PERU: Red de Casas Don Bosco and Don Bosco Foundation launch fundraising to aid more than 600 youth in Salesian-run boarding homes
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries, through Red de Casas Don Bosco, serve hundreds of children and older youth, offering them a home, food, education, and spiritual and psychological support. Red de Casas Don Bosco includes 11 boarding homes in the cities of Ayacucho, Arequipa, Cusco, Huancayo and Lima (Breña and Rímac), and the Cusco Alto Andinas missions including Ampares, Calca and Quebrada Honda.
Children and adolescents are one of the most vulnerable segment of Peru’s population. This vulnerability requires special protection from the state, family and community. Salesian programs aim to help poor youth gain an education and have access to the basic needs they require. Youth engaged in Red de Casas Don Bosco programs are all minors who have lived in situations of social risk and forced to survive in the streets, sleeping in parks and under bridges. They are children deprived of love and affection, and many are victims of violence, exploitation and abuse.
Throughout November, Red de Casas Don Bosco, with the support of the Don Bosco Foundation, will promote a fundraising campaign “Your hand supports a hope.” During the campaign, Red de Casas Don Bosco and the Don Bosco Foundation dedicated one day to local fundraising by carrying money boxes to various parts of the city and inviting people and local businesses to donate. All proceeds collected during the campaign will be used to support the services offered to the children living in the homes of the Salesian network.
“Given the struggles in many communities across Peru, many families turn to Salesian programs for safety, education and social programs,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Youth need opportunities for education as well as have safe places to play and connect with adults and older youth who are able to mentor them. They need to have all of their basic needs met and the support needed to focus on their studies and gain an education.”
Peru faces high levels of income inequality and has more than a quarter of its population living in poverty, according to the World Bank. Poverty levels are significantly higher in rural areas but urban areas struggle most with inequality, most notably metropolitan Lima. Poverty in the country is made worse by a shortage of productive farmland and a lack of job skills among women entering the workforce, as well as a lack of adequate housing, nutrition and education.
Peru has also been plagued by hunger and disaster. According to the World Bank, close to 25 percent of children in the country are chronically malnourished. Communities continue to rebuild after an 8.0 earthquake in August 2007, which killed more than 500 people in the central coastal cities of Chincha, Pisco and Ica and injured hundreds more. The quake destroyed close to 60,000 residential and commercial buildings, leveled hundreds of acres of farmland and left countless Peruvians without means of livelihood.
World Bank – Peru
Photo courtesy of Casas Don Bosco (Peru)