Origin and History of NJBB
The services towards rehabilitation of street children in Vijayawada were initiated by the Salesians when the Corporation of Vijayawada along with UNICEF approached Fr. Johnson Moyalan, the then Director of Don Bosco, Pezzonipet, to begin a collaborative venture, in the beginning of 1988. The then Mayor of Vijayawada, Shri (Dr.) Jandhyala Shankar extended all support including a piece of land for a round the clock shelter for street children with the name ’Sneha Bhavan’, at Poornandapet on the Eluru Canal Bund, close to the Railway Station, Vijayawada, and some financial help.
The project was formally registered as a Society in 1994 under the present name ‘Navajeevan Bala Bhavan’ by Fr. Thomas Koshy, who is its Executive Director since 1990. Since 1993, it started to extend its initiatives with a lot more rehabilitative initiatives such as non-formal and formal education, training and skills development, etc. These initiatives benefited thousands of children in the coming years, and they were well appreciated. In recognition, Navajeevan received the National Award for Child Welfare –1996.
In 1997, the Government of Andhra Pradesh recognized Navajeevan Bala Bhavan as a Fit Institution. Recognizing the success of its work for the cause of street children, Navajeevan was invited in 1997 by the Municipal Corporation to start a ‘centre for the working children’ at Autonagar Industrial Estate within the city limits. Navajeevan has been intensifying and expanding its work to reach out to greater number of children in need of care and protection.
On 15th August 2011, Navajeevan received a Certificate of Recognition’ from the Municipal Corporation, which again invited Navajeevan to initiate a project for the benefit of children of Municipal Sanitary workers, starting with play school for their children below 6 years at Shanthinagar in Ajitsinghnagar.
Since 1993, as on 20th July 2011, Navajeevan has rescued and registered 37,529 children. Out of these, 20,180 had been home-integrated.
At present Navajeevan has:
- Week-long street presence for the rescue of street children at Vijayawada railway station and other important places within the city – carried out by staff along with Peer Leaders.
- Round the clock shelter for street children & one night shelter.
- Counseling as the hub of all the activities & Home Integration
- Re-orientation camps for children of various age groups
- De-addication programme for children addicted to psychotropic substances
- Navajeevan takes direct care of more than 1,200 children, boys and girls; attending schools, colleges and various skills-training, accomodated in Chiguru (Boy-Children Village), 14 Moggas (Groups Care Homes of 10 to 12 children taken care of by a family), and 2 Hostels.
- Livelihood Advancement Skills Training (LAST) for 150 adolescent girls in a year.
- 2 Residential and 4 Day Bridge Course Centers preparing rescued child workers for regular schooling
- Follow-up of 600 children joined in Government-run Social Welfare Hostels and local schools
- Launched Alternative Care where couples are identified to be foster parents for an individual child.
- Launched ‘Child Safety Net Project’, in 10 villages of Penamaluru mandal of Krishna district, to build village level institutional measures (Neighborhood Children Parliaments, Activists Groups and Child Protection Teams) to promote and protect the rights of each child on an equitable basis, starting with the child care institutions.
- Facilitated the effective implementation of Juvenile Justice Act through its State level ‘JJ Desk’, with special emphasis on government run Observation Homes and Children’s Homes.
- Projects in the offing: Girl-Children Village & Care and Support for the children orphaned by HIV/AIDS