For many years, the Salesian Community has been carrying out their mission in the Makululu area of Kabwe city, Zambia, in very difficult circumstances. Makululu is a particularly deprived and disadvantaged area, characterised by lack of employment, high mortality because of HIV/AIDS infections, a high percentage of broken and separated families, heavy alcohol abuse, and extreme poverty. It is home to many children and young people who have been neglected and left to live in the streets. The main reason that they find themselves in this situation is because of family breakdown, as the father or mother may leave for work or take on new partners. The children are then left to fend for themselves. Other factors which drive children onto the streets are parental alcoholism, violence, poverty, and child abuse.

The Salesian Community of Kabwe Makululu started a project in 2016, with the aim of reaching out to and assisting these vulnerable children. The Salesians began by opening a Community School at the parish premises for street children and school dropouts. The centre was later transferred to a new location which is owned by the Salesian Society of Don Bosco. Over the years, the Salesians have continued developing the project by adding new activities and putting in place new infrastructure.

This has included establishing a centre for street children and children at risk, which offers shelter, rehabilitation, and reintegrating programs for 92 boys, aged 7-14. The process of rehabilitation and reintegration depends on the situation of each child and the condition of the parents/guardians. Some of the children can be reintegrated with the families after a few months and continue education in Don Bosco School or other schools. Others may leave the facility only to be reintegrated into society and to start independent life.

At the core of the project is the aim of reaching out to street children and to other children and youth at risk, and providing hope to them through support, education, and skills. The Salesians also work closely with the families of the children/youth through regular home visits, counselling, and offering transformative programmes. They understand that the best option for children and youth is to remain with their families, when possible.

The Salesians in Makululu also work to foster child participation, empowerment and the development of leadership skills when dealing with these vulnerable children and young people. The Salesian Community follows the example of Don Bosco, who spent so much of his life working with young people, including those who were struggling to survive on the streets. He created spaces where young people felt welcomed and had a sense of belonging, and the Salesians in Makululu endeavour to do the same.

Please help the children in Makululu to have a better future!

Donation form below