Hundreds in Togo’s Lomé Archdiocese Get COVID-19 Relief Items From Salesians’ Charity
Close to 500 residents of Togo’s Archdiocese of Lomé have received COVID-19 prevention materials and food kits whose purchase was facilitated by Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB).
“Many people, both older and young, were supported by the donor funding,” the leadership of the U.S-based development agency says in a report shared with ACI Africa Tuesday, October 27.
Lady Donyon is among the beneficiaries of the Salesians’ initiative. A widow in her sixties, Lady Donyon lives in the district of Ablogamé, downtown Lomé in the home she had shared with her husband, the Salesians say in the October 27 report.
“To survive, she had been selling charcoal, but her late husband’s sons did not give her time to develop her business,” Salesian officials say in the report and add in reference to Lady Donyon, “Her only child who is with her has mental health struggles, which complicates the situation.”
Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Lady Donyon has been collecting water sachets for resale, with the help of one of her grandsons. When her other grandchildren come back from school, they head to the market to do odd jobs at a fee, SDB officials have reported.
With the pandemic “slowing things down” and making it hard for Lady Donyon to earn enough to feed herself and the grandchildren, the food kits facilitated by Salesian Missions and delivered through SDB missionaries serving at Maria Auxiliadora Parish in Lome Archdiocese have been of much help.
“This kit will allow me to feed myself and my little two grandsons and my child. This will also allow us not to go out all the time looking for sachets for the next few days,” Lady Donyon has been quoted as saying in the October 27 report shared with ACI Africa.
She adds, “I sincerely thank the donors and all those who have thought of us.”
The West African nation of Togo has recorded at least 2,204 COVID-19 cases, 1,608 recoveries and 53 related deaths.
According to the leadership of the New York-based Catholic agency, Salesian missionaries “have been responding to the needs of poor youth and their families since the coronavirus pandemic started earlier this year.”
“In Salesian communities, parishes, schools and institutions, the missionaries are providing face masks, ensuring access to soap and clean water, providing food and hygiene kits, and changing how they provide educational lessons,” the Salesian Missions officials say in the October 27 report.
Beyond COVID-19 prevention materials and food items, the Salesian missionaries are also focusing on how people are coping emotionally amid the quarantines and lockdowns, the officials of the Salesian development agency note in their report.
They add in reference in SDB missionaries in Togo, “In many areas, they are finding ways to help support their community members with online activities, call-in support lines and psychosocial support.”
Source: ACI Africa