India – Empowerment Programme for Tribal Children: a joint venture by Niraivagam and a group of families

19 March 2024

(ANS – Kadambur) – A novel and path-breaking joint venture has just been completed by Niraivagam with a colourful and meaningful valedictory ceremony on 17th March 2024 at Don Bosco Centre in Kadambur. The novelty is that while the financial funding was provided by a group of families of a Salesian priest, the year-long transformative training programme, “Life Skills for Empowered Living” (LSEL) was conducted by Niraivagam – Don Bosco Institute of Psychological Services of the Salesian Province of Chennai. This Empowerment Project was launched by Dr. Fr. Joseph Jeyaraj SDB, a Development Psychologist and Psychotherapist, the Founder and Director of Niraivagam and a Professor at Salesian Pontifical University, Rome.

Kadambur is a remote village on Nilgiri mountain range near Sathyamangalam, located 475 kilometers away from the state capital Chennai. It is a region where students frequently dropout from high schools due to poverty, lack of motivation to achieve great in life and lack of access to higher education. This Empowerment Project in Kadambur was in adherence to one of the six priorities of the province especially “Absolute priority in making our educational institutions to serve the poorest of the poorer and initiate new frontiers that offer the best to the least.” It is indeed one of the good practices of Niraivagam and it has been reaching out to marginalized and underprivileged students in various educational institutions, especially in the Salesian Province of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

In keeping to its best practices Niraivagam identified a group of 84 boys and girls housed at Don Bosco Centre in Kadambur, and offered them a year-long LSEL Training programme – a meticulously crafted module to address various facets of personal development, comprising of following themes - Goal Setting, Time Management, Memory & Study Skills, Self-Esteem, Decision Making, Emotions Management, Responsible & Constructive use of Media and Leadership Skills. The training programme is designed to foster holistic personal growth and development through creative interactive sessions and practical exercises, equipping participants with invaluable tools to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and confidence. The participants were awarded with a Training Completion Certificate and Gifts during the short Valedictory Ceremony wherein they showcased their newfound knowledge, talents and skills and empowered them to embark on their journey towards personal excellence.

Due to lack of substantial CSR funding, this promising programme was started as a joint venture between Niraivagam and twenty-one close family members and relatives of Dr. Fr. Joseph Jeyaraj SDB, who totally supported this initiative by their generous contribution. If not for their contribution, this meaningful programme would not have seen a fruitful completion. All the sponsors were present both for the launching and for the conclusion of this empowerment project. During the event, the 21 family members were honoured and felicitated for their generosity, goodwill gesture and contribution.

What this novel venture has shown us is that it is not only the beneficiaries that are transformed by such programmes, but also the sponsors are impacted in such a way that they feel overwhelmed and thankful for the opportunity to help needy children. They are all keen to continue to contribute and also include other families in such future projects of Niraivagam.   

In order to celebrate the achievement, it is important to know Niraivagam - Don Bosco Institute of Psychological Services (DBIPS). In its tenth year now, Niraivagam is growing from strength to strength and serving so many people in psychological need. In the past 10 years its services have reached more than 265 institutions, 75,700 children, 18,275 youth, 45,800 parents, 13,600 teachers and professors. It has touched the lives of more than 400,000 people through various programmes. It will continue to do so in promoting life in its fullness.

Niraivagam in Tamil means “abode of fullness” and it was established by the Salesians of Don Bosco of Chennai Province in 2014, the first of its kind state-of-the-art institute by the religious in Chennai with a world-class team, offering psychological and spiritual services to augment holistic growth of people across lifespan. Niraivagam is primarily engaged in providing psychosocial services through professional counselling and psychotherapy, education, research and training across geographies using a multi-disciplinary approach. Niraivagam envisions a life in its fullness for every human by being a transformational agent providing comprehensive psychosocial and spiritual services to all while grounded on the enduring philosophy of Don Bosco.

Niraivagam’s mission is to create a lasting continuum of psychosocial and spiritual services to human issues through advocacy, capacity building, consultation, education, research and training while focusing primarily on parents and children, the youth, teachers, priests and the religious.  The philosophy of Niraivagam is grounded on the following four pillars - Competence, Compassion, Commitment and Consistency.  At Niraivagam, specialists utilize appropriate and proven methods for interacting sensitively, effectively, and professionally with persons from diverse cultural, educational, ethnic, gender, professional, racial and socio-economic backgrounds, and persons of all ages and lifestyle preferences.

Following the ever-enduring charism of Don Bosco, Niraivagam is totally committed to reaching out to many more people in psychological need. 



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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