NEPAL: Nepal Don Bosco Society is educating 23 boys as “Future Helpers” to aid in the response after disasters
Boys from four Don Bosco centers are receiving training in a range of subjects including in building and construction to gain the skills needed to assist in reconstruction efforts.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 8, 2019) Salesian missionaries with the Nepal Don Bosco Society have continued with a “Future Helpers” program that was launched as part of long-term reconstruction efforts after the devastating 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015 and the second earthquake struck just after that on May 12. The program, with funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, is addressing the shortfall in qualified people to help in the aftermath of disasters as well as the long-term education and employment needs of youth in the region.
“Salesian missionaries living and working in Nepal have been engaged in long-term reconstruction efforts helping communities to rebuild homes and schools as well as offering important training to increase the capacity of communities to deal effectively in the aftermath of disasters,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “One of the primary training efforts underway is helping to further the reconstruction efforts and put those in the community who have lost their livelihoods back to work. Salesian missionaries are using their training centers across Nepal to train young men and women in a range of subjects including in the building and construction skills needed to assist in reconstruction.”
More than 8,000 people died and close to 20,000 were injured as a result of the earthquakes and their aftermath. Forty of Nepal’s 75 districts were affected, 16 of them severely, with homes, schools, buildings, cattle, fields ready for harvest and other property destroyed. More than 500,000 people were displaced and in need of shelter and other assistance. The United Nations reported that more than 1,300 schools were destroyed during the earthquakes.
Salesian missionaries with the Nepal Don Bosco Society entered into an agreement with the government of Nepal for the reconstruction of 12 public schools in areas most affected by the earthquakes. To date, 10 schools have been built and equipped in small villages in the Kathmandu valley. Salesian programs are also helping to train teachers and supply school materials in order to offer quality education for children.
The “Future Helpers” program created training modules at four Don Bosco Centers in Biratnagar, Chakraghatti, Sirsia and Thecho. Twenty-three boys across the four Don Bosco centers are receiving training in a range of subjects through the program. They attend regular schools and colleges and also receive intensive training on intellectual, spiritual and social subjects to help them cope with the extra responsibilities on top of their daily studying. They are also given motivational sessions and spiritual and moral guidance.
Some of the training topics have included: interpersonal relationships, positive outlooks, how to become a better person, leadership, care for the earth, good manners and more. Because the boys are from local villages, they have limited experience with spoken and written English so English language training is included in their education. The boys also learn management skills related to time and punctuality, self-esteem building and the importance of spirituality and prayer.
In addition, Salesian missionaries offer educational talks during assembly and in the evenings on topics like caring for one another, respect for people, cleanliness and learning how to stop wasting water, electricity and food. The boys are able to use the skills they are learning through interaction with their teachers, Salesian missionaries and other staff as well as guests and visitors at the centers.
Nepal Don Bosco Society has also purchased new library books to encourage the boys to read more and increase their knowledge and self-reliance to help them to be better community mobilizers and leaders.
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