We want to create a home and provide specialist treatment for street boys aged 8-15 years with addiction problems and mental disorders.
The Salesians own land in Makululu, Zambia, where a house of hope for addicted and mentally disturbed street boys can be built. The house will be built in the vicinity of the existing orphanage at the Ciloto facility.
As part of the project, we will build and equip a house and provide food, round-the-clock care along with individual psychological therapy and psychiatric treatment for 10 boys. The construction of a residential building, sanitary facilities, and a well is planned. The house will accept boys from the streets of the Kabwe slum district. This place will be the first stage of the boys’ adaptation to return to society. They will be examined by a psychologist and psychiatrist, and depending on need, treatment and therapy will be implemented. The expected duration of the stay will be from 3 to 6 months. Depending on their progress, the boys will be transferred to an existing orphanage where social reintegration will continue.
In Makululu on the outskirts of Kabwe, Salesians have been running a center for street boys since 2017. There are primary, secondary and technical schools, a house for boys, and an oratory.
Currently, about 40 boys aged 8 to 15 live permanently in the orphanage. Moreover, about 35 children come daily for a daily stay. The boys are provided with care, meals and access to a shower. All attend school for free.
The boys who end up in the Ciloto facility have been rejected by their families who have not dealt with their problems. They were kicked out of their home due to problems with the law, addiction or mental disorders. The actions taken so far are paying off, 8 boys returned to their families. Others are ready, but for various reasons it is not possible. Boys are very creative, they learn quickly, and if the right conditions for their development are created, they will be able to fulfill their dreams, e.g. of becoming a doctor.
Those who come directly from the street face a number of problems that pose a threat to children who have already dealt with them. Therefore, it is necessary to separate boys staying at home from newcomers who require the implementation of specialist care consisting of individual psychological therapy and psychiatric treatment, so that they do not have a destructive influence on others.
The story of one of the boys from Ciloto.
Felix ended up in the street because of hunger. He made money in the street by begging, and his colleagues taught him how to forget about worries by sniffing glue, smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol. He quickly became addicted. The biological father was involved in drug dealing and because of this he had to leave his family, fleeing the police. He was brought up by his mother and his stepfather, who often and severely beat him. The situation at home was unbearable and he was ultimately thrown out. In April 2020, Fr. Michał Wziętek met him in a shop and offered to help, and the boy joined the Don Bosco boys. Felix ran away several times because he longed for money and cigarettes. He says he likes this place very much, because he has a school here and can study without having to think about getting money for food. He doesn’t want to run anymore, he wants to finish school and become a doctor to help the weak and the sick.