ZAMBIA: Hope for street children with addictions and mental health issues
Salesian missionaries plan new House of Hope for street children with addictions and mental health issues
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Makululu, Zambia, are planning to build a House of Hope for street children with addictions and those dealing with mental health issues. The house will care for children 8 to 15 years old. It will be built next to an existing Salesian house, known as Ciloto, which in the local language of Bemba, means dream.
The project involves the construction of the house, a residential building, bathrooms and a water well. Funding is needed for the purchase of necessary equipment and the provision of food and assistance for at least 10 youth. The program will run 24 hours a day and offer individual psychological therapy and psychiatric treatment.
“The new House of Hope will be the first step in the process of recovery for children with the goal of reintegration into society,” explained a Salesian missionary from the Don Bosco Salesian Missionary Foundation in Warsaw, Poland, which sponsors the project. “The children will be examined by a psychologist and psychiatrist and then will be able to access the necessary treatments and therapies. The expected length of stay will be three to six months. Depending on their progress, the children will then be transferred to the existing Ciloto House where social reintegration will continue.”
The Ciloto House has 40 residents in the orphanage and 35 children who attend programs during the day. The children were thrown out of their homes due to problems with the law, addictions or mental health issues.
Through services provided at Ciloto House, eight of the children have returned to their families. Not all children are ready to attend the programs offered and need extra care. Those coming straight from the street face a number of problems that pose a threat to the children who have already faced them. This is why it is essential that the House of Hope be built to provide the first step in care for these children. Over the next year, Don Bosco Salesian Missionary Foundation will seek funding to start the construction of this project.
Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
Salesian Missions – Zambia
UNICEF – Zambia