CHILE: Don Bosco Foundation facilitates TechCamp for children and older youth
(MissionNewswire) From Jan. 7-18 this year, children and older youth participated in TechCamp, a technological camp facilitated by the Don Bosco Foundation and hosted by IF Blanco Recoleta, a collaborative space located in Recoleta, Chile. TechCamp was launched thanks to a joint venture between the Don Bosco Foundation and the Committee for the Democratization of Computer Science of Chile, a non-governmental organization with a mission to bring technology to as many people as possible and a focus on training and work inclusion.
TechCamp helped students learn about technology and its importance in the world in both education and work. Salesian missionaries around the globe place an emphasis on technology in order to prepare students to enter the workforce or pursue an advanced education. Many students in Salesian programs in Chile have not had consistent access to computers and do not possess the knowledge or competency to use them in today’s society. TechCamp helped ensure that its participating students are able to access technology and learn how to use it effectively.
“Computer education plays an important role in a student’s career development,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Teaching technology skills and giving students access to a computer with internet is one of the most powerful ways for students to learn new skills and be exposed to more advanced versions of current lessons.”
Since 1998, the Don Bosco Foundation has provided programs to assist vulnerable children and older youth who are faced with social isolation, exclusion and a lack of opportunities. The organization employs 170 people in three programs for street children and at-risk youth that include a family residence and a reception center for street children. It is currently serving nearly 160 street children across more than 15 municipalities in Santiago.
In 2018, the Don Bosco Foundation, in collaboration with Fundación País Digital of Microsoft Chile and DonaTec, an online donation program for the non-governmental agency CDI Chile, developed their new Registro Circuito de Calle (Register of Streets Circuit) app. The app allows users to update mapping within a territory, providing intervention teams with online information that will increase their knowledge of the territories and enable support for planning visits to increase the chances of meeting with minors in the streets.
The app is helping teams better plan their actions and social operations on the road so they can choose the most effective strategies for intervening with youth who are living in even the most hidden areas. In addition, the app characterizes the territories to better show the transit of minors as well as track what they do and what they are exposed to in those areas.
According to the World Bank, Chile has a fairly low poverty rate of 14.4 percent. However, Chile struggles with high rates of income and education inequality.
Salesian missionaries working in Chile focus their efforts on providing education and social services to poor and at-risk youth. At Salesian schools, universities and youth centers throughout the country, youth can access an education as well as the skills and resources necessary to break the cycle of poverty. As a result of the vocational and technical education provided by Salesian programs, Chilean youth are more likely to find stable employment and improve their standard of living.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
World Bank – Chile