GLOBAL: Salesian efforts to track missing children featured
Salesian network ‘Young at Risk’ presents data on efforts to track down missing children using technology during the 59th Session of the Commission for Social Development
(MissionNewswire) Maheswari Balan, researcher and analyst for the Salesian network “Young at Risk,” presented data on efforts in India to track down missing children during the 59th Session of the Commission for Social Development at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The data was presented during a Feb. 9 webinar that focused on digital technologies used to locate homeless children.
The commission’s work focuses specifically on the priority theme “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all.” Balan focused her talk on digital technologies, showing how they are used to track, rescue and rehabilitate children on the street, reducing the extent of homelessness.
With more than 11 million homeless children in India, resources and innovation are needed to tackle this critical problem. Balan highlighted Young at Risk’s software, Child MISS, that made it possible to track 309,279 children. Of these children, 75 percent were reunited with their parents. Those who cannot be reunited were placed in a safe environment where they are provided with the education, health and skills necessary to be later employed and gain self-sufficiency.
“Finding and tracking these children is an important first step in the process of ensuring children have a safe environment in which to live,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Technology like this is innovative and aids in the work that Salesians do to help rescue these children and ensure they have access to the education and resources they need to not only to survive but to have a bright future.”
There were 107 participants in the webinar and each of them had the opportunity to listen to the speakers discuss the challenges of supporting homeless children. Speakers on the webinar included Bill Soward, executive director of Shelter Tech; Renato Lima, international president of St. Vincent de Paul Society; Lydia Stazen, executive director of the Institute of Global Homelessness; and Rajarshi Sircar, researcher of the organization with Loreto Rainbow Homes. The webinar was moderated by Sister Teresa Kotturan, UN representative of the Association of Sisters Ministers of Charity.
The event was organized by the Congregation of the Mission and by the Association of Sisters Ministers of Charity and sponsored by Salesian Missions. Last year, during the work of the Commission for Social Development, Salesian Missions organized an event entitled “Homeless youth: a question time on the gaps in politics and the legislative vacuum.”
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Salesian Missions – India