The St. John Bosco Orphanage provides for the physical, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual needs of the young boy. It seeks to give them a sense of self and equip them with the values and skills that will allow them to grow into young men of integrity and productive members of the society.
In December 1879 Fr. Luigi Casati, an Italian Jesuit Missionary, concerned at the number of homeless boys running around the streets of his parish in Plaisance knowing "only the bad and very little of the good", decided to give them shelter. This simple yet momentous decision heralded the small but significant beginning of St. John Bosco Orphanage at Plaisance. Fr. Casati gathered together the street urchins and gave them a place to sleep in a school/chapel near the Church in Plaisance, Georgetown. They slept on the floor and in the morning they rolled up their blankets and put the desks for school.
Fr. Casati’s health began to fail and Bishop Galton asked the Sisters of Mercy to look after the boys. In 1902 the Orphanage was place under the care of Sr. Mary Joseph McLaughlin and Sr. M. Columba McLaughlin. The top flat of St. John's School, Plaisance, of which Sr. M. Joseph was Head Teacher, served as convent while the bottom flat was used as both school and orphanage. In 1921 the site on Victoria Road that would become the new Orphanage was bought by St. Vincent de Paul Society. In 1935, through the generosity of the firm of William Fogarty , Ltd., still a special benefactor, the a wooden building was erected. The boys, undoubtedly delighted, moved into the more comfortable and spacious surroundings
The word "Orphanage" in regard to St. John Bosco is probably a misnomer. Fr. Casati's original idea was to get the boys off the streets-suggesting they were "homeless" but not necessarily orphans in the strict sense of the word. Today the accent is on the care of "poor, neglected boys". The only criterion for accepting a boy in the Orphanage is NEED. Boys between the ages of 4 -16 of every race, colour and creed are taken in.
In December 2010, a new orphanage was built to offer better accommodation to the boys. Apart from the dormitories for the little boys and rooms for the boys, the orphanage has a computer lab, a library and a counseling room. The boys are also engaged activities such as swimming, football and cricket. A new steel-band room was opened in May 2012 and the boys really enjoy playing the steel-band and performing at concerts.
Despite the rising cost of food and clothing every effort is made to keep the boys well fed and clothed. But to feed, clothe and house the boys is not enough. A child deprived of love is a later adult scarred for life and for living. As writers of child development attest it is vital for children in the
early formative years of their life to experience a mutually satisfying relationship, if not with parents then with parent substitutes.
We have 50 boys from 4 years to 16 years.