty.”

“All of the youth in Salesian schools and centers come from situations of poverty,” the Director of Salesian Missions, Fr. Gus Baek has been quoted as saying in the report.

Fr. Baek adds, “While education is always our primary focus, we know youth are dealing with much more than just needing access to education.”

“Salesian missionaries work to meet basic needs like shelter, food and medical care while also working to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those who need it most,” Fr. Baek further says.


In the West African nation of Benin, SDB members say, “Children at Foyer Don Bosco, a home for abused and abandoned children in Kandi, Benin, have received food support thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions.”

“The funding provided food support for 36 children, as well as cleaning products and medicines for the infirmary,” Salesian officials in Benin say in the September 5 report, adding, “Ten girls and boys have also benefited from the purchase of toolboxes for various trades.”

Officials of Salesian Missions further report that “Foyer Don Bosco serves boys and girls in very complex situations, including those who have been abandoned by their families, victims of abuse, and victims of forced marriages.”

“The area of Kandi often has an influx of children who are on their own. Children are sometimes sold on the black market and exploited in the workforce,” officials of Salesian Missions say.

They note that a “transit home was started with the support of UNICEF to host these children, while guiding them to other homes or trying to find their families.”

More in Africa

“Foyer Don Bosco was created for children who have nowhere else to go or need to stay for long periods of time,” Salesian Missions officials say.

In collaboration with the juvenile courts of Benin, SDB members report that “minors who are in conflict with the law and in high-risk situations are assisted by the Salesians.”

“The border police also intercept children being trafficked from Niger and Burkina Faso,” the SDB members further say in the September 5 report.

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.