Postal Address :
Don Bosco Technical Centre,
3/2 Bahirawakanda Rd.,
P.O. Box 145,
Kandy – 2000
Since 1988 Don Bosco was directly involved in protecting child rights and protection in Negombo tourist areas. This came about as Don Bosco took the first and pioneering steps to protect children from sex tourism and specially children who were lured to child sex tourism. Since then Don Bosco established a center for rehabilitation for children who were exposed to sexual exploitation. Sri Lanka has been named as the ‘boy paradise’ as international pedophiles who have homosexual tendency found Sri Lanka a safe haven with the ready availability of young boys.
Don Bosco has taken also the pioneering step of the rehabilitation of Ex – child combatant (child soldiers) recruited by LTTE during the ethnic war. In mid-nineties Don Bosco provided a safe in-house environment to hundred and fifty children of the migrating fishing parents. These children were left unattended on the beach dwelling while the parents engaged themselves in harvesting fish in different locations, depending on the weather. Don Bosco took the initiative to go around the communities, schools, Parish Churches and temples in Propagating and addressing the Child Rights and Child Protection issues through music and drama. Us Aid supported these projects for over ten years. Representation of Don Bosco also became a founding member of the child protection authority of Sri Lanka and worked in close association with the same authority for over two decades.
The rehabilitation center so called sexually abused boys, so called beach boys started in an abandoned Bunglow called Christy Bunglow, in katana by Fr. Pinto from Negambo.
Then in 1992 it was shifted to Paranambalama Uswetakeiyawa, the present location. It was Fr.Pinto who in initiated this apostolate in this place and gave the name Bosco Sevana. This property originally belongs to the apostolic Nuncio who transferred to the arch diocese of Colombo. Arch Bishop Nicholus Makers bought it from the Nuncio and handed it over Fr. Pinto to carry on the work of rehabilitation of the sexually abused.
Rev.Fr. Feddy Shanthi Kumara was the parish priest of Uswetakeiyawa when this place was occupied by the children. The boys from Katana center were brought to Uswetakeiyawain the month of April 1992
The sexual exploitation of children was prevalent in the western and southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka as an ill-effect of tourism. In early 80s Sri Lanka has been known as the ‘Boy Paradise’ as boy children were exposed to international pedophiles freely. This situation was created as fisher men migrated to different parts of the island leaving the children behind and taking their wives to support them for catch of fish since fishing was seasonal. This scenario left the boy child as a ready prey for the perpetrators. There was no political commitment to safe guard children of the coastal belt and to take to task the perpetrators as this would affect tourism.
Another major reason for high levels of child abuse and violation of child rights is due to the breakdown of family structure which is on the increase all through the country. This break ups caused the child to lose both the parents as the father looks for a new partner then the mother in turn looks for her own partner and settle down in new union leaving the children of the first marriage to themselves or to the care of a closest relative. This scenario would affect the child most and violate his or her right completely. On the other side of this scenario, one partner of the first marriage leaves behind the child with the single parent situation. Thus, making the single parent (in Sri Lankan context); make him/her incapable of giving full care, protection and nourishment to the child’s needs.
Without the protection and security of the family, child is more prone to the abuses and violation of his/her rights. Although theoretically legal norms are formulated by the politicians in the parliament, there is no commitment on their part to see to promulgation of these laws and norms to protect children. The police or the other agents of implementation of these laws are either incapable or corrupt to secure justice to the victims.
Since then, the Religious authorities (Bishops, Priest and Nuns) have taken initiatives to voice out and to bring to notice of the public such crimes and violation of rights of children. In this endure Don Bosco has taken the leadership and pioneered the cause.
With the strong intervention of Don Bosco, against child sex exploitation the problem came under control and many parents and adults became aware of its ill effects of tourism and started safe guarding the children. Then attention and interventions were shifted to child rights violation which results in family breakdown situations. Rights and protection of numerous children have been compromised as the family breaks apart. Hence, Bosco Sevana has focused its attention to the safety and the well-being of children left at risk by family breakdown.
This reality of family breakdown is on a higher increase, as it is seen statistically. Often, both the parents look for alternative matching partners neglecting their responsibility towards the children of the first union. In this case the situation of the child can be worst and the outright violation of the child right is clearly visible. In the case of single parent, either the mother or father is incapacitated to give the child the protection, nourishment and education.
In-house protection and care continuous to be a necessity as the foster parenting is not so much in the culture of the country. Also, the economic situation of the country does not encourage the average families to adopt another child. Don Bosco has a long experience in giving in-house care and protection to children at risk as shown above. This type intervention ensures systematic education, imparting of life skills and vocational skills, to help the child to grow into mature and responsible adults.
As the in-house intervention for the children in need was established Bosco Sevana also paid attention to the children of neighborhood. Thus, the apostolate for neighborhood began by giving them free remedial classes. This apostolate was open to both the boy and girls.
The Pre Novitiate started in the year 2010. There were six Pre-Novices. The regular life in the pre-novitiate revolves around the objectives of deepening the Christian faith, evaluating the suitability for Salesian Life and learning to live the Salesian Apostolic Consecrated Life.
The Don Bosco Boy’s home named “Bosco Sevana” at Uswetakeiyawa is the rehabilitation Center of the Salesian of Don Bosco in Sri Lanka for sexually abused, orphans, youth at risk and street children. It was provided by His grace Nicholas Marcus Fernando the Catholic Archbishop of Colombo for the integral formation of the boys in 1996.
Through intellectual achievements, physical growth and spiritual nourishment the children overcome the past trauma in order to recognized one’s own dignity and that of the others for a brighter future
Bosco Sevana is committed to bring out this general objective in the total wellbeing of poor, homeless and especially sexually abused children without distinction of ethnicity, language or religion, through a process of moral, psychological, intellectual and physical rehabilitation in a climate of family spirit, according to the tested and proved preventive system.
Called to be a sign and bearer of God’s love to the children and youth, who are orphans, sexually abused and children at risk, the Salesian Community shares Don Bosco’s educative experience with the poor and abandon children and youth in order to accompany them in initial journey to physical and psycho spiritual growth.
BoscoSevana is a Home, Shelter and Rehabilitation Center for children who are sexually abused and children at risk. We as the professed religious community try our best to carry out this Apostolic Mission. We as a community, work for these children, who really need our care concern and love. We feel that this is the real work and the intension of our Father and Founder St. John Bosco.
The society of St. Francis de Sales or Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), is a religious Congregation founded by St. John Bosco in 1859 in Turin, Italy for the purpose of helping, educating and training poor boys. To date, services of the Salesians have spread to 131 countries in the world. In Sri Lanka, the very first Don Bosco Centre was established in 1956 at Negombo. The Salesians of Don Bosco have, to date established 18 centres in different parts of the country.
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