Salesians in Angola Fostering “rights of children in conflict with law” and Reintegration

Salesian ‘A New Beginning’ program helps youth in conflict with the law in Angola. Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in Angola are fostering “the rights of children in conflict with the law” in an initiative dubbed “A New Beginning”. 

The Salesian initiative is being realized in Angola’s capital, Luanda, in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and other organizations.

In a Monday, August 15 report, SDB officials say the program that currently hosts 208 youths who are either awaiting court rulings or serving different sentences “protects and promotes the rights of children in conflict with the law.”

The report indicates that 58 of the youth are on probation, 83 are taking part in community service, 28 are part of the social protection measures, and 39 are awaiting the decision of the courts.

The program aims at "family reintegration and the start of a new life through training and social skills," Salesian officials say. 


To achieve its goals, the SDB officials say the youth who have been enlisted in the program, together with their family members, participate in workshops where they (youth) tell personal stories of resilience and new beginnings.

The program also focuses on “personal development, drawing and parenting skills," they say. 

In the August 15 report, Paulo Cayeye says his life changed courtesy of the Salesian-run initiative. 

Cayeye started having trouble with the law when he was 10 years old. He spent most of his life on the streets where he was introduced to drugs and crime, the report indicates, and quotes Cayeye as saying, “I had a very turbulent and dangerous life because of what I was doing. We caused a lot of sadness and pain. We were five friends and no one could stop us.”

One of Cayeye’s friends was shot while trying to rob a store. At the time, Cayeye was undergoing rehabilitation.

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He says, “I spent almost two years in that center, and when I got out, I decided to change my life and listen to my parents.”

He joined the Salesian program where he says he received “medical and psychological care, as well as technical and practical courses, which have contributed greatly to my recovery with the full support of my family.”

“Thanks to the Salesians, I am now a new person, ready to help other young people,” Cayeye is quoted as saying. 

In the report, Cayeye has urged parents who have “difficult children … not to abandon their children when they are in trouble and to help them change their behavior.”

“I am an example of this change, thanks to the ‘A New Beginning’ program and the Salesians. I have gone back to school and am taking a technical course in mechanics, which is one of my dreams with which I hope to help my parents,” Cayeye is quoted as saying in the August 15 report.


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.