INDIA: Salesian Missions donors support work of Salesian missionaries at five Don Bosco Snehalaya homes for poor and orphaned youth
(MissionNewswire) Two Salesian Missions donors support the work of Salesian missionaries operating programs at Don Bosco Snehalaya, located in Guwahati within the Indian state of Assam. Salesian missionaries operate five homes for poor and orphaned youth in the region as well as educational programs, summer activities and more.
Children in the five Salesian homes have been enrolled in and are participating in school. They attend from 8:30am to 2:30pm. In the evening hours, 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. During the last week of June 2018, students were tested in math and science with most students doing well and others in need of extra assistance.
“Students who did not perform well on the tests are being given extra tutoring in the evening so they are able to do better and keep up with other students,” says Father Thadeus Kujur, director of Don Bosco Snehalaya. “Most of the children have been taking interest in their education because they want to be a successful person in the future. Staff members of each of the Don Bosco Snehalaya homes follow up with the schools to better understand how best to help each child.”
In addition to education, Don Bosco Snehalaya homes have provided health checkups, individual and group counseling and competitions for youth in drawing, singing and dance to keep them 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.
“Through these and other recreational activities, children have enjoyed, learned and are motivated to face the future life,” adds Fr. Kujur. “Children are happy, doing well and growing gracefully. The junior children are also inspired by the older boys and girls who are already doing well and getting settled in life.”
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.
Father Kujur notes, “Our entire Salesian Snehalaya family express the words of thanks and appreciation for all the help and support donors have given to Snehalaya children for last many years. Today these poor and orphan children are doing well in their studies and growing gracefully under our care and guidance. After the summer camps, children were ready to focus on their school studies and motivated to do well.”
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.
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.
World Bank – India