Journey Reports

India   December 10th 2016, Kota, India
The work of Salesians of Don Bosco


Jakob & Ernest:

On our trip, we have already visited many projects by the Salesians of Don Bosco. Especially in India, the Salesians are very active in many areas and have many different projects with the aim of enabling street children through school education as well as continuing education a better future.

During one of our stays with Salesians, we had the opportunity to visit a Don Bosco High School and their shelter. The shelter is home to 80 children aged 5 to 18 years. Everyone was picked up from the street, a railway station, or from the slums and taken to the shelter. Here the children get food, a place to sleep, extra lessons, support with the homework and a patient and listening ear. As a rule, there are 1-2 Fathers and Brothers plus additional volunteers who take care of the children around the clock.

Let us now talk about a successful case. It is about a boy whom we have met personally and who has told us about his story. We changed name and place.

Ashok is 18 years old and lives in a Don Bosco Shelter for 8 years. When he was 9 years old, he sold alcohol at the main station (at the same time his sleeping place) because his friends told him that the sale of alcohol was very simple and brought a lot of money in a short time. Ashok worked for a long time in this illegal business until he decided to leave this job, as he was dealing with more and more problems that such a job would bring with him. Shortly thereafter he began to sell water and popcorn in the crowded trains. At the age of 10 he drank alcohol and smoked cigarettes.

During this time, a salesian father, who was then responsible for the shelter, regularly visited the station. He invited Ashok to visit the shelter and enjoy the safe life there and to see if he would like it there. After a while, Ashok left the shelter again. He said that in the Shelter one has to follow rules and structure and has to learn a lot and not is able to do what one wants.

The father did not let loose and suggested Ashok to come into the open shelter. In open shelter the children stay 3 months and do not have to follow strict rules, they can play when they want. So the difference between street and shelter is not so great, and the children can adapt themselves later to the normal Shelter. After three months, Ashok moved to the normal shelter. Since then, 8 years have gone into the country. He told us that you get what you need in this house. "The Fathers give us the love that other children get from the mother. They are there when the children have problems, and they get up in the middle of the night when a child is not doing well. The Fathers are very concerned about us". Some parents force their children to study. The Fathers listen to you and help you to make real your own wishes.

"I'm now 18 years old, and I have to leave this house soon. I do not want that ... This is the house of love", Ashok says to us, with tears in his eyes. Eventually the time comes when the guys have to become independent and have to leave the shelter on their own legs and have to cope in life. Ashok mastered perfect English based on the Don Bosco School.

At the moment he is pursuing his studies "Bachelor in Economy" and is in his first year of apprenticeship. Later he would like to work in the international police department. If he were unable to make the exam, which is regarded as extremely difficult, he would want to study social work. To create a perspective for disadvantaged and poor children is his greatest concern. He also considered going to Germany or to other countries to study and work there.

Two years ago he found out that his parents still live and that he has a little brother. The little brother is now 10 years old and was recorded directly in Don Bosco Shelter.

{Translation from German: Webmaster}

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Comments to this report:

Burkhard Rühl writes:

December 16th 2016, 21:21

Hallo Jakob und Ernest, in eurem Bericht steht sehr deutlich die Absicht eurer Radreise im Vordergrund: pedal for humanity. Vielleicht ist das der Grund, warum bisher noch kein Kommentar geschrieben wurde. Ich bin nicht der Typ, der wegschaut, ich habe nicht nur auf meinen Reisen, sondern überhaupt in meinem Leben viel Elend gesehen, und es ist schön, wenn es gelingt, Einzelne aus der Misere herauszuholen. Aber auch in unserer Gesellschaft gibt es massenhaft Probleme unter Kindern und Jugendlichen, die verwahrlosen, kriminell werden, in Jugenstrafanstalten landen, sich betäuben, an Leib und Seele krank sind, da sagt ihr mir eigentlich nichts Neues in eurem Bericht. Das könnte überall in der Welt sein, auch bei uns. Schreibt von euren Erfahrungen im Land, von den kleinen Abenteuern auf der Strasse, wie erlebt ihr die Menschen?, habt ihr den Bruch in eurer Reise überwunden, wisst ihr schon die grobe Richtung, in die ihr weiterfahrt? Ich hoffe, ihr versteht mich nicht falsch, vielleicht bin ich aber auch zu voreilig und muss einfach geduldig auf eure nächste Schilderung warten.... machts gut, viel Glück wünscht euch Burkhard

Pedal For Humanity writes:

December 21st 2016, 05:58

Hii Burkhard! Wir bedanken uns wieder für dienen neuen Komentar, und wir finden es immer gut dass die Leute sich so frei ausdrucken wie du. Uns ist auch bewusst dass es tausende von dieser Gechichten in der welt gibt, uns war aber hier wichtig, dass die Leute sich vorstellen können, wie die Arbeit der Salesianer in Indien aussieht.Zum glück, dank der Salesianer, werden diese kinder und jugendlicher bessere Chancen in der zukunft haben. Dnake noch mal!

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