Salesian Missions highlight food programs and organic farming initiatives – MissionNewswire

Salesian programs work on the front line to help feed the most needy

(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Missions, the American branch of development of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins the international community and organizations around the world in celebrating World Food Day. Celebrated annually on October 16, the day was created to draw attention to the plight of the hungry and undernourished people around the world while providing an opportunity to better understand the complex solutions to end to hunger.

This year’s theme, “Our Actions Are Our Future,” focuses on how food is eaten and its effects on health and the planet. More than 3 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet. Of that number, 821 million people, one in nine, still go to bed hungry every night, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

In addition, agrifood systems employ 1 billion people worldwide, more than any other economic sector. The FAO noted: “The way we produce, consume and, unfortunately, waste food takes a heavy toll on our planet, putting unnecessary strain on natural resources, the environment and the climate. Food production too often degrades or destroys natural habitats and contributes to the extinction of species.

The Salesian Mission runs feeding programs in its schools and centers made possible through partnerships with organizations like Rise Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the most vulnerable. of the world. The Salesian Missions identify needs and coordinate the delivery of 40-foot sea containers filled with meals and supplemented with additional supplies when available.

“The programs of the Salesian missions are dedicated to providing feeding programs to ensure that young people have a healthy and nutritious diet,” said Fr Gus Baek, director of the Salesian missions. “During the pandemic, Salesian missionaries, staff and volunteers worked in countries around the world to ensure that out-of-school children, families who have lost income, migrant workers and those living in the extreme poverty, often on the margins of society, have enough to eat. . From providing hot meals to food kits, Salesian programs work on the front lines to help feed those who need it most.

On this World Food Day, the Salesian Missions are proud to highlight food programs and organic farming initiatives in schools and centers around the world.


In India, Salesian organizations provide food kits and baskets to guarantee adequate food for those living in poverty.

Salesian missionaries in India continue to help those affected by the deadly second wave of COVID-19. Don Bosco Nava Nirman, in Maniguda, Odisha State, provided free food kits to migrant workers, slum dwellers, rag pickers, beggars, street vendors and tribal families. The Salesians wanted to ensure that people living on the margins of society and facing the most difficult circumstances still have access to adequate food.

In addition, Don Bosco Nava Nirman, with the support of Bosco Seva Kendra, the planning and development office, distributed essential foodstuffs including rice, oil, fruits, vegetables and cookies, as well as as masks to more than 300 families. Father Arul Das, director of Don Bosco Nava Nirman, led the program with the collaboration of community members, who also visited Bosco study centers in tribal villages and distributed fruit to the children.

In Mumbai, Don Bosco Nerul also ensures that local communities have access to adequate food. He set up the Don Bosco Cares refrigerator where donors can leave food for other members of the community. Almost 70 percent of donations are made by teachers in local Salesian schools. The rest of the donations come from passing people who have the capacity to donate.


Bosco Global is launching a new training course in agroecology for 10 Salesian students in Senegal.

Bosco Global recently launched the “Cultivating Youth Skills” program. Project “Training in agroecology in Tambacounda (Senegal)” with the support of the Minorquin Fund for International Cooperation. The initiative supports the education and training of 10 students who attend the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Tambacounda and their families, which includes around 50 people in total.

Young people learn organic farming techniques, soil enrichment and water optimization. The pupils have been allocated rural plots and some of them have already started working. The project will help curb desertification and enrich soils that are now impoverished due to a lack of nutrients and water, as well as climate change, which shortens the rainy season.

Thanks to this project, some students are already thinking of setting up a business to market their crops. At the end of the agroecological training, students will also be offered a course on obtaining microcredit.


The Salesian Family provides 600 bags of food to those living in vulnerable situations in Thailand.

The Salesian Family of Thailand recently launched the “We are in the same boat” campaign to help bring relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative provided 500 bags of food to poor residents living in Khao Yoi, Phetchaburi province and Ban Pong, Ratchaburi province. Another 100 bags of food were distributed to Myanmar refugees staying along the border of Kanchanaburi province. The event took place on the grounds of the Salesian Society in Bangkok.

Thailand’s COVID-19 pandemic still affects between 2,300 and 3,000 people who test positive every day. Many work in large factories and in close contact with each other. The virus has also spread to neighboring villages. The government has made an effort to vaccinate people, but the numbers are still low.

There are also refugees from Myanmar who flee to Thailand for safety reasons but find that once they arrive, they face difficulties settling down. These families have few resources and are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.


In Uganda, Salesian missionaries in the Palabek refugee resettlement camp provide food aid to 800 people with funding from Salesian missions.

The Salesian missionaries living and working in the Palabek refugee resettlement camp in Uganda were able to provide food aid to 800 people in the camp thanks to funding from the Salesian missions.

Even before COVID-19, living conditions in Palabek were not easy. Food distribution was scarce and there were difficulties in accessing drinking water. With the arrival of the pandemic, everything has become even more complicated. The amount of food delivered to refugees once a month has been reduced by 30 percent, classes and activities have been suspended, and episodes of violence, alcoholism and teenage pregnancies have started. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warns that unless urgent action is taken to address the situation, levels of acute malnutrition, stunting and anemia are expected to increase, especially among the children.

In addition to providing food directly, Salesian missionaries strive to counter the food shortage by growing food, including cereals, vegetables and, if possible, cash crops such as sim sim, peanuts and the sunflower. The objectives are to promote vegetable and fruit gardens, to rent land from local Ugandans and to create collaborative agreements with the host community. The Salesians provided several hundred kilograms of corn, beans, soybeans, sim sim, peanuts and many assorted vegetable seeds. They also provided tons of cassava cuttings.



INDIA: most vulnerable people receive essential food

ANS Photo (authorizations for use and guidelines should be requested from SNA)

Salesian missions

SENEGAL: young people learn organic farming techniques thanks to new project

ANS Photo (authorizations for use and guidelines should be requested from SNA)

THALANDE: refugees and other vulnerable people receive food aid

ANS Photo (authorizations for use and guidelines should be requested from SNA)

UGANDA: Refugees receive critical food aid, support for agriculture

Photos courtesy of the Salesian Missions (contact for authorizations of use)

World Food Day 2021

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