INDIA: Center provides food kits to 750 families thanks to funding from Salesian Missions
Salesian sisters have been providing assistance since the start of the pandemic.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 14, 2021) Salesian sisters with the Ferrando Center for Vocational Training, in Karnataka, India, were able to provide nutritional support for 750 families thanks to COVID-19 relief funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
Ferrando Center for Vocational Training is operated by Salesian Sisters of Mary Help of Christians and is surrounded by seven villages and two slums. Most of the people in the villages are poor, daily laborers, widows and children who have been in need of help since the pandemic started.
There are many who are struggling to find the means to survive. Salesian sisters have found that children are malnourished because of lack of food. There are also expectant mothers who need nutritious food to sustain themselves.
Because of the lockdowns and the lack of work, people simply do not have access to the means to provide for themselves, so the Salesian sisters have been providing assistance since the start of the pandemic. An initial feeding project provided 863 food kits to support 2,846 people.
Funding from Salesian Missions was utilized to buy food and provide food kits for 750 families to ensure they had nutrition for their health and well-being. Father Gus, Baek, director of Salesian Missions, said, “We have funded other initiatives like this to ensure that families have their basic needs met during the pandemic. Many people have been pushed further into poverty and must rely on their community to help them through this tough time.”
Ferrando Center for Vocational Training offers education, with a particular focus on young women in the region so they can find employment and become self-sufficient. Trainees benefit from free courses that provide certification and diploma training programs. Much of the education during the pandemic has been provided virtually. The center also offers career counseling and job placement that put trainees in contact with employers or helps them with starting a small business. The facility also has a hostel for young women who need to live on site.
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender.
Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
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