India

DON BOSCO INITIATIVES IN THE CITY OF VADODARA

Regarding the projects “Open Shelter” and “House of Love” Mix for Kids cooperates with the non-profit organisation “Die Sternsinger” to support Don Bosco projects in Vadodara. The ”Sternsinger” subsidize our funding to guarantee an annual minimum amount and then ensure that our donations get to the right places.

First contact and open shelter groups

In India there are about 10 million street children, girls and boys who grow up without parents.

Some of them may have a home, but don’t want to go back there. Most of them come from broken families living in extreme poverty. Alcohol, violence and abuse are commonplace.

The Don Bosco brothers establish initial contact with the children and teenagers on the streets, at bus stops, railway stations and markets. This first encounter is reinforced by regular visits, because regular contact helps to shed fears and gain trust.

Children and young people receive support and are given the opportunity to come to Don Bosco open shelters, which are open communal facilities, i.e. children can come and go as they please. Shelter workers show the children that they are their friends and that their help is unconditional. The children get something to eat and can wash up and do laundry. Games, fun and support during learning are part of the program, as are hygiene training and psychological counselling.

Orphanage “House of Love“

Selected boys from the region are invited to live in the Don Bosco Centre, also called the “House of Love”. It is up to the boys to decide whether they want to stay or not. Currently, the Don Bosco Centre Snehalaya is home to 106 boys aged between 6-18. But the Don Bosco brothers do much more: they give the children loving care, convey values and offer holistic education, i.e. they help with learning, motivate the children to play team sports, paint, dance and pursue other activities. They also promote the spiritual development of children without religious dogmas, help them develop a sense of community, closeness to nature, domestic skills and offer support with career choices and vocational training.

Our current donation amount funds the livelihood of 15 boys for one year.

Traditional Indian spice blends – a way out of poverty

Through decades of working with people in need, the Don Bosco organisation has found that supporting mothers is an effective way to support children and teenagers. We agree with Don Bosco that the support and help to self-determination of mothers is an important part of providing help to children.

For many years Don Bosco has organised and developed self-help groups in the slums and villages of India. Mix for Kids supports a project in Vadodara in which a group of women are involved in the production and marketing of regional spice blends.

The concept has already been successfully tested in other regions. In addition to hygiene training, the women receive training in regional spices and their processing as well as basic commercial knowledge.

DON BOSCO INITIATIVES IN THE CITY OF CHOTTA UDAIPUR

The charity organization “DON BOSCO MONDO“ developed with us and our Don Bosco partners in Chotta Udaipur the following program and channels our funds to the right places.

Disadvantaged children gain trust and confidence in sporting competition

Since 2000, sport is a top priority at the Don Bosco School. The disadvantaged Adivasi boys and girls have great sporting ambitions. Supervised by professional athletes, they frequently manage to win national competitions for themselves and for the school.

Holistic pedagogy and sporting successes may also pave the way for their future and into various jobs, e.g. in the defence services, police force or railways.

Characteristics of the sports-based approach to individual and community support are:

  • Increased interaction and participation
  • Experience of equality and teamwork
  • Physical activity providing fun and a learning effect
  • Health improvement
  • Increased self-motivation
  • Assertiveness

IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE THROUGH ALTERNATIVE ECOLOGICAL CULTIVATION IN A VILLAGE OF THE ADIVASI (=TRIBAL PEOPLES, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE)

In the Chota Udaipur region, Don Bosco has been working for years with particularly disadvantaged groups of the Rathwa Adivasi. These peoples, who until now have been culturally and economically dependent on forests for their daily livelihood, suffer from the depletion of forest resources and displacement from their original habitat. The Rathwa Adivasi find themselves in a threatening situation due to a lack of knowledge about agricultural practice and employment opportunities in the changed life situation. In view of the somewhat dramatic effects of climate change on conventional agricultural production in Gujarat, combined with low market prices for their products, traditional knowledge cannot be applied and new approaches must be taken.

Don Bosco Chhota Udaipur – supported by Don Bosco Mondo and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – is actively committed to promoting sustainable agriculture with the goal to increase agricultural productivity through alternative methods.

The goal is to put an end to conventional industrial production, which was mostly based on monocultures of GMO cash crops (GMO = genetically modified organism, e.g. maize) and depended on the use of large quantities of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

Instead, Don Bosco vision for the future is small-scale, sustainable and regenerative mixed cultures. This would make it possible to grow various food crops such as eggplants, chilis, tomatoes and water melons at the same time and harvest them within one seasonal period. Pesticides and fertilizers are produced organically according to traditional recipes.

This path to food security through self-sufficiency, in conjunction with access to education and team sports, should offer the tribal young in particular the opportunity to find themselves worthy, assertive and lawful in this new life situation.

Background information about the Adivasis