NAMIBIA: New parish house built with funding from Salesian Missions

5,000 people in community to access youth programs and the parish.

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 27, 2024) Top of Form Salesians in Rundu, Namibia, have a new house thanks to funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The house will directly benefit 11 Salesians, five of whom will be there full-time. The house will also benefit more than 5,000 people in the community who will be accessing youth programs and the parish.

A Salesian said, “The Salesian community in Rundu is grateful to be able to have a Salesian house, where the growing number of Catholics in Rundu can find spiritual assistance and counseling as needs arise.”

The Don Bosco Parish opened in 2019. At the time, local business people and the community constructed a hall to be used as a church. Over the years, administration space was added. Priests were driving to the church daily for Masses and other pastoral activities, which was expensive for the parish. Salesians needed a local house where they could live and rest after providing for members of the community. The house also reduces overcrowding where the Salesians had been staying.

The most recent phase of construction began in April 2023. It included finalizing internal parts of the home, including six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a sitting area, an entertainment area, a dining room, a kitchen, a storeroom, an office and a waiting room. Salesians also finished the roof, walls and installation of windows in the chapel, and the sacristy. In addition, plumbing and electrical work was completed.

The Salesian added, “The house that has been constructed with the funding from Salesian Missions will make the pastoral activities of the Salesians easier, especially allowing them to be near the youth who come to the parish for meetings, counseling and sporting activities.”

According to the World Bank, Namibia is one of nine countries in Africa considered as upper-middle income, but poverty is still prevalent with extreme wealth imbalances. Namibia’s poverty rate is 32% with an unemployment rate of 29.6%. Poverty in Namibia is acute in the northern regions of Kavango, Oshikoto, Zambezi, Kunene and Ohangwena, where upwards of one-third of the population lives in poverty. HIV prevalence in the country is 16.9%.

Salesian programs across Namibia are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.

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About Salesian Missions USA

Salesian Missions is headquartered in New Rochelle, NY, and is part of the Don Bosco Network—a worldwide federation of Salesian NGOs. The mission of the U.S.-based nonprofit Catholic organization is to raise funds for international programs that serve youth and families in poor communities around the globe. The Salesian missionaries are made up of priests, brothers and sisters, as well as laypeople—all dedicated to caring for poor children throughout the world in more than 130 countries and helping young people become self-sufficient by learning a trade that will help them gain employment. To date, more than 3 million youth have received services funded by Salesian Missions. These services and programs are provided to children regardless of race or religion. For more information, go to SalesianMissions.org.


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