India – "Don Bosco Anbu Illam": holistic education to accompany street children towards rebirth

05 July 2021

(ANS - Chennai) - "Don Bosco Anbu Illam" (DBAI) is an active organization for the rights of minors started by the Salesians of Don Bosco in 1985 in Chennai, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Inspired by the charism of Don Bosco, it offers stable assistance to about 120 children and minors in street conditions and workers through three shelters for children, two for boys and one for girls.

From October 2020 to March 2021, DBAI received constant support from “Salesian Missions”, the Salesian Mission Office of New Rochelle, USA. Thanks to this funding, and despite the difficulties imposed by the pandemic, DBAI managers were able to organize various activities and the minors received in the structures were able to continue to grow, learn and have fun in a healthy way.

In November 2020, for example, the DBAI celebrated the National Children's Day by planting small trees, and the young people in the Salesian center solemnly pledged to take care of the environment and not pollute. For the occasion, several prominent figures were also invited; the day's main guest explained why it is important to protect the environment and how to help ensure a healthy environment in the future. To this day, young people have continued to take care of the plants and enjoy the fruits of the garden.

On 24 February, for the State Day for the Protection of Girls, the Salesian house promoted and organized an awareness program on Covid-19, which however also included various interventions on self-protection and in particular on protection from abuse.  25 girls benefited from this training program held in the village of Panpakkam.

Also, due to the pandemic, the end-of-year exams for young people attending courses at the Salesian Institute of Industrial Training were postponed; but thanks to the international support received, DBAI was able to make the most of the additional time: in fact, through lessons, online and offline, the educators prepared students for the exams they then took between February and March; and, they also offered courses from the program on "skills for life" with sessions, for example, dealing with how to use time wisely, how to orientate themselves to entering the world of work and how to manage savings.

“We appreciate the generous support of the donors of 'Salesian Missions',” said Fr Joe Prabu, Director of the DBAI. “These contributions had a huge impact on children and minors at risk, who were out of school and who, through our programs, were able to learn many life skills and lessons. On behalf of these boys, girls and boys, we want to express all our sincere gratitude.”


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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