Bangalore Rural Educational and Development Society (BREADS)

Don Bosco Educational Presence

The Don Bosco Network in Karnataka impacts the lives of more than 18,037 children every year through educational programmes alone. Several thousands of school children have been impacted through its child rights education and clubs. Thousands of children are also impacted through rehabilitative services for the young at risk such as street presence, open shelters, counselling, family reunification and other services.

Don Bosco’s Educative Interventions

Residential Bridge Courses

BREADS and its Don Bosco partners work with children in situations of risk (orphans, rescued from the streets, child labour, or other problematic situations, economically poor children, especially girls). Often, these children are illiterate or very backward in academic learning because of their lack of schooling. Accompanied by counselling, these children are encouraged to start a learning journey, based on their age, interests, and literacy levels.

They are facilitated on their journey to school through a bridge course. These are residential courses where academic learning is tailored according to the child’s ability, with plenty of creative activities, sports and games to nurture their talents into fruition; thus, making the journey to rejoin school, an enjoyable one. Children are then enrolled to formal schools at an appropriate grade for their abilities. 

Currently, bridge courses impacting 200+ out-of-school children are functioning in five centres in Karnataka and one centre in Kerala.

Open School Programme

Various factors contribute to children dropping out of school before completion of their school-leaving certification, which is fundamental to future education or skilling. Lack of certification is a major stumbling block, frustrating the young person’s aspirations to a better future. Don Bosco Mysuru created an Open School programme which coaches and facilitates youngsters who wish to appear for the class 10 or 12 examinations. The curriculum is designed to suit the needs of working people as well. Students are supported by trained teachers to overcome various challenges, such as fears of failure in school, long gaps in their studies, personal and family difficulties, difficulty in maintaining motivation etc. Don Bosco Mysuru was recently commended for facilitating the highest marks in the KOS SSLC 2022-23 exams in Karnataka, when its student scored 85.15%.

Supplementary Education & Learning Activity Centres

Appreciating the practical challenges of first generation learners as well as those children who need help with their studies without recourse to educated adults for support, the Don Bosco institutions set up supplementary education centres, which operate in the evenings in local community spaces. These centres are very important both in preventing children from dropping out of school, as well as in recruiting dropouts back to school, in both the pre- and post-Covid situations. Some of these centres offer nutritive snacks to supplement the diet of the children who often suffer from malnutrition.
These centres all across Karnataka and Kerala, also empower children with life skills and child rights trainings, enabling them to become aware of their rights and able to speak up against violations, becoming nerve centres for children’s rights in local communities. Life skills trainings enable children to face problems at school in a balanced manner. Through soft skill development, activity centres help children excel in extracurricular activities as well.
Currently, 63 evening supplementary education & nutrition centres reach out to 3041 children. Additionally, 150 activity centres promote after-school learning activities and play for around 6000 children in four districts in Karnataka.

Formal Schools & Colleges

The Don Bosco network has started formal English-medium (one Kannada-medium as well) schools in the towns of North Karnataka, currently, Vijayanagara, Chitradurga, Yadagiri, Kalaburagi, Devadurga and Bidar. We also have a school for children from low-income families in Bengaluru city. Numerous Don Bosco schools in Kerala also provide high-quality education to children of all backgrounds.
These schools provide high quality, relatively inexpensive education to children from rural and poor backgrounds, who otherwise could neither access nor afford such education, thereby creating equitable opportunities for progress through ensuring their right to quality education. Many children enjoy subsidised education in these schools through the promotion of education sponsorships for them.

Hostel Facilities

A factor for rural children to drop out from school without completing their certification, and becoming labourers, is the distance to the high school from their villages. Poor transport facilities in remote areas increase the problem for underprivileged children. Separate Don Bosco hostels near schools and colleges, enable children from the villages to live with all the required facilities while helping them excel in their studies and extracurricular activities. Special concessions are given for those who cannot afford hostel fees.

Currently, 25 formal Don Bosco schools reach out to thousands of children across Karnataka and Kerala.

Nine colleges offering pre-university up to postgraduate courses educate thousands of youth in Kerala and Karnataka.

Education Sponsorships

Besides providing safe boarding homes for children from difficult family situations to continue their educations, BREADS and its Don Bosco partners also support children within their own homes as well. Children, of parents challenged by chronic sickness or single parenthood, semi-orphans and such, who can live at home, but struggle to continue their education, are helped with education sponsorships both at the school and college levels. These sponsorships make a huge difference not only to the child but to his/her family as well, in easing the load of already-burdened adults. Higher/professional education qualifies a youngster to earn better to lift the family out of survival mode in future.

In the current academic year, BREADS supports 331 children and youth to continue their formal education.

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