INDIA: Salesian Missions donors provide funding to construct new classrooms at Don Bosco Literacy Center
(MissionNewswire) More than 200 youth have access to a better school environment thanks to Salesian Missions donors. Funding was provided to update eight classrooms at the Don Bosco Literacy Center, located in the village of Bualpui in India’s Mizoram State near the Myanmar border. The school’s classrooms consisted of dilapidated sheds that did not make for a conducive learning environment. The new facility, built with donor funding, is providing a structured learning environment for primary school children to focus on literacy and other school subjects.
“One of the key challenges facing youth in India is the lack of education and the skills required to find and retain stable employment when they are older,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian missionaries provide youth access to primary education so that they can acquire the basic skills needed for later vocational and technical training or university. We are grateful to generous donors who have funded infrastructure improvements that are essential to the quality of education provided.”
Literacy education is a critical component of Salesian educational institutions in India and around the globe. The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently noted that despite progress made, literacy challenges persist while the demands for a highly-skilled labor force continues to evolve. International Literacy Day 2018, held Sept. 8, explored and highlighted integrated approaches that simultaneously can support the development of literacy and skills to ultimately improve people’s life and work and contribute to equitable and sustainable societies.
“Salesian missionaries focus educational efforts on literacy and an array of other foundational skill building initiatives,” adds Fr. Hyde. “Salesian programs aim to provide youth with the education and skills needed to find and retain long-term employment in order to help them break the cycle of poverty and contribute back to their families and communities.”
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 new 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.
Salesian missionaries living and working in India place special emphasis on rescuing and rehabilitating children engaged in child labor. There are Salesian-run programs throughout the country that have helped hundreds of thousands of vulnerable youth through the years, and this work continues today.
World Bank – India