INDIA: Salesian Institution for Culture and Rural Development launched new training center for school dropouts and unemployed youth
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian-run Institution for Culture and Rural Development (I-CARD) has launched another project for underprivileged youth in Santipur village in Sadiya, Tinsukia district. Salesian missionaries have launched Yuva Bandhu, a training center for school dropouts and unemployed youth that offers vocational training and farming activities.
“The five-month program will be offered free to residential candidates,” said Father Thomas, the director of I-CARD. “The Yuva Bandhu center was inaugurated by Rev. Theophil Ganlari, in the presence of other dignitaries on Feb. 20. There are 20 students belonging to the Mising, Nepali and Bodo communities that started in the first classes offered.”
The vocational training offered includes courses in farming, tailoring, beautician, embroidery, welding, carpentry, motor mechanics, electrical and plumbing. The instructors were trained by I-CARD over the past few years in Bangalore and in other parts of northeast India. The center, coordinated by Gayatri Panging, has six staff members.
The center hopes to raise its income from farm and industrial products to help support the activities at the school. Yuva Bandhu is heavily dependent on the goodwill of individuals to support this venture by donations in cash or in-kind.
“Salesian programs aim for innovation and to aid marginalized communities to have the skills training and resources they need to find, and even create, long-term employment that will help them break the cycle of poverty,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This and other projects in India help these communities to be competitive in the labor market and develop their own businesses to gain financial security.”
Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India given the current state of the country’s economy. With more than 1.2 billion people, India has the world’s fourth largest economy and, according to UNICEF, is home to one-third of the world’s poor. Close to 217 million of India’s poor are children. Although more than 53 million people escaped poverty between 2005 and 2010, most remain vulnerable to falling back below the poverty line.
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.
Salesian missionaries have a long history of helping poor youth in India. From providing education and technical training that prepares youth for employment to art and cultural events, Salesian missionaries focus on creating opportunities for their students to become well-rounded citizens and future leaders in their communities.
UNICEF – India