DON BOSCO ASHALAYAM – NEW DELHI
Archdiocese of New Delhi
1996 – Don Bosco
The Salesian venture for the Street Children of New Delhi begun in 1996. Don Bosco Ashalayam, “Home of Hope” started in January 1997 in a small rented house in Bindapur, Uttam Nagar. Fr. Thaiparambil Anthony was the pioneer of this work for the Young at Risk. He did a lot of work in contacting other NGO’s and establishing the network of contacts for the growth and development of Ashalayam. As the work grew and the number of children increased, a new building was constructed at Palam Gaon. The building work was supervised by Fr. Sebastian Jose who later became the director of the centre in May 1999. It was blessed on 27th November 1999 by Most. Rev. Alan de Lastic, Archbishop of Delhi and inaugurated by Fr. Giovanni Fedrigotti,the Extraordinary Visitor. The civic function was presided over by Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Delhi. The house was canonically erected on 4 June 2003.
The house has the capacity to provide rehabilitation facilities for 150 children at any point of time. At present there are 125 children. The Young at Risk are the primary target group of Ashalayam. They include street and working children, slum children and urban refugee youth. The house had a night shelter near Kodiapul, Old Delhi, in the premises of Sr. Mary’s Church, placed at our disposal by Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao. Now the night shelter is shifted to the premise of Don Bosco Technical Institute, Okhla. A day care drop-in-centre cum counseling centre is running successfully at Minto Road.
Asha Reachout is a street contact programme for the purpose of strengthening the contacts with the children on the street.
Don Bosco Youth Bank is an initiative by Young at Risk who have received some training to support other children in need. It is a bank which funds self-employment programmes by Young at Risk. The Computer-training Institute at the Centre caters to the slum children and school drop-outs. Ashalayam is also part of the Kidavary network which aims to provide life skills training to slum youth.
From 2001 Ashalayam has offered a ‘skills building programme’ for urban refugees. The first project was initiated in July 2001 for Burmese refugee youth at Najafgarh. It was done in collaboration with International Catholic Immigration Commission(ICMC). Seeing the success of the programme, United Nations High commission for Refugees asked Ashalayam to design and implement a self-reliance programme for urban refugees. It aims to empower urban refugees with adequate skills and work experience which will support their livelihood needs in the host country and enable them to rebuild their lives in the home country on their return or facilitate resettlement to a third country. The programme is a joint venture of Don Bosco Ashalayam (DBA) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The other programmes of this project are psychosocial support, job placement, organization of youth clubs, community animation and education, income generation and self employment. In the year 2009, DBA-UNHCR project was able to reach out to 11,392 refugees(5382 Males, 6010 Females).
Ashalayam also runs a 24-hour free emergency "Child Helpline" for children in distress. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and is part of an all India effort to help children in need. Don Bosco, Ashalayam is in charge of the West Delhi region and any child from the area can dial 1098 free of cost to request help from Child Helpline.
Don Bosco Ashalayam
New Delhi – 110045
011- 25080094 House / Childline
011- 25080097 Director