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INDIA: Program supports at-risk youth

The Don Bosco Young At Risk Aftercare and Short Stay Home

Salesian organization celebrates 10-year anniversary


(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco Young At Risk Aftercare and Short Stay Home, part of the Salesian-run Anbu Illam (A Home of Love) project, celebrated its 10-year anniversary in Chennai, India. The celebration was held on Feb 16. This program is part of more than 40 years of work by the Salesians of providing for youth at risk in the region.

Since the organization’s inception, 2,125 boys and girls from risky and difficult backgrounds have received support from the Salesians. The youth have been mentored through skills-training programs, higher education opportunities, and job placements in India and abroad.

Currently, there are 82 youth who are under direct care and supervision of the home. These youth include young offenders who are either orphans or semi-orphans who are arriving from government juvenile homes.

“This ministry directly transports me to Don Bosco’s times and helps me get into his shoes and appreciate his foresight,” said Father Vincent Xavier, the founding director and the present joint director of Don Bosco Young At Risk ministry. “I salute this great saint of the young for his noble vision and proactive mission nearly two centuries ago. I feel honored to be playing my part in this great dream as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Don Bosco’s dream.”

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22% of the country lives in poverty. About 31% 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% of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10% 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 South Asia

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