IVORY COAST: Salesian Missions donors provide funding for Don Bosco Home to build psychomotor room and train staff
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions donors have provided funding for the Don Bosco Home, located in the city of Abidjan on the southern Atlantic coast of the Ivory Coast, to build a psychomotor room to offer psychosocial support to children in difficult situations. The funding has helped to build the room, provide materials and train educators. The Don Bosco Home provides programs for street children and other at-risk youth, many of whom have experienced abuse and violence.
The government of the Ivory Coast, in collaboration with UNICEF, conducted a study into child abuse in the country and found that 86.5 percent of children between the ages of 1 and 14 have been victims of violent disciplinary action including psychological, emotional or physical abuse. Psychomotricity focuses on prevention, screening and rehabilitation of psychomotor disorders at all stages of life. It links the body and mind and helps to support emotional disturbances.
Salesian missionaries have been working with poor youth and their families in Abidjan for more than 25 years. They provide social development services, education and workforce development to help youth break the cycle of poverty and become contributing members of their communities. To help respond to the issue of violence against children, the Salesian community of Abidjan provides several programs and awareness activities related to the protection of children in addition to the new psychological care center.
“Salesian missionaries living and working in cities across the Ivory Coast focus their attention on working with youth in need and their families to provide education, food security, health clinics and workforce development services,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Youth who are able to access the psychological care they need become emotionally healthy adults and contributing members of their community. We are thankful for our donors who have helped Salesian missionaries in the Ivory Coast build this psychomotor room.”
The psychomotor room has been built and set up in accordance with best practices in the field of psychomotricity. Educators at the Don Bosco Home will receive training from experts from Psycopraxis on how best to support youth and utilize the room. Experts from Psycopraxis will also provide one year of additional support to the Salesian staff.
The Don Bosco Home has the only psychomotor room in the Ivory Coast as psychomotricity is not yet known or practiced in the country. However, it has been tested in Porto Novo, Benin and the results are convincing. The psychomotor room is an innovative project that will provide educators with new ways of listening, understanding and caring for children in their everyday lives by building bonds of trust to facilitate positive interpersonal relationships.
According to the World Bank, 46 percent of those living in the Ivory Coast live in conditions of poverty—with more than a quarter of the population living in severe poverty on less than $1.25 a day. The Ivory Coast has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in West Africa. While a wide range of national and international initiatives focus on HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and testing, the collapse of public health facilities in the north as a result of years of conflict has made the situation worse.
During the country’s time of war, Salesian missionaries provided life-saving shelter, food and security for the thousands fleeing violence and seeking refuge on Salesian grounds.
Today, Salesian missionaries continue their work providing shelter, education and social development services to youth and their families. They also work with the victims of war to heal the country’s deep wounds. They listen, help victims seek compensation and work for social reconciliation between opposing groups. Known for their work with child soldiers around the globe, Salesian missionaries are also providing training for youth, some who had been aggressors during the war.
World Bank – Ivory Coast