INDIA: Don Bosco Bangalore rescued 2,600 children from the streets and other vulnerable situations in 2018
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Bangalore in India rescues and protects vulnerable youth who are living on the streets or find themselves in other such dangerous environments. Salesian missionaries defend child rights and work with youth to help them establish pathways that lead to a brighter future.
Counseling, provided by experienced professionals, is the backbone of all services provided to these youth. It’s provided in shelter homes and hostels (that are associated with schools) and for children who are rescued from the streets before they enter into a formal program.
In 2018, staff with Don Bosco Bangalore rescued more than 2,600 children from the streets or similar vulnerable situations. It is through the initial counseling services that a child’s problems can be identified. This ensures that correct steps can be taken to help remedy the situation. Once children’s problems have been assessed and they are ready to continue living in a family environment, they may be reintegrated with their families or placed in an environment conducive to personal development. More than 1,700 children were successfully rehabilitated in this way last year.
Counseling services are also available to parents so that they may care for their children in the best way possible. Education is also a primary focus once children go through the initial counseling steps. Many youth take up residency in hostels that are run alongside the schools, which provides them with a safe place to study, eat and play.
Salesian schools also include Child Rights Clubs, which exist to help protect and defend youth from exploitation. Salesian missionaries in India operate more than 200 child rights centers throughout the country. The goal is to ensure that youth are aware of their basic human rights as well as the resources available for prevention and ongoing support.
“Salesian missionaries in India are working hard to rehabilitate street children and restore their childhoods,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The first challenge is building awareness of the issues and ensuring that children have the information they need so they can access Salesian programs. Many take for granted having a safe place to sleep, enough food to eat and access to medical care. Salesian missionaries recognize how critical it is to meet these basic needs before expecting youth to be able to focus on education.”
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.
Photo courtesy of the Australian Salesian Mission Overseas Aid Fund Annual Report 2018
Australian Salesian Mission Overseas Aid Fund Annual Report 2018
Salesian Missions – India
World Bank – India