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INDIA: Youth receive support for sobriety at new center

Salesian missionaries launch drug rehabilitation center for boys as part of DREAM program


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Sadan, a rehabilitation center for boys, located in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the capital city of the Indian state of Kerala, was inaugurated by Honorable Antony Raju, minister for road transport. The new center is part of the Drug Rehabilitation Education and Mentoring (DREAM) initiative of Bangalore Rural Educational and Development Society (BREADS). The goal of the new center is to provide youth with a way to achieve sobriety and live a healthy life.

Don Bosco Sadan will provide residential rehabilitation and addiction services for youth under the age of 18. The services offered include in-patient and out-patient treatment and counseling with individual, group and family, life skills training, recreation, and more available. After the inauguration, a workshop was held about the increasing substance abuse rates of children and how drugs and addiction impact families.

The DREAM program, launched in Kerala at the end of 2021, is financed by the German government and will run from November 2021 to February 2025. Program activities will span 10 districts in Kerala and reach 40-50 village councils, 50 schools and 10 colleges in each district. The focus will be training and awareness activities aimed at youth on the dangers of drug abuse and digital addiction. The goal is to have a counseling center in every district housed at a Don Bosco institution.

Father Binu Scaria is coordinating the project at the state level and a Salesian priest will oversee each district. The Salesian team also has two counselors and a social worker to operate at the ground level. At the launch of the project, Father Jose Koyickal, provincial, said, “Today, the greatest pandemic is drug abuse. We need to join hands with each other and the government to eradicate the pandemic.” He further noted that Salesians are at the forefront working for the well-being of children in vulnerable situations.

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.

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.

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.



Photo courtesy of Don Bosco South Asia

Don Bosco South Asia – DREAM taking shape; Rehabilitation Centre for Boys

BREADS Bangalore

Salesian Missions – India

World Bank – India

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