Don Bosco Youth Center (DBYC), Mandalay
At the DBYC, the Catholic Salesian Brothers care for vulnerable youth and street children who have dropped out of school or live on the streets to escape dysfunctional families and abuse. Eighteen boys at risk stay at the Center and receive informal school education and moral guidance and attend vocational training courses. The vocational training courses include electric and electronics repair, computer and language training, and motor bike repair.
DBYC also operates a drop-in center and an outreach program for street children. The dedicated staff members teach basic reading and writing skills and provide counseling for the boys. The street children can play, sing, and stay in the compound and get food; but the Center can only accommodate 15 street overnight in a small bamboo building. The DBYC staff regularly visits the local governmental juvenile detention center where about 300 boys of different ages are kept. In addition, DBYC tries to re-consolidate and reunify street children with their families when it is safe to do so.
After WorldVision closed its drop-in center for street children in March 2014, the DBYC is the only institution offering systematic care for the street boys in Mandalay. There are so many street children that DBYC cannot meet the urgent demand and pressing needs of the boys.
To help an increasing number of street boys, the Salesian Brothers need to replace the 20 feet by 10 feet two-story bamboo house with a larger, more durable building that can accommodate more boys overnight. In addition, the dirt playground has to be raised and covered with a solid surface as it will get flooded in the approaching monsoon season.