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23/10/2015 - Italy - The Race of the Saints 2015: food, school and health care for children of Monrovia

(ANS – Rome) – The Race of the Saints is a sports initiative linked to solidarity and social commitment organized by the Foundation DON BOSCO IN THE WORLD.  In this its eighth year, it is associated with the "Ebola Orphans" project to support the ongoing work of the Salesians in Monrovia, Liberia. As a result of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in March 2014, there is a real humanitarian emergency in Monrovia.

Poverty, disease, food shortages, inadequate basic infrastructure and social stigma resulting from the infection posed a global challenge.  Now the interventions focus on food security, post-traumatic psychosocial support, assistance to orphans, restarting family-run production facilities, education support for children and strengthening community awareness.

According to UNICEF, more than 3,000 children have lost one or both parents because of Ebola. According to the Liberian authorities and to the Salesians, the most important challenges in the aftermath of the epidemic are in the areas of health care and good education. The Salesians are working in Matadi, in the slums of the city of Monrovia. They work mainly in the area of ​​education of children and young people by encouraging, promoting and supporting school education, integral formation, the development of quality techniques, so as to prepare the new generations to face the post-Ebola situation.

The Salesians in the Don Bosco-Sean Devereux Centre in Matadi and St. Joseph-8th Street are now engaged in several projects to support 1200 boys and girls, to keep them off the streets. The many young people of the two Salesian centres in Monrovia are engaged in the fight against infection through information, prevention, distribution of health and hygiene products and food.

The DON BOSCO IN THE WORLD Foundation helps through education and training. They provide support for 200 school children, especially orphans, and try to improve the learning environment in the Mary Help of Christians School through new equipment and staff updating.

Access to food – They seek to ensure access to food for the 200 children, with adequate preparation of meals, and for fifty families, with periodic distribution of food.

Access to health – They want to enrol 800 people (200 children and members of fifty families) in the official health system. They also want to ensure access to mental and psychological health care in a course of post-traumatic rehabilitation. They train health workers, restructure medical equipment and provide medical supplies to schools and families.

From 25 October until 1 November the number 45598 will be active for those who wish to make small donations. The Press Conference for the Race of the Saints in 2015 will take place on 31 October with a special testimony from Carl Lewis.

For more information:

Published 23/10/2015

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