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INDIA: More girls have a home after living on streets

Don Bosco Prem Seva Sadan launches new home for girls who have been living on the street


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Prem Seva Sadan, a Salesian home for girls who have been living on the street, launched a new home in February 2022. There was an increased need for shelter for girls in Hayathnagar, Hyderabad, India, where the home is located. Don Bosco Prem Seva Sadan is a branch of Don Bosco Navajeevan, which has been helping at-risk youth in the region since 1998.

Provincial Father Thathireddy Vijaya Bhaskar and Provincial Elect Father Thomas Santiagu blessed and inaugurated the new home at an event that brought together well-wishers and friends of Don Bosco Navajeevan. Speaking at the event, Fr. Bhaskar recalled the many sacrifices donors have made to help children in need. The guests of honor encouraged youth to excel in their studies and create a strong foundation for a better and brighter future.

Don Bosco Navajeevan offers a range of vocational and technical training programs focusing on electrical, carpentry, welding, tailoring, baking, garment making and printing press skills. The organization works to ensure that poor youth have an opportunity to gain an education.

In addition to education, Don Bosco Navajeevan provides a youth center that places special emphasis on rescuing and rehabilitating children engaged in child labor. The program offers shelter to child laborers and street children. Once a child arrives at the center, he or she receives shelter, food and clothing and is then eligible to participate in Salesian programs that focus on education and life skills training. The goal is to help children break the cycle of poverty and go on to lead productive lives free from abuse and forced labor.

During the pandemic lockdown, Don Bosco Navajeevan expanded by launching a training course that teaches people how to make bread and sweets. The “Chiguru sweets cart for sustainable development” project created new paths for development and women empowerment.

“The training course is helping people in the local community have an alternative means of earning a living,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “In addition to providing nutrition and health support during the pandemic, Salesian missionaries are helping people acquire new skills to go back to work if they lost their employment during the lockdowns.”

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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