On our trip to India in 2013 we visited for the first time the Home for Street Children in Secunderabad-Hyderabad, which is being supported by Kindernothilfe and run by the Don Bosco Foundation.
We were greeted heartily by the director of the Home, representatives of the Churches’ Council for Child and Youth Care of Bangalore, the caretakers and the boys, with singing, garlands and presents. We took the boys to our heart right away because they were so open, interested and affectionate.
The twin-city Hyderabad/Secunderabad is the capital of the south-Indian state Andhra Pradesh. In this major city with a population of more than 6 million people are according to official estimates more than 55.000 street children under the age of 16, who came to the city mostly from rural areas in Andra Pradesh. They try to earn their livelihood as garbage collectors, shoe-shine boys, beggars or hotel help and are in constant danger to be abused and exploited or to slide down into delinquency.
In this environment works the catholic order of the Salesianer which has been involved in street children work in India for more than 50 years and makes the public aware of this problem area. The project “Navajeevan Bala Bhavan” was founded in 1998 and reached up to the present more than 11.200 street children. A very well equipped non-formal technical training facility was built in Hyderabad with funds from the German federal ministry for economic cooperation. The project has the permission from the government to accept also children, who are placed by the juvenile court or the youth welfare office.
In the technical training facility for boys there are currently eight different training paths to become an electrician, carpenter, automechanic/driver, tailor, plumber, refrigeration and cooling system mechanic, printer/bookbinder as well as baker for a total of 240 youths. The course takes from three months up to two years and are being taught by well trained teachers.
Help with job search
However, the boys are not just trained, they are also afterwards looked after and attended to by a special job placement center, a kind of job agency, until they have found a job or were successful in opening their own business.
Kindernothilfe supports the technical school and the job placement center since January 2006, Evelin’s Foundation supported the Home from 2013 to 2015.