THE ROLE OF DON BOSCO IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN SIERRA LEONE.
The development of young people has been a topical discourse within the circles of government and Non-Governmental Organizations across the African continent. Many school of thoughts opined that the development of the African continent hinges on the shoulders of its youthful population. The Sierra Leone story of the development young people has been marred with so many misconceptions depending from which part of the political isle one stands.
Many citizens are with the belief that, governments alone cannot provide the platform for young people to realize their potentials. The role of NGOs in providing the platform for young people to realizing their potentials is very crucial, but the questions many people are always asking are; what is the role of youth -focused NGOs in the development of young people in Sierra Leone and how sincere in performing their mandates?
Don Bosco Fambul is a Catholic based local Non-Government Organization started operations in Sierra Leone in 1998 to cater for child soldiers at the time and now the needs of street kids and vulnerable young people.
Don Bosco over the years has created other projects to expand the scope of improving the lives of young people in Sierra Leone. In 2018 the current Director of Don Bosco, Father Jorge Mario Crisafulli established the Girl Shelter Plus programme and resuscitated the Hope Plus project. The Girls Shelter Project was created to cater for young girls with history of sexual abuse and those who were once in situation of prostitution.
The Hope Plus project was resuscitated to look into the welfare of young adult girls in situations vulnerability and of prostitution. The project is a non-residential programme that help girls who had dropped out of school to either return to mainstream schooling or placed into vocational training centres to lean skill jobs. The Hope Plus project has enrolled and graduated more than 600 girls into tailoring. Hair dressing and catering and more than thousand placed into mainstream schools. The objective of Don Bosco to empower young girls in situations of prostitution is for them not to revert to what they were doing before Don Bosco met with them and today many have gained employment in the tourism industry especially those trained in catering.
The organization, through its donor partners provides start-up kits for those trained in tailoring and hair-dressing and are placed in big tailoring and hair dressing shops for apprenticeship.