INDIA: Salesian Missions donor supports programs for youth at Don Bosco Snehalaya
(MissionNewswire) Programs for youth at Don Bosco Snehalaya, located in Guwahati within the Indian state of Assam, are being supported through Salesian Missions donor funding. Salesian missionaries operate five homes for poor and orphaned youth in the region, as well as educational programs, summer activities and more. While many of the programs of Don Bosco Snehalaya are on pause because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ongoing funding predated the lockdowns.
With the funding, missionaries have been able to provide nutritional support, clothing, footwear, toiletries and medical care. While school was in session, youth were also provided school supplies so they could participate in their lessons. Further, the funding is helping Don Bosco Snehalaya be able to afford basic operating expenses, such as electricity costs.
When Don Bosco Snehalaya is fully operational, children in the five Salesian homes go to school from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. In the evening, children engage with their peers through games and other social activities. There is also time for studying and extra tutoring, especially in subjects like math and science.
“Students who did not perform well in school are being given extra tutoring in the evening so they can do better and keep up with other students,” said Father Thadeus Kujur, director of Don Bosco Snehalaya. “The situation with the pandemic is difficult because children have not been able to participate in their normal activities and are missing time in school. Staff at Don Bosco Snehalaya have been supporting students and their families as much as we can right now.”
It’s not just a focus on education at Don Bosco Snehalaya. Youth have also been provided health checkups, individual and group counseling, and competitions in drawing, singing and dance to keep youth engaged and inspired. Students have also participated in anti-child labor, anti-child abuse and anti-trafficking activities to bring about more awareness of and exposure to these issues.
Donors make a real impact on programming for poor and at-risk youth in Salesian programs in India and around the globe. Salesian missionaries, teachers, staff and students are all grateful for the support.
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.
Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.
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.
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