Plans to Build “House of Hope” for Street Children in Zambia Underway: Salesians

Plans to put up a dwelling place for street children suffering from substance abuse and those who are mentally disturbed are underway in Zambia’s Kabwe Diocese, the leadership of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) has announced.

In a Thursday, December 10 report, SDB officials say that funds have been obtained to build what will be called “House of Hope” in the informal settlement of Makululu located in the Zambian Diocese.

“The aim of the project is to create a home and provide specialized care for street children aged between 8 and 15 with addiction problems or mental disorders,” they say in the report published by Agenzia Info Salesiana, SDB’s communication agency.

Set to be completed by November 2021 with funding from the Salesian Missionary Foundation (SMF) in Warsaw, Poland, the house will also be used to welcome the children who wander the alleys of the neighborhood of the nearby slums of Kabwe, SDB officials add in the report obtained by ACI Africa.

At an estimated cost of US$26,485.00, the project will involve the construction of the house, the purchase of necessary equipment and the provision of food and assistance to at least 10 minors. The assistance will include individual psychological therapy and psychiatric treatment 24 hours a day, officials of the 161-year-old Religious Institute say.


The project is being undertaken next to an existing house labelled “Ciloto”, which means “dream” in Bemba, the local language. “Ciloto” houses children who are ready for reintegration into the society. 

In the December 10 report, officials of the Poland-based SMF say the “House of Hope” will be “the first stage of a process of adaptation and recovery of the children in view of their reintegration into society.” 

At the house, the children will be examined by a psychologist and psychiatrist and, depending on their needs, the necessary treatments and therapies will be implemented, the SMF officials note. 

The house will act as a preparatory area where children coming straight from the streets will be prepared for the “Ciloto” since they come with issues that could be a threat to other kids who have already processed and overcome them, Salesians add in the report. 

“It is for this reason that now they want to erect this new "House of Hope" that can prepare the most needy minors to reach their "dream",” officials of the Italy-headquartered Religious Institute say about the project that will be realized in partnership with SDB members serving in "Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia" Vice Province (ZMB). 

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According to the SMF leadership, the expected length of stay for the street children at the house will be 3 to 6 months after which depending on their progress, they will be transferred to the existing 'Ciloto' house where social reintegration will continue. 

Today, the “Ciloto” is home to 40 resident children and another 35 who visit on a daily basis.

The minors have been rejected by members of their respective families who were unable to cope with their (minors) delinquency including lawlessness, addictions, and mental disorders, SDB officials say in the December 10 report. 

Already, eight children from the “Ciloto” have been reunited with their families, a move the SDB members say is a sign that the project is fruitful. 

“I believe that together we will be able to carry out this project for the good of the poor young people in Zambia,” the SDB members in Poland who are facilitating the realization of the “House of Hope” in Zambia say.