Don Bosco Boarding Home is the heart of the charity and has been purpose built to provide a home, security and hope to children that would otherwise face many struggles in their young lives.
The Boarding School can house up to 100 children and for them this is home. The back grounds of the children who live there can be very troubled. Many children will be orphaned or without one or other of their parents. For many personal circumstances makes things difficult for their families to care for them, some will come from unimaginable poverty, others abusive situations and the stories goes on!
The school Principle Raj Chukka and Fr Dominic work closely with Volunteer Key-Workers so that the Charity are made aware of children in these difficult situations and will do what they are able, to provide them with the best options and hope for their future. This will often include the child or children moving to live at the school whilst keeping important links and relationships where possible with their families.
Schooling in India is 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday following the Indian Government Curriculum. The children in the boarding school tend to follow a structured routine allowing the children to know what is happening in the day and to keep everything running happily and smoothly
Here is an example of a typical day for children at the Boarding School.
The children will rise, wash and gather together in the top floor hall to pray. Following this they have around 30 minutes of self study. It is always lovely to see the children praying together, this is normally led by one of the older children. It is also lovely seeing the older children helping the younger children with their work.
The children will go about specific duties. Every child has a job each day to take care of their home and surrounds they live in such as; cleaning, clothes washing, sweeping or mopping and taking out the rubbish. They rotate the responsibilities every few weeks as there are always some jobs the children love to do like ‘walking the house dog’ but also some they’d rather not!!
Is breakfast: The children gather three times a day in the ground floor dining hall to eat together. Every meal time begins with a prayer to thank God for their meal. The menus change throughout the week but their favourite food is rice which they have with most meals and for breakfast they would typically have Lemon Rice.
The School day begins: SMC School which has been built on the same site as the boarding home is also managed by the project. Children from the surrounding villages also attend the school. Although Telugu is their common language, lessons are mostly taught in English and Hindi. It is recognised that speaking English offers the children more opportunities for employment in later life.
Is lunch time and the boarding children will return to the home for their meal and down time before school in the afternoon. The boarding home employs two kitchen staff who cook for the children, all of which is supervised by Pavani Chukka wife to Raj.
The school day continues. Indian schools are organised by ages just like the UK. Beginning in Class one and currently running to class ten when they would leave for further studies and college. A typical school day includes, Maths, English, Science, Telugu and Hindi.
The school day ends and the boarding children enjoy some much deserved downtime after their day at school. Many of the children like to get out of their uniforms and just like in the UK many like to get straight into their pyjamas!!!
The evening continues with further duties around the home, shower time, self-study and plenty of recreational time.
Is evening prayer led by the children and amongst the prayers they say two decades of the Rosary thanking God for their families and remembering in their prayers all who support them in the UK.
The children come together for their evening meal.
9.30 – 10.30pm
The children are off to bed with the older children staying up a little longer than the younger ones. The children sleep in dormitories, boys in one and the girls in the other, they are supervised by two ‘wardens’ who somehow manage to keep a good calm atmosphere for bed! In the dormitories they also they have their own spaces to keep their personal belonging and clothes. The rooms are warm, safe and comfortable, all of which is a far cry to what they may have in rural Eluru life.