Salesians in Burundi Boost Learning in Partnership Realizing “access to better nutrition”

Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in Burundi are boosting learning at their institution in the country’s Catholic Diocese of Ngozi in a partnership that is realizing “access to better nutrition”.

In a March 6 report, SDB officials say Don Bosco High School has been facing the challenge of limited food supplies because of excessive rain that destroyed crops in the region.

Learners at the school “had access to better nutrition during the second half of 2022 thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable,” they say. 

In the report, Denis Niyonsabaa, a beneficiary of the initiative, says his parents sent him to the school “because of its good reputation due in part to the Rise Against Hunger meals and the quality of the education.”

On his part, the Bursar of the school, Fr. Elie Nyandwi, says the donation from Rise Against Hunger has helped the institution make some savings that go into “solving some of the many other problems”.


“Since we started receiving the Rise Against Hunger meals, our organization can now breathe and save some money for solving some of the many other problems that we face,” Fr. Nyandwi is quoted as saying.

He goes on to highlight the challenges bedeviling the country, saying, “Burundi is in the Great Lakes region of Africa, a region which is socially, economically, and politically unstable. We have many orphans and other vulnerable young people who need a lot of support.”

In addition to providing meals for the students, SDBs have also started an agricultural project on six hectares of the school land. Maize, Beans, and Vegetables have been planted at the farm. 

In the March 6 report, SDB officials say students are able to eat some of the vegetables grown on the new farm thanks to the farming initiative.

According to the United Nations Children's Fund  (UNICEF), children in Burundi are some of those the country’s rampant poverty has affected the most. 

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“Fifty-three percent of children under the age of 5 suffer from growth stunting caused by inadequate food, low-quality diet, poor infant feeding practices, poor household management of childhood diseases, and the general decline of the country’s health system,” says UNICEF. 

Salesian Mission and Rise Against Hunger have been providing food for students in various nations since 2011. 

In the March 6 report, SDB officials say food shipments have been successfully delivered to countries across the world since the partnership began. 

“The meals and life-saving aid have helped to nourish poor youth at Salesian schools and programs and care for those in need of emergency aid during times of war, natural disasters, and health crises,” Salesian officials say.

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.