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National Youth At Risk Convention 2014 - 'Care Of Children With Behavioural Difficulties'
By Fr. Neelam Ratnakumar & Fr. Tom Chowran
New Delhi, Mar. 3. During the National YaR (Youth at Risk) convention on ''CARE OF CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES'' and General Body of YaR Forum, held at Don Bosco Navajeevan Bala Bhavan, Vijayawada, from March 1-3, 2014,the participants pledged to focus on the inclusive care of the children with Behavioural difficulties. During the convention announcement was also made about the nomination of Fr. Koshy Thomas SDB as the Secretary of DBSAF-YaR.
Children from Navajeevan Bala Bhavan, Vijayawada.
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On March 2,  at 7.00 am the participants of the YaR convention gathered for Eucharistic celebration. In his reflection Fr. Noel Maddhichetty SDB, the Secretary SPCSA, exhorted the delegates to be inspired by Don Bosco and the mystical inner force, which set him to seek first the salvation of the young. He drew the attention of the YaR delegates to be good stewards of human ecology, which determines, behavioural patterns of the young people today. He highlighted on the challenge of GC 27 to be creative mystics like Don Bosco to address the unique behavioural difficulties, which arise in our ministry with the young.  

At the beginning of the first session of the day, Fr. Bellamkonda Sudhakar, the YaR delegate of the Province of Hyderabad, called upon Fr. Noel Maddhichetty, to release the Telugu version of ''Don Bosco Child Policy for Young''(YaR). Fr. Tharakan John, who brought out the Telugu version was given the first copy of the policy.

In the first session Sr. Teresa JMJ shared her vast practical experience of working with girl children with behavioural difficulties. Responding to the girl child disorders, she exhorted everyone to educate the children the value of life and to teach them to manage their attractions and emotions so that they are able to celebrate life by moving towards being interdependent rather than being dependent and being assertive rather than submissive persons.

Fr. Kuriakose Pallikunnel presented on the theme, ''CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS AND THEIR FAMILY ENVIRONMENT''. He focused on the disorders in the families, which affected adversely the lives of the children and their behavior.

In the absence of the Fr. Jose Kuttianimattathil, Fr. Maria Charles, the delegate for the youth pastoral was called upon to  present the paper ''PREVENTIVE SYSTEM OF DON BOSCO REDISCOVERED: WORKING WITH CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES KEEPING IN MIND CHILD RIGHTS, LEGAL REQUIREMENT AND SAFEGUARDS.'' He shared his insights on the relationship between Preventive System of Don Bosco and recently released Don Bosco Child Policy and Don Bosco Child protection policy.

The paper on, ''INCLUSION AND ITS IMPLICATION IN THE CARE OF CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIORAL DIFFICULTIES'' was presented by Fr. John Tharakan and Mr. Dev Manti. They emphasized on the fact that the children under our care should not suffer any discrimination and subsequent exclusion from our care and protection. Every child needs to be included into our care and protection in order to allow the children to grow to their full potential.

The convention was concluded with a province-wise group discussion with a concrete action plan for the coming year. The delegates from 19 states made commitment to take forward the rights of the ''orphan children'' and also to be part of the national movement towards this noble cause.

Fr. Joe Prabhu proposed  the vote of thanks to all those who were responsible for the organizing the YaR 2014 National Convention, with a meticulous planning and execution. The day came to a close with a visit to CHIGURU (Children's Village) which perched on the south bank of Krishna river, an intervention of  Don Bosco Navajeevan Bala Bhavan, Vijaywada.

On March 3, 2014, the third day of the convention, the General Body and Governing Body of DBSAF-YAR was held. During the meeting Fr. Mathew Thomas read a letter from Fr. Maria Arokiam, the Regional Councillor for South Asia, to convey the message of the appointment of Fr. Koshy Thomas SDB as the Secretary of DBSAF-YAR.

The General Body gratefully acknowledged the six years of   the committed service of Fr. Mathew Thomas SDB, and felicitated the outgoing Secretary in a fitting manner at the conclusion of the YaR 2014 convention.

The participants were overwhelmed by the organization of the YaR convention and the warm hospitality extended by the YaR commission of the province of Hyderabad and Don Bosco Navajeevan Bala Bhavan, Vijayawada.

The delegates resolved to rededicate their lives for the  care for the young with behavioural difficulties with the rejuvenated spirit of the convention.

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