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INDIA: Family receives home with help of students

Volunteers with Don Bosco Arts and Science College build a house for a homeless mother with two children


(MissionNewswire) Volunteers with Don Bosco Arts and Science College, located in Angadikadavu, Kerala, India, built a house for a mother with two children. The family was homeless but now has shelter and the safety of somewhere to live.

The project began when Lucy George, a Salesian cooperator, saw the young mother named Jessy with her two children on a bus and heard Jessy talk about not having a place to live. George mentioned this to the students at Don Bosco Arts and Science College, and the students, staff and management took up the challenge of constructing a house.

The house is 600 square feet with two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a work area. The cost was provided for by donations from students, staff, management and well-wishers. It is the fourth house constructed by volunteers of the college.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for students to pay it forward and help a family in need,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This mother and her two children now have a place to lay their heads at night. They are able to have safety and shelter and hope for a better future.”

Don Bosco Arts and Science College started in 1994, offering pre-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate courses for close to 600 students. Since then, the college has added a computer applications academic program and postgraduate programs in communication and journalism and in social work. Undergraduate programs were added in English literature, communications and mathematics. A men’s hostel has also been launched.

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.

India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.



Photo courtesy of Don Bosco India

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