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GHANA: Center is safe haven and source of hope for street children

St. Dominic Savio Youth Center also supports parents

Place for street children in Ghana.

Place for street children in Ghana.

(MissionNewswire) St. Dominic Savio Youth Center, located in Tema New Town, a neighborhood in Tema, Ghana, provides a place for street children to seek shelter, live comfortably and access mainstream education at nearby schools. At the center, which was established in 2003, youth receive a range of support to help them recover from their life on the streets and prepare for a brighter future.

The center provides daily education where youth learn reading, writing, comprehension and simple mathematics. They are also provided a hot lunch in the afternoon.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center’s oratory had been closed to prevent the spread of the virus. It was finally reopened and oratory activities have resumed. Each Friday, children from different schools come together to play and are assisted with their homework.

At the end of 2022, youth at the center were taken on an excursion as part of the curriculum activities and to see beautiful places in Ghana. The 2022 trip was to the Chill River Resort. A Salesian noted, “The trip was so refreshing, and the children were very happy.”

“Salesian missionaries in Ghana and around the globe are working to support street children and restore their childhoods,” said Father Timothy Ploch, interim director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “In addition to supporting youth, St. Dominic Savio Youth Center also supports parents. They are provided the opportunity to share the difficulties they face in their various homes and receive support as well as report back to the teachers how well their children are responding to the training they are receiving at the center.”

While Ghana’s economy continues to improve, nearly 45 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day, according to UNICEF. Rural poverty remains widespread in the dry savannah region that covers roughly two thirds of Ghana’s northern territory. Small-scale farms suffer from a lack of infrastructure and equipment, both of which are needed to shift from subsistence farming to more modern commercial farming which would yield greater incomes and a chance to escape poverty.

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Sources:

Don Bosco Child Protection & Youth Empowerment Projects Newsletter Oct. – Dec. 2022

Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Child Protection & Youth Empowerment Projects Newsletter Oct. – Dec. 2022

Salesian Missions – Ghana

UNICEF – Ghana

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