Papal foundation donates $2 million to fight desertification
Published: February 13, 2009
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A papal foundation donated more than $2 million last year to fight desertification and promote rural development in nine African countries. The John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel funds projects working against drought and desertification. The Sahel is the zone that cuts across Africa, dividing the arid Sahara in the North from the more tropical areas in the South. The foundation funded 208 projects last year, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican's office for promoting and coordinating charity, reported in a Feb. 13 press release. Some of the initiatives the papal foundation sponsored included: promoting beekeeping and honey making, and teaching farmers in Burkina Faso how to fight drought by planting specific kinds of vegetation, which also produce products for sale; setting up an educational center that provides day care in Mauritania so mothers can learn marketable skills and improve literacy; and building greenhouses for reforestation projects and planting nearly 20,000 trees in Niger.
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