The good Archbishop of Cebu and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Msgr. Jose Palma, DD joined us in the fun run "Dagan Kabataan" as one of the highlights of the FIS celebration of the year of the youth in 2011.
There are 200,000* street children in the Philippines today and Cebu has its own share of street chidren. They are walking time bombs... constantly exposed to the dangers and temptations of the streets and often falling prey to its lures...substance abuse, easy money through petty crimes, "shabu runners," and the like.
Chances are the street child grows up to become a criminal, as he is schooled in the harsh realities of street life. "Way paglaum sa "University of the Streets." The streets do not offer any prospects of a bright future.
This is the cold hard fact that street children have to live with. The child´s chances of going to school, developing into a healthy and happy person, nurturing relationships with family and friends, and growing up as a responsible adult diminish as he continues his exploits in the streets.
The Don Bosco Boys' Home System offers street children an alternative. HOPE. Paglaum.
Since 1988, Don Bosco Boys' Home, Inc has catered to over 2005 poor and abandoned youth. Caring for street urchins and out-of-school youth, Don Bosco Boys' Home, Inc has fed, clothe, sheltered, healed, and educated thousands of street children. Since, it has provided free education and training to thousands of poor kids who could not afford to study elsewhere, producing 197 graduates in Vocational Technology in the last 23 years. Some of its graduates are already technicians and supervisors in various companies in industry, proving that when given the chance these kids can live decently and even contribute to the welfare of society.
It is possible to change and dream again. There is life after the streets... Let us make this dream possible together.
*According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development
Don Bosco Boys’ Home and Training Center provides shelter – a home away from home to about 125 boys in elementary, in high school, and in manpower skills training/vocational course and sends them to school. The elementary boys attend classes at Tiltilon Elementary School, a half-kilometer walk; the high school boys are transported by the Boys’ Home bus to the University of Cebu- Compostela; while those enrolling in the vocational course do it in the Don Bosco Training Center, just within the compound of DBBH. Through its training center, offers them vocational skills to work and earn their bread. Shelter, school, and skills are not all. DBBH has yet something more to offer these youngsters: Salesian spirituality that encompasses the daily life duties, joy and optimism, friendship with Jesus and Mary, communion with the Church, and responsible service. DBBH envisions the Boys’ Home graduates as able to support themselves and their families; able to remain faithful to his Christian duties and able to show gratitude by supporting Boys’ Home in whatever way they can.