Houses And OutreachYou put the key in the door. The familiar scrape of metal on metal is followed by the sound of the door closing behind you. Then silence. A deserted house. You free the uncomfortable weight on your shoulders and the heavy schoolbag hits the floor with a echoing thud. As you venture further into the house the recognisable emptiness is confirmed. If you want dinner you’ll have to piece together whatever bits and pieces you can, if you need money you’ll have to scrounge through the penny jar and if you need emotional support, well you’ve long since realised you’re in the wrong place.
Some parents aren’t ready to be parents. Taking care of children isn’t a priority when you find it difficult to care for yourself. Emotional scars aren’t genetic but they frequently get passed down through the generations. There are many reasons as to why parents can’t devote the necessary attention to their families, but finger-pointing and excuse-making do little to help the unfortunate young people who feel the full force of neglect.
The problems of one generation get passed down to the next. School seems triviali in comparison to survival. At the time missing out on an education may seem like missing out on a cupla focail and some long division, but it starts a process that rapidly eliminates the possibilities for personal development and any hope of a better life.
Don Bosco Teenage Care aims to break the cycle by providing the food, shelter and support for teenagers with difficult family backgrounds. The young people can attend school during the day, but rather than returning to disruptive circumstances at home, they can return to a Don Bosco Teenage Care house where they have their food and board taken care of. All the while they will have access to social care and counselling.
The approach is unspectacular and deliberately so. Cast your mind to your own school days and undoubtedly one of the first memories you will recall is the judgement passed on classmate by classmate. Sadly empathy and tolerance aren’t the forte of children and teenagers, but the idea behind the Don Bosco Teenage Care homes is to provide the necessary background support without those availing of our services having to deal with the stigmas associated with counselling and social work.
Don Bosco House Head Office