Salesians in DR Congo Offer “a specialized course” to Staff on Serving Street Children

Salesian home workers for street children participate in training session at “Don Bosco Ngangi. Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Goma city have offered training to some 20 Salesian staff on how to reach out to street children.

In a September 16 report by Mission Newswire, the Salesian Missions official news service, the training that took place at Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center having been organized by Fr. Jean-Pierre Muhima, Rector of the Salesian Community in Ngangi, benefited both the Salesian social workers and psychologists.

“Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center held a special course for Salesian staff and it focused on street children in Goma,” Salesian officials say in the report, adding that the training happened under the guidance of Fr. Aimé Lulinda, a specialist in social pedagogy and a street children researcher.

During the course, Salesian officials add, “close to 20 social workers and psychologists explored the principles used in Salesian centers for street children including reception, support, reintegration, or reunification.”

They say that the training was beneficial to the Salesian staff as “their skills were strengthened on the criteria, tools, and stages of reintegration or family reunification.”


As part of the training, the Salesian officials say, “Fr. Lulinda also shared his analysis of the reasons why children who seek support in Salesian centers sometimes return to the streets.”

In the September 16 report, the Director of Salesian Missions, the U.S.-based development arm of SDB, is quoted as saying that Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center is “one of the most diverse and comprehensive Salesian organizations in DRC.”

“Built on the grounds of a school and sports field, the Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Center has grown to provide vocational training, refugee housing, rehabilitation for child soldiers, and programs for those needing nutritional and medical care,” Fr. Gus Baek says.

The report indicates that the youth Center has been providing social development, medical and educational services to poor youth and their families since 1988.

Started first as a youth center, the Salesian officials say that the school “expanded to provide assistance to those in the region affected by war, other violence and natural disasters.”

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“In 1997, the center added kindergarten, elementary, secondary and vocational education as well as a literacy center and medical facility. In the midst of wars, violence and poverty, the center has welcomed, educated, cared for and supported more than 26,000 children,” the report indicates.

The report further indicates that the Salesian missionaries who have been serving in DRC for more than 100 years have sought to ensure that the most vulnerable children are not forgotten.

“Salesian primary and secondary schools and programs lay the foundation for early learning while Salesian trade, vocational and agricultural programs offer many youths the opportunity for a stable and productive future,” the September 16 report indicates.

Despite its vast material wealth, SDB officials say that DRC has long been a very poor nation as close to half of the country’s population, especially those in rural communities, lives below the poverty line.

 Because of ongoing strife and violence within the Central African nation, the report indicates that “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,” the SDB September 16 report indicates.

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.