GHANA: Youth prepare for brighter futures
St. Dominic Savio Youth Center provides rehabilitation services in Tema Newtown
(MissionNewswire) St. Dominic Savio Youth Center, located in Tema Newtown, a neighborhood in Tema, Ghana, was established in 2003 to provide education and rehabilitation for street children. The center provides a place for children to seek shelter, live comfortably and access mainstream education at nearby schools. At the center, youth receive a range of support to help them recover from their life on the streets and prepare for a brighter future.
Part of that recovery involves having a structured day. While at the center, youth have literacy lessons in the morning followed by a hot meal prepared by the center’s cook. After lunch, youth return to class.
Students enter in mainstream education at nearby schools when they are ready. The center provides scholarships for mainstream education for those who cannot afford to pay the schools fees and for the learning material. This helps poor children without family support as well as children from poor families.
As part of the rehabilitation process, and with the help of Don Bosco Youth Network and Don Bosco Project, Salesian staff take youth on excursions twice a year to places in Ghana including Sajuna Beach Resort, Adomi Bridge, Akosombo Continental Hotel, Ada Crocodile Island and Treasure Island.
At the end of each term, Salesian staff have meetings with the guardians of youth at the center, and they also monitor family visits. The goal is to encourage guardians to be involved in the re-integration process and support youth in their academic pursuits.
“Salesian missionaries in Ghana and around the globe are working to support street children and restore their childhoods,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “At Salesian centers, youth have their basic needs met and access the supportive services they need to start the rehabilitation process and begin schools and skills training.”
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.
Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Child Protection & Youth Empowerment Projects
Don Bosco Child Protection & Youth Empowerment Projects Newsletter July – Sept. 2022
Salesian Missions – Ghana
UNICEF – Ghana