Benin - Faced with a culture in which "violence is part of the education system"

27 April 2016

(ANS - Kandi) - In many parts of the world school has become a place for the elite who have economic opportunities. Research done by UNESCO contains some distressing data: "In the world there are 124 million children and young people who are not in school: 52.9 million in sub-Saharan Africa, 50.9 million in Asia and the Pacific, 6.6 million in America, Latin America and the Caribbean, 8.7 million in the Arab States and 5 million scattered in other parts of the world." For the Salesians this situation constitutes a call to think and to work on what Don Bosco did for the needy and poor youth, which was to educate them.

In Benin, children's rights are not a priority for the government. Just look at the budget dedicated to the care and protection of children. The Don Bosco Foyer serves boys and girls in very complex situations: children abandoned by their families, victims of abuse, young people who are victims of forced marriages. The Foyer offers a home that welcomes, protects, educates and accompanies. The Foyer seeks to create new opportunities so that tomorrow the young people who attend will have the opportunity to build a better future. In this situation, the great work that the Salesians are doing is an investment for the future.

The situation of the rights of children and young people is very serious because, as Fr Elie Assogba, Director of Don Bosco Foyer in Kandi, says "most people ignore the problem." The educational system "is based on violence and threat". This violation of rights is normalized. In such a situation it is critical that the work of educators and teachers with families and with the other institutions of society be coordinated. The young people themselves may be the best vehicle to raise awareness of their rights among their classmates and peers.

The Don Bosco Foyer in Kandi is running a project called "Improvement of equipment at Don Bosco Foyer, Kandi, Benin". It seeks to revive the commitment of all to the "Right to education."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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