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INDIA: Support for street children to expand

Don Bosco Veedu to open new building to better support the needs of homeless children


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Veedu is opening a new building to support street children in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. The Salesian organization has been educating and empowering children who are homeless and living in conditions of poverty since May 1991. Father Jose Thomas Koyickal, provincial of the Bangalore Province, blessed and laid the foundation stone for the new building.

The Don Bosco Veedu center has eight programs to support children and women. The new center building will have various offices, space for teaching short-term skills, a resource center, boarding facilities, a training center and residence for the Salesians.

Don Bosco Veedu also runs the Childline hotline in Kerala. The Childline hotline is available 24 hours a day at a toll-free number. The Childline team responds to the needs of street children in crisis situations. Salesian staff works with police, healthcare, juvenile justice, transportation, legal authorities and the media to create awareness on child rights and provide child protection services. Salesian staff works tirelessly every day of the year to ensure the rights of the children in need and give them special care and protection.

“Salesian missionaries in India are working to support street children and restore their childhoods,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The first challenge is building awareness of the issues and ensuring that children have the information they need so they can access Salesian programs. Once in the program, youth are able to have their basic needs met and access the supportive services they need to start the rehabilitation process and begin schools and skills training.”

Salesian programs in India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education 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.



Photo courtesy of Don Bosco South Asia

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