(ANS – New Rochelle) – “Salesian Missions”, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, recently launched its annual “Loaves and Fishes” fundraiser which raises funds to ship life-saving aid to more than 130 countries around the globe. Because the cost of shipping critical aid is far less than its value, donations are multiplied many times over. For every dollar donated, Salesian Missions is able to ship $14 worth of critical goods to its programs. The fundraising appeal runs through the end of June 2021.
Aimed at maximizing the impact of donor-assisted programs and answering the call for emergency aid deliveries, the Salesian Missions Property and Logistics Program is made possible by generous assistance from government and private sector partners. Millions of dollars in U.S. government-issued excess property and corporate in-kind donations are leveraged by an annual award to Salesian Missions from the USAID Ocean Freight Reimbursement Grant for humanitarian aid shipments. This award enables the Salesian Missions Office for International Programs to transport shipments of humanitarian aid and development commodities at low to no cost.
Salesian Missions also maintains several key partnerships that help to secure and donate critical aid like food, water, medicine and housing supplies. Partnerships with organizations like Feed My Starving Children and Rise Against Hunger ensure that students in Salesian programs have access to life-saving food aid that provides healthy nutritious meals so youth can focus on their studies and receive an education.
Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, said, “Thanks to the fruitful partnerships we’ve fostered with generous humanitarian organizations who donate these supplies, we are able to use the funds we raise through Loaves and Fishes to get them directly into the hands of people who need them most.”
These partnerships are vital to institutions like the Don Bosco Children and Life Missions (Don Bosco CALM) orphanage and the Don Bosco Primary School in Namugongo, Uganda. Father Elie Nayndwi, who directs both programs, explained, “Our financial, human and logistic resources are scarce. We face difficulty in feeding children, paying for their school fees, scholastic materials, medical assistance and paying monthly salaries for our workers.”
In 2019, thanks to an ongoing collaboration with Rise Against Hunger and support of the Loaves and Fishes campaign, more than 75,000 rice-meals were shipped to Salesian programs. As a result, missionaries were able to reallocate resources and funds to support other critical needs of students and operational expenses needed to provide life-changing education and services at Salesian schools and programs.
Salesian feeding programs are more importantly helping students to thrive personally and academically. Many students have gained weight, suffered fewer illnesses and became more focused on their studies. In addition, teachers are seeing better student performance in class, a decrease in absenteeism and an increase in program enrollment rates.
More than 30,000 Salesian missionaries are dedicated to caring for poor and at-risk youth in programs around the globe. Salesian programs assist poor and disadvantaged youth through education (academic, trade, agriculture) and workforce development initiatives, emergency relief and humanitarian aid, infrastructure support, clean water initiatives, and nutritional and health services.
To learn more and make a donation, visit: www.salesianmissions.org