Friday, February 14, 2014

Child Friendly Guwahati

"How I wish that all of us would hear God's cry:  'Where is your brother?' (Gen 4:9)  Where is your brother or sister who is enslaved?  Where is the brother and sister whom you are killing each day in clandestine warehouses, in rings of prostitution, in children used for begging, in exploiting undocumented labor?  Let us not look the other way.  There is greater complicity than we think.  The issue involves everyone!"  ~Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

source:  thisweek guwahati.com

In my work with the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program in Milwaukee, I routinely see youngsters who suffer from lives of poverty and want.  But the struggle that they endure, while still in the loving arms of their mothers, who generally try to do all that they can to provide for their children, are nothing compared to the plight of children in Guwahati in the region of Northeast India, who are often left on their own to fend for themselves, without the support of a family that cares for them.

Over the course of the last year, I've had the pleasure of corresponding with Prasad Kalaparthy, a young seminarian from India.  Prasad, a former social work student who is now a Salesian Brother of Don Bosco in Guwahati in the Northeast Region of India, works diligently to help young children whose lives on the street are in utter chaos.  Prasad is deeply passionate about this project for the poor and marginalized children who are served under the Child Friendly Guwahati campaign, and states that they are aiming to put 10,000 children back into schools over the next three years.  Much support is needed in this endeavor.  

Source:   Child Friendly Gawahati 
The Northeast India slums are tragically home to many vulnerable children who spend their days out on the streets and become addicted to inhalants and smoking.  They are exploited, abused, trafficked, and malnourished. Child Friendly Guwahati,  under the direction of Fr. V.M. Thomas SDB, works to rescue and rehabilitate these children and enable them to return to mainstream education.  Without a solid education, these children face a bleak future.  I encourage you to heed the above words of Pope Francis when he says that this issue involves everyone and offer your care to these youngsters through prayer and/or financial support. Spend some time visiting the Child Friendly Guwahati website here to learn more about this project and please keep the efforts of the Salesians of Don Bosco in your prayers. And in a special way, please pray for my friend, Prasad, as he continues his seminary studies with the goal of ordination to the holy priesthood.

To learn more about Child Friendly Guwahati, or make a contribution toward helping these young children, please contact: childfriendlyguwahati@gmail.com or prasadkalaparthy@gmail.com.

Source:  Don Bosco India


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