(Ivory Coast). The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians – Salesians of Don Bosco – of the West Africa “Mother of God” Province (AFO) are present in seven countries: Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast. Since 15 November 2019 there is an FMA presence in Lagos, Nigeria.
The mission of the FMA is the education of the poorest young people and, above all, of the girls who, due to difficult family situations, abandonment or victims of violence, are the most vulnerable. The FMA manage youth centers, schools at different levels, centers for the promotion of women and/or for professional formation, shelters or boarding schools for children and young people.
In a family atmosphere and with Salesian pedagogy based on affection and trust in the potential of young people, they try to help young people to be authors of their life, to be professionally formed, to understand their role and task in society, to be able to take care of themselves, and to be agents of transformation in their environment and in society.
In Benin at Cotonou the FMA carry out educational and social promotion activities (struggle against the exploitation of young girls, reception center for videomègon’ girls, child mothers, etc.). In the Ivory Coast, in Abidjan, the FMA welcome girls at risk of abandonment and prostitution. They ensure cultural and educational awareness, and prevention activities.
At Touba, in Mali, they take care of the population in their health needs and manage a maternity ward.
In Togo and Ghana, the FMA promote human promotion and literacy activities, professional courses, and the oratory.
In Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world, to meet the young people of Koubri and its surroundings, there is a Vocational Training Center: hairdressing, cutting and sewing, cooking and baking, dyeing, informatics, and healthcare.
At Lagos there is a youth center with various socio-cultural and sports activities with the aim of helping young people to occupy their free time in a healthy way, in a family atmosphere, promoting education and educating to life.
During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FMA communities have had to face various emergency situations. With the arrival of the pandemic, the poverty rate in these countries has risen. They are committed to helping the population in many ways, procuring basic necessities, masks and soaps for hygiene, educating about restrictive measures to contain the virus infection.
The economic and social difficulties, the ongoing conflicts, and the great poverty challenge the FMA and call for interventions in many sectors for food, education, housing, migration in favor of the most vulnerable young people and families.
The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians collaborates in the mission in favor of populations in situations of hardship, and counts on the generosity and solidarity of everyone.
It is possible to send contributions and offerings in the manner indicated on the Web site of the FMA Institute, e indicando nella causale l’emergenza segnalata.
“God is not outdone in generosity”
(Don Bosco – MB II,254).