Yesterday evening the boarders of St. Dominic Savio Boys Home Andheri had the Birthday Celebrations for Sir Haydn Dias. It was indeed befitting to bring in his birthday on the eve of the occasion. Sir Haydn, as he is fondly known by the boy
s, came in to Dominic Savio's about three years ago and requested if he could be of some assistance to the boys in the boarding, as that was always his desire and wish. The tune he sang three years ago soon struck a chord with the Salesian Community and there was a rhythm that ran through and in a couple of months that led to harmony.

He has ever since been a part of this Institution, giving his time, talents and energy in innumerable ways for the kids. He is an 'Angel' in disguise, a God-sent to us.

Together with him, we were happy to have his dad and his sister Bramora from Canada. It was indeed a happy family gathering.

The lads in their style put up a couple of dances, read an address that touched on the salient qualities of Haydn, and Jervis even composed a poem. 

Thank you Sir Haydn for your presence and for all you do and are to us at Dominic Savio's. God bless you always!



Don Bosco Bal Prafulta had organized a workshop on Emotional and Mental Health on 3rd and 4th October, 2012, for the staff of various Government-run Children Homes and NGO Shelters. The resource speaker was Shravana Lata Gehlot who is a Community Development Leader of the Community Development Team at NHS Berkshire West, England. NHS Berkshire West is a primary health care trust that is responsible for commissioning health care from hospitals and other service providers including health services in the community and at home, i.e. in England. 

The workshop began with an ice breaker in which the participants were divided into pairs and each person had to introduce his or her partner, and also mention one thing that the partner cannot live without. Following this the speaker began the first session. The first session focused on ‘Mental Health First Aid,’ which is an international programme that aims to safeguard, promote and improve children’s psychological, emotional and physical health and well-being. It also aims at improving child safety, preventing mental and emotional health problems. 

The next topic covered in this session was the definition of mental health, in which the participants were divided into groups of four and were asked to each express and enlist their view of mental health and the various areas and issues it encompasses. The speaker also spoke on what is known as a ‘Mental Health Continuum,’ which is basically a scale that presents the entire range of mental and emotional well-being along a vertical axis and mental and emotional illness or disorders along a horizontal axis, such that when the two axes are imposed on each other, four quadrants are formed. The four groups of participants were each assigned a different quadrant and were then asked to create a fictional case-study i.e. a child in a difficult situation that reflects the degree of the mental and emotional well-being or illness of that respective quadrant. 

Following this activity, the speaker asked us to identify the risk factors that make young people vulnerable to mental health problems, such as academic failure and exclusion from school, discrimination and racism, socio-economic disadvantage bullying, low self-esteem, risky sexual behaviour, substance misuse, unsettled or unstable home or family life, violence and abuse. 
‘A Model of Personal Empowerment’ was presented by the speaker which gives us eight steps to empowering ourselves as well as others – Build a positive self-image; increase control and responsibility over one’s own life; support self-advocacy; give information; enable participation in service provisions; help the person to find creative options; help the person to plan for the future; and finally safeguard the person’s rights. 

The speaker then introduced a magic word to us – ‘ALGEE’ – which stands for Ask, assess and act; Listen non-judgmentally; Give, reassure and inform; Enable the person to get the appropriate professional help; and Encourage self-help strategies. This word can be used as five step guideline to any intervention that we plan for a child in difficult situation. 

Another idea given by the speaker was that of ‘Frame of Reference,’ that is a diagram which represents one’s own world, and what is closest to one’s own heart. The first circle should include what part of our world that is closest and most important to us; the second circle should include what is slightly less important to us; and the third circle should include what is least important to us. It can be used while working with children, to learn what is important to them at the present moment, and what the major influences in their lives are, and what specific personal issues within the child should be focused upon or brought into the focus of the child himself/herself. 

The second session was on Depression and Anxiety, in which the definition, signs and symptoms, causal factors, risk factors and protective factors were highlighted. The speaker then explained how we could help a child suffering from depression or anxiety using ALGEE. 

The third session was on ‘Youth Mental Health First Aid’ in which the speaker elaborated on the issues of suicide, its warnings signs, reasons, risk factors, and protective factors. Again the speaker spoke on how we can help someone who is suicidal i.e. having suicidal thoughts at the moment using ALGEE. 

The workshop concluded with a session in which each group used ALGEE to develop an action plan to help empower the group’s respective child in the original difficult situation created. Following this, the speaker was thanked by our organisation for sharing her immense knowledge and experience with us. The participants were also thanked for their time and highly active participation. The participants expressed positive feedback about the experience of the workshop, and said that they gained a lot from it and would like to follow it up further with us. They also gave their suggestions for future workshops and said they are looking forward to participating in such programmes organized by us in the future.


The Second Session of the School Exchange Programme.

The second School Exchange Programme was held on 28th September, 2012 at St. Dominic Savio High School. 32 students attended the programme ; 17 students from the Young Indian School & 15 from St. Dominic Savio School attended this programme. 

Ms. Farha & Ms Nazia from the Young Indian School & Ms. Sarita from St.Dominic Savio High School accompanied the students. 

The programme was initiated with a song-Mera Bhi to Adhikar Hai
Students of St. Dominic Savio School presented a skit and a Power Point Presentation on Child Rights.
Two skits and presentation of charts depicting their views about Child Rights and Child Labour was put up by the Young Indians School Students. 
Don Bosco Balprafulta staff screened a PPT on Child Rights and Responsibilities.
There was a Review of action Plan which the students had presented in their own schools and they briefed it to the students.
St.Dominic Savio School school students came up with a future plan :

To form a students’ group which will be named “Young Social Crusaders”
Spread the message during the school assemblies
Make an impact in the neighbourhood :
Presentations in society gatherings
Interviews with some child labourers in the vicinity
Organizing Each one teach one programme in their locality
Identify students within their own school who wish to learn and teach them at least twice a month.

The Young Indians School had come up with the following action plan and presented it at the session:
Prepared charts on Child Rights and Child Labour
Prepared 2 skits, one on Child Labour and the other on Gender Equity.
They had also conducted a Discussion in the assembly on Child Rights.

The programme ended with a screening of the movie “Ek Naya Suraj” .
All the students participated enthusiastically and came up with brilliant ideas which they will implement in the future.


The First Standard had their Cultural Day this afternoon, Saturday the 6th October 2012, and had as their theme Equality for All. 

They had a Welcome song for all the parents and then a prayer to ask the Almighty for His Grace and Blessing.

Fr. Principal set the tone by informing the parents that it is always refreshing to see the little ones perform so beautifully and do so well.

Then came the skit that had the Time Family with Seconds as the little one and then in ascending order, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months and Years and of course Mum and Dad.

This little play brought out the concept of how each and every one is important and though sometimes Year seemed so arrogant because it thought that it was more important than the rest it soon learnt that every second counts for all of them and every one had a part to play that is important.

Fr. Rector in his talk informed the parents that every second is important and that time flies and what perhaps is the most important is the fact that children need a lot of time and it is important that as parents you spend as much time as possible with them as this is what they will cherish all their lives.

The two little comperes did a great job and the finale was indeed grand with the whole cast on stage.


On the 3rd October Wednesday, the Primary Section of the School had their Blue House Day and the theme for the program was centered around Mahatma Gandhi. They brought out incidents in the life of Mahatma that changed his life and made him to be a better person.

The skit brought out the aspect of caring for the poor and the neglected and see in what way we can reach out to the less privileged.

Fr. Rector in his talk said that Education is not just the study of books but an all round formation and insisted that as students one of the points that we need to look at is helping our place and environment to be clean. He encouraged the students to make sure that the classrooms and corridors are not littered with paper and rubbish. Rather he insisted that we learn to use the bins to drop all waste.

As the exams were round the corner he said let us imitate the story from the life of the Mahatma and refrain from unfair means to do well in our examinations.


This morning the VIII A Students together with their class teacher, Miss Valerie Mascarenhas, had their Class Assembly and had as their theme: ‘Youth Sports’

The students brought to light some aspects of sports that help youngsters to grow well and wholesome. They said that sports trains one to have qualities such as Discipline, Team spirit & cooperation; helps one to learn crisis management and control one’s emotions and helps to learn how to strategize and plan.

They had a little skit that portrayed Shyam a youngster who was glued to the modern gadgets playing on his mobile game not interested in sports at all and soon found himself getting exhausted and tired as he did not have the stamina to either run or participate well.

With a little encouragement from his friend, Sam, he soon learns the discipline of exercising and playing as a team member and learns to control his temper too. His hard work and support from his friend helps his team to reach the finals and come out victorious.

The choral song left us with some food for thought:

If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t!
If you like to win, but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost;
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can even win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who THINKS HE CAN!

We congratulate Miss Valerie and the students of VIII A for their beautiful performance and the message they gave each one of us to take away from this morning’s assembly.