As organisations around the world feel the economic devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns, the Green Point-based Salesian Institute, which has been operating for 110 years, is facing unprecedented challenges.
Pat Naughton, chief executive officer of the non-governmental organisation which works with marginalised youth, said they were dependent on grant funding and individual donations to support their operations. As local and international funders were also being affected by economic downturns, less funding would be available to support NGOs and so he has urged the public to donate what they could to save the organisation.
“We are appealing to civil society who we know is being bombarded with many aid requests, to please consider the work the Salesian Institute Youth Projects has been doing for over 110 years in Cape Town. Our goal to uplift and provide training and employment opportunities for youth at-risk and facilitate sustainable livelihoods is an important one,” he said
“Despite the negative impact of the pandemic on the NGO sector, the organisation is operating remotely during the lockdown, providing essential services, such as food parcels to our beneficiaries in vulnerable communities across Cape Town,” Mr Naughton said.
“We designed the Learn to Live School of Skills specifically for vulnerable and at-risk children and youth. The school has been recognised as an independent school by the Western Cape Education Department.
“The programme provides basic education and skills training to youth at risk who, for a variety of socio-economic reasons, cannot cope in mainstream schooling. There are very few such schools and we cater for 230 learners aged 14 to 18 studying at various levels,” he said.
He said the donations, however big or small, will go towards the continuation of their programmes, post lockdown, addressing youth unemployment and skills development.
To support the Salesian Institute, go to https://salesianyouth.org/donate-today/donate/