Edward's voice crackled as told his story at a recent press conference. The 14-year-old boy described how he and other Sierra Leone street children have been threatened, beaten and jailed by police for no reason.
His testimony is consistent with the Children of the Street Report published by Don Bosco Fambul. Their investigation revealed that street children are unfairly targeted for abuse by law enforcement agencies responsible for looking after these vulnerable members of society.
In response, the Salesians are providing street children like Edward with some much-needed protection in the form of a big, brightly-colored bus.
On the outside, the name "Don Bosco" appears in huge bold letters, as if to proclaim the presence of a powerful guardian angel. On the inside, the vehicle is a full-service support center where children can receive basic health care, talk to a counselor, play games with friends and watch educational movies.
With an estimated 2,500 street children living in the region – 500 of whom are girls – the Don Bosco bus will help those who have been abandoned by their parents, the government and other humanitarian institutions.
It is just one of the many ways the Salesians, with caring people like you by our side, are giving hope to runaway, homeless, abused, neglected and poor children in 130 countries worldwide.
Source: March 2011 Appeal, ANS, World Bulletin 97