YOUNG AT RISK
The Young at Risk (YaR) Commission came into existence to evolve relevant and viable strategies, programmes and institutions for claiming and exercising civil society leadership in influencing state policies and in shaping proactive interventions both from the civil society and the state.
The target groups specified by DBNFYaR are the following: street children, child labourers, children physically and mentally challenged, children of sex workers, children of migrants, children living in areas of armed conflict, insurgency, children of socially marginalized groups and children infected/affected by HIV/AIDS.
Besides the good being done since its inception, in the last couple of years, the commission has stabilised its functioning and coordination. The resource centre of YaR, the Child Rights Advocacy Forum (CRAF) situated in Vijayawada is operational and caters to the basic need of coordinating resources for this apostolate.
With a view of providing an integral formation for our young Salesians, the YaR commission in collaboration with the Philosophate has drawn up a syllabus, which is already in use. This will enhance the already existing collaboration between the YaR animation centres and the philosophate for a better, mature and more convinced Salesians in the future who would be willing to work for the young at risk.
The de-addiction centre named Vimukti at Nunna, Vijayawada was inaugurated and is currently following up number of boys who have been unfortunate victims of drug abuse.
During the last three years four more communities in the Province have come forward to launch street children homes: Don Bosco – Kurnool, Don Bosco -Mariapuram, Don Bosco –Ravulapalem, Don Bosco – Ongole and St. Michael’s – Guntur. Along with the existing YaR centres, these homes, under the purview of the respective communities will cater to the children at risk.
A Provincial level Juvenile Justice Desk was initiated on 1st January 2006. This will serve as an interface between all YaR initiatives and the Juvenile department of the State of AP. This will also mobilise the local civil society to actively involve in the better running of the juvenile homes across the state. So far this initiative has received a very positive response from all quarters.
In line with the Province level thrust based on the Strenna of the year 2006 on Family, the commission gave top priority to home integration and providing alternative care for orphans and vulnerable children during the last year. Nearly 20,000 children have so far been integrated into their own families and those not fortunate to have a family, have been placed under foster homes with as warm and close a family rapport as can be created. Adoption, group care, peer homes are some of the other options being utilised.
Another new initiative based on the recommendation of the Vicar General has been the “Child Protective Cell” at the Province level. This cell comprises of both Salesians and lay experts in the field of child welfare. At the moment it is headed by the delegate of the YaR commission. This unit will also work in close collaboration with all the YaR centres across the province.
The DBNFYaR has been identified by UNICEF a willing partner to take forward the software: Home link and Missing Child Search. The global body has come forward to support the activities of YaR at the national level. With the aid of this software, it ishoped that the unaccompanied child in distress could be reached faster and he or she be restored to his or her family environment at the earliest.
DB Navajeevan Bala Bhavan, Secunderabad
DB Navajeevan Rehabilitation Center, Ramanthapur, Hyderabad
DB Navajeevan Bala Bhavan, Vijayawada
DB Navajeevan Yuva Bhavan, Vijayawada
Bala Vikasa Kendra, Vijayawada
Bosco Navajeevan Children's Village, Guntur
Don Bosco, Ongole
Don Bosco Nava Jeevan in Vizag, Adilabad, Nellore, Nalgonda, Miryalguda, Kakinada, Guntur, Tirupati, Srikakulam and Guntakal