AFRICA/GHANA - The Salesian missionaries in Sunyani: Protecting the childhood of the most fragile children

Thursday, 29 February 2024

Sunyani (Agenzia Fides) - The phenomenon of street children in the extremely poor area of Sunyani represents a major challenge. It threatens the survival and future of hundreds of thousands of minors who come from difficult backgrounds, from desperate families, from parents who are homeless, are unemployed or sick.
To help this vulnerable group, the Salesian Missionaries have launched the 'You are daily bread' program, which targets many extremely poor, lonely or abandoned children. "It is an initiative to protect the childhood of the most vulnerable children who are welcomed into the missions by the Salesians of Don Bosco, to accompany them in the most important years of their lives and to give them a feeling of security every day," explain the missionaries. "There are currently 75 children and young people between the ages of 5 and 24, all of whom come from the towns and cities around Sunyani." "'Akwaaba', which means 'welcome' in the local language, is the word that accompanied my visit to the 'Bosco Boys Home' in Sunyani," said project office manager Marcella Mantovani, who recently visited the Salesian centre. In an instant I was surrounded by the happiness and affection of all these children and young people of all ages. Each of them is ready to vie for hospitality, each is ready to offer a smile, a handshake, a hug, all under the loving eyes of Father Charles, director of the center. The Salesian home looks after children and young people who are forced to live and grow up on the streets from an early age. They are victims of all forms of violence and abuse and are exploited through petty trading, street sales, prostitution, drug trafficking and weapons theft. The missionaries' goal is to make them feel welcome and loved and to give them the opportunity to receive the education that poverty denies them. The program is also active in the homes of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Mekanissa (Ethiopia) and Namugongo (Uganda). (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 29/2/2024)