BENIN: Salesian Missions donors provide funding for education and care for children at Foyer Don Bosco in Kandi
Foyer Don Bosco was able to have the ongoing support it needed to educate more than 3,700 people on the rights of children and the child protective systems.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 11, 2020) Homeless children have support at the Foyer Don Bosco, a home for abused and abandoned children in Kandi, Benin, thanks to the support of Salesian Missions donors. Foyer Don Bosco serves boys and girls in very complex situations, including those who have been abandoned by their families, victims of abuse and victims of forced marriages.
Through the funding provided by Salesian Missions, Foyer Don Bosco was able to have the ongoing support it needed to facilitate several initiatives, educating more than 3,700 people on the rights of children and the child protective systems. This included educating parents about the rights and duties of children, alert mechanisms, and early detection of vulnerable situations in children. In addition, Foyer Don Bosco was able to teach school children and apprentices about their rights and duties as well as about personal hygiene and whistleblowing mechanisms in the event of abuse, violence and exploitation.
Foyer Don Bosco also brought its message to a broader audience and held public awareness events in the markets and on the radio about Benin’s criminal law in the event of abuse, trafficking, mistreatment or exploitation of children. Education was provided to local authorities and religious leaders about their role in the protection of children.
Directly for children and families, with the Salesian Missions donor funding, Foyer Don Bosco was able to care for 77 children at the home, including 22 young girls; reinsert 50 children between 15 and 17 years old into the programs; and reintegrate 50 children between the ages of 12 and 17 years old with their families.
One of the beneficiaries was Mireille, who is 15 years old. At the age of 8, her parents brought her from her village to stay with a close relative in Kandi. Early on, her schooling stopped and she had to work in the home. Later, she worked in a vegetable market to help her family survive.
Mireille said, “At the age of 10, I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to leave the house and found myself on the street. While meeting with educators from Foyer Don Bosco in 2017 in the Kandi market, I had the chance to learn about the program. They offered me a chance to stay at Foyer Don Bosco and resume my education. I learned literacy and cutting and tailoring with the Salesian sisters. Thank you to the Foyer Don Bosco for taking me out of my suffering.”
Children in Benin face significant challenges gaining an education within the country’s poor educational system. According to UNICEF, Benin remains one of the poorest countries in the world with close to 70 percent of its population living in poverty. About half of all children between the ages of 5 and 13 are engaged in some kind of forced labor in the country and almost 20 percent are chronically undernourished. Youth in Benin also face overwhelming challenges in combating poverty, one of the root causes of child trafficking.
The Foyer Don Bosco project, like many that are funded by Salesian Missions, needs ongoing support from donors. To contribute to this project or others, Salesian Missions offers a “Fund a Project” section on its website with more details.
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