HAITI: Feed My Starving Children rice-meal shipment distributed to students
Students attending Timkatec schools in Pétion-Ville had access to better nutrition thanks to rice-meal shipment from Feed My Starving Children.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Dec. 15, 2021) Students attending the Salesian-run Timkatec schools in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, had access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit Christian organization committed to “feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit.”
A rice-meal shipment was sent to Timkatec in 2020. It was distributed among the boarding school and the canteens of three houses that serve more than 600 children and older youth attending school. In total, the food shipment fed nearly 700 people—643 students and 50 employees.
Timkatec has two schools that received the donation including one with 200 boys ages 10-19 and one for girls ages 8-16. Food is distributed in the canteen in the mornings before class or at noon. Timkatec also has two vocational schools with close to 450 older youth, both boys and girls. Food is provided in the canteen at noon during school days.
The Timkatec school has existed since 1994 and was founded for former street children. Later, it was expanded to include local disadvantaged children who had not had the chance to attend school until ages 8-10. The vocational schools were added later so youth could learn a trade for employment.
One of the people who received the donation was Jerry Coriolan, who lives at the school and works as a guardian for the younger children. Coriolan finished his studies at the Timkatec primary school and now works at the school to pay for his secondary school fees. He is currently in his third year of secondary school and has three more years to complete.
Coriolan was an orphan and suffers from anemia. He was regularly in the hospital for tests and had to take medication for his anemia. Since he has begun to eat the meals from Feed My Starving Children, he has gained strength and is currently in good health.
“It is important that youth have access to healthy nutrition so they are able to take part in school and other activities,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Salesian feeding programs not only help with a balanced diet, but they also allow students to focus on getting an education without worrying about where they will find their next meal.”
Salesian missionaries began working in Haiti in 1935 in response to the Haitian government’s request for a professional school. Since then, Salesian missionaries have expanded their work to include 11 main educational centers and more than 200 schools across the country.
The 11 main centers each include a number of primary and secondary schools, vocational training centers, and other programs for street children and youth in need. Salesian programs are located throughout Haiti, including in the cities of Port-au-Prince, Fort-Liberté, Cap-Haïtien, Les Cayes and Gressier. Today, Salesian missionaries in Haiti provide the largest source of education outside of the Haitian government with schools providing education to 25,500 primary and secondary school students.
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