Who We Are

Improving life for ALL boys who have been victims of, or are at-risk of abuse and neglect


(not really)!

Although we use the word “orphanage”, we do so loosely – since our attention, care and love are not limited to abandoned or parentless boys, but ANY boy (ages 4 to 16) who is in need of a safe place to live.

We are a FAMILY providing love and supporting each other. We meet each boy’s individual need for significance, security and strength in a way that moves them forward into life with greater confidence and a better understanding of how much God loves them.

SJB is located in a village called Plaisance, in Guyana, South America. Like any other family, we provide a stable home environment for our boys – including supplying healthy well-balanced meals, provision of their own bed and personal space for each boy, assigning daily chores and responsibilties, facilitating recreational programs such as music programs (the boys especially enjoy steel-pans!), robotics club, swimming, special outings, movie nights, cricket, football, providing counseling on an individual basis, whilst incorporating adequate time and space for free play, exercise and rest.

At SJB we provide a safe haven for our boys, where we meet all their needs and support their development holistically.



Due to neglect in their previous environments, many of our boys do not have reading, writing and math skills equivalent to their similarly-aged peers in the traditional school system. As such, they are provided with an education at SJB by qualified teachers who cater to their individual need.

It is SJB’s goal that ALL their boys can ultimately be re-integrated into the traditional school system and eventually graduate from high school.

For the boys who are successfully placed in an educational institution, the administration keeps regular contact with the institution to support and encourage their boys.

We also provide each child with:

⦁ School supplies and Text books
⦁ After-school and weekend tutoring
⦁ Informal learning through educational posters on the walls of the home
⦁ Access to a computer for educational purposes
⦁ A record of each child’s education and other recognitions of achievement
⦁ Access to the Library

Depending on the child’s individual strengths and interests, he will continue on to higher education or vocational training. With the guidance and advice of our staff, many of our young men have succeeded in a variety of professions throughout the years.

Mission Statement

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.

Statement of Sponsorship

St. John Bosco Orphanage is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy enter into these relationships to witness to Christ’s mission, to address our enduring concerns and to promote and sustain the Church’s mission in the world. The Sisters of Mercy provide oversight for these ministries and exercise ultimate responsibility to ensure the fidelity to the mission of the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Church.




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 children” and gave them a place to sleep in a school/chapel near the Church in Plaisance. 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.


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 a convent while the bottom flat was used as both school and orphanage.


The site on Victoria Road that would become the new Orphanage was bought by St. Vincent de Paul Society.


Through the generosity of the firm of William Fogarty , Ltd., still a special benefactor, a wooden building was erected. The boys, undoubtedly delighted, moved into the more comfortable and spacious surroundings.


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 in 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.

The word “Orphanage” in regard to St. John Bosco is 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. 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 loved and cared for by our family at SJB.

Our Patron

John Bosco
John Bosco

John Melchior Bosco (Italian: Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco; 16 August 1815 – 31 January 1888), popularly known as Don Bosco, was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and educator.

He worked in the capital in Italy, Turin, where the population suffered many of the ill-effects of industrialization and urbanization.

He dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth. He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment.