The project of the Don Bosco Home in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia is a dynamic set of programs that provide a harmonious atmosphere where children, teenagers and young people in street situation and social risk are sheltered under a system that has as its main mission providing comprehensive training, serving and protecting the fundamental rights of each of them, where they feel accepted and valued by family and society according to the Salesian spirit, overcoming the disadvantage there had been placed in, through comprehensive training, based on love and support so they can develop further into society. Welcoming, educating and preparing for life: this is the motto of the Don Bosco Project.
Contributing to the achievement of a positive and effective social policy in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia for the implementation of the Code of Children and Young Persons (Art. 1, 13 and 158 of the 2026 Act); International Humanitarian Law and the Rights of Children, in terms of humanitarian emergency that for many years children, adolescents and young people have been living through in Bolivia as a result of the permanent violation of their rights; thereby helping to train young people into a mature, free and responsible personality that brings forth positive changes to society.
- Providing shelter and comprehensive care for children, adolescents and young people in street situation and social risk.
- Contributing to their rapid physical and emotional recovery.
- Granting their basic needs as to health, nutrition, education and professionalization.
- Steering our target recipients into the building of their life project.
- Preventing those children attended in programs of the Don Bosco Project from abandoning their homes and taking to the streets as a way of life.
Currently, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, around 1,000 children and youths are in street situation, a figure that increases about a 10% every year. These are kids from 6 years who have broken their relationship with their family and for various reasons have taken to the streets and made them their home.
There are, moreover, close to 6,000 children working in the streets who, although they still have contact with their families during the day, spend their evenings working in jobs ranging from carretilleros (barrow boys) to lustrabotas (shoeshine boys) to canillitas (paperboys) or to voceros in buses. They live though very difficult situations as they are on the front line, between working and living on the streets.
What Have We Achieved?
Over the last 10 years, the Don Bosco Project has:
- Welcomed, protected and integrally supported 500 kids each year
- Temporarily sheltered and hosted 900 kids each year
- Contributed to family rehabilitation of approximately 500 kids
- Enrolled 400 kids each year
- Custom taught special education to 50% of the schooled kids
- Granted capacity in printing, carpentry, carving, welding, gardening and bakery of around 70 young people per year
- Contributed to the technical and professionsal training of hundreds of youngsters
- Potentially strengthened the cultural and artistic capacities and skills of hundreds of youths
- In the coming years we hope to consolidate strategic partnerships with companies, universities and other institutions through best practices and by implementing social responsibility programs that may allow:
- Improving the infrastructure and equipment for the integral development of children, adolescents and young adults
- Improving the project staff plant by hiring professionals who are needed in the various houses of the Project, such as psychologists, psychopaedagogs, workshop teachers, educators and others
- Acquiring and upgrading vehicles to transport kids, materials and meals for the various shelters
- Implementing training and awareness workshops for technical teams, educators and support staff; also, we expect to develop a program of workshops addressing various problems faced by children from the different homes and parents in view of a comprehensive education that may allow family reintegration and the building of strong, lasting new families