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Hong Kong – God is truly present in every culture

1 day 4 hours ago
Hong Kong – God is truly present in every culture

(ANS - Hong Kong) - Fr Nicolas Chibueze, a young Nigerian Salesian, has been serving young people in need in Hong Kong since 2016. His personal experience, as a Christian, Don Bosco's spiritual son and missionary, led him to say bluntly: "God is truly present in every culture".

I grew up in a Christian family and in a mixed environment, religious and political, which influenced the fate of all young people. I was involved in the religious activities of the Church. My engagements during secondary education began to reveal the missionary call within me. As I listened with the help of my spiritual director, it became clearer that the Lord was calling me within my heart and from a distance. From that time, whatever desire arose in my heart was viewed through the lens of the zeal for the missions.

As a Salesian missionary in Hong Kong, I face a culture different from mine. The pains of communicating in Chinese threatens my sense of humour. The hierarchical structure of society which shapes human relationships and the exercise of authority is another challenge that I struggle with. This means that there is the danger of measuring human dignity based on social status and racial background. Young vocations coming to this kind of context may suffer vocational fragility since, sometimes, it is difficult to fit these cultural realities into the religious way of life.

There are more social tensions today than ever before. Our religious communities respond to this by prayer and discernment while exercising great caution not to get involved in partisan politics. Confronted with this reality, my religious life, especially its community aspect, faces a great challenge.We were recently hit by the pandemic of Covid-19 that is threatening human lives and has brought a halt to a lot of religious and social activities. Everyone is moving in fear, fear of the unknown. These challenges are rewriting the narrative of my missionary life and affecting the way we live in the community. Young people are not exempt from this. They are restricted from living out their youthful exuberance in a joyful way. Looking at all these, I ask myself whether it is God’s finger that is writing these lines.

Despite all this, I look back and still find some reasons to be joyful. I have come to appreciate the plurality of human life which forms a splendid mosaic of God’s image and how He manifests himself in every story, in every event. God is really present in every culture. God is present in the young people no matter how tiny a voice he speaks with. I have heard it myself in the life of the young people that I have shared my life with in this place. This is my deepest joy. This joy that I find among young people is a strength for me in all challenges. I bring these challenges and joys to God in prayer and I share them with the community. While in prayer God reveals His will directly; in sharing with the community He reveals his will through the confreres.

In conclusion, I feel that confreres who are discerning their missionary vocation are already listening to the voice of Jesus calling. They are happy because they do it in openness and without fear. Difficulties will come their way, but they shall find strength in the one and only missionary of God – Jesus Christ – in whom we share one mission for the salvation of the young.

  • Hong Kong
  • CIN CINA
  • Missioni
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Portugal – Primary school with Salesians of Mogofores: a dream comes true

    1 day 4 hours ago
    Portugal – Primary school with Salesians of Mogofores: a dream comes true

    (ANS - Mogofores) - "God wills, man dreams, the work is born ...". This brief, as it is profound, verse by the famous Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa well applies to the latest success of the Salesians of Mogofores: from the beginning of the new school year at the Salesian house - which already has a secondary school, various extracurricular activities, a parish and shrine – a primary school has also now been established.

    "These first two months were lived with the joy and enthusiasm of those who welcome a new member of the family," testify the Salesians of the work. The atmosphere is experienced and shared throughout the work by pupils, parents, teachers, collaborators, and the Salesian community in a spirit of support, mutual help, affection, and guidance of the oldest towards the youngest.

    "More than a project," say the religious, “it is the fulfillment of a dream made by a few, but fully lived by all."

    Primary school activities are developing around an enthusiastic anthropology, entrusted to the mission of loving, learning and creating: "Listen. And be elevated!" is the inspiring motto.

    Salesians and lay educators are committed to loving and challenging children to develop their potential to their utmost and they work in the logic of it being a project, of a collaborative and cooperative group, where the common element is fraternal love, where the sadness of one is the sadness of all, where the success of one is the success of everyone.

    In constant dialogue with the children's parents, the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco try to form autonomous children, intervening in their teaching and learning process, so that they are architects of their knowledge and available to collaborate with others in the elaboration of meanings. Every day decisions are made with love and for love, trying to stimulate critical thinking and to evaluate things in a constructive, dynamic and positive way.

    We want children who are fair and just for a fair, just world, say the Salesians of Mogofores.

    • Portogallo
    • POR PORTOGALLO
    • Scuole
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Italy – Sign of hope in Scandicci: semi-residential community for minors "Michele Magone"

      1 day 4 hours ago

      (ANS - Scandicci) - On Friday 13 November, in memory of Salesian Blessed Artemide Zatti, the Salesian community of Scandicci, just outside Florence, opened a semi-residential community for young people: in times of closures, a good sign of openness to the city and the territory.

      Two years of reflection, discernment, study, the involvement of many people and professions, work and choices, and now it has finally started. "We've come a long way together with the whole educational team. There is the community that has always supported us, we have several volunteers ready to make themselves available to these young people, the members of the association 'La Melagrana' …," said the Director of the Scandicci work, Fr Giorgio Mocci, in a video.

      For all this time, Don Bosco's famous phrase has been the guide, beacon and horizon of this journey's progress: "In each of these young people, even the most unfortunate, there is a point accessible to good. The task of an educator is to find that sensitive chord and make it vibrate."

      The satisfaction for having started this path is now great. "'We're here' is the phrase that recurs most in the messages, in the calls, in the meetings we have had in recent days. And 'we're here' means 'being there', in a full, essential way, it means 'staying' ... to embrace, to meet, to smile, to cry, to talk, to listen," says Yuna Kashi Zadeh, President of the association “La Melagrana Aps”, which has always collaborated in the prevention and support activities for the families of the Salesian house.

      The semi-residential community, located in a true and proper house, began its activities by opening its doors to the first four young people. In total, however, it will be able to accommodate up to 18 young people a day, males and females, aged 6 to 14, sent by the local social services or by the association itself. It will be open from Monday to Friday from 1 pm to 7 pm. All with a very specific goal: fostering relationships and fraternity.

      Looking to Don Bosco, inserted in the educational framework of the Preventive System, the Salesians of Scandicci, with all the collaborators in the mission, start with this new and stimulating project. And while many close, they open.

      "For us it is important to start this work of being close to children, especially those most in difficulty. We Salesians are here, in Scandicci, as we are in the whole world, for this reason: to be signs and bearers of God's love for young people," concludes Fr Mocci.

      • Italia
      • ICC ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE CENTRALE
      • Giovani a Rischio
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Zambia – Ola, a young Polish volunteer, and her first encounter with Africa

        4 days 4 hours ago
        Zambia – Ola, a young Polish volunteer, and her first encounter with Africa

        (ANS - Makululu) - On the occasion of the World Day of Childhood and Adolescence, today, 20 November, we are publishing a testimony of the Polish volunteer Ola Kluszczyńska, who has been serving in the Salesian mission in Makululu since last September.

        It has been a few weeks since I have been in the “Ciloto” Salesian mission in Makululu, Kabwe District. "Ciloto" in the local language, Bemba, means dream. Will my dream come true here too?

        My first choice for my volunteer work was India. It was not possible. Now I'm happy to be here. For me it's still like a dream, so unreal. They've torn me out of my home, my job and everything I've experienced up to now. Everything is new and different. People, climate, food and language. I'm slowly getting used to the reality around me. I know the kids, I learn their names and their behavior. Also, I'm slowly learning their language to be able to communicate better, because not everyone speaks English.

        When I arrived, I was very worried that maybe I wouldn't make it, because I don't have any special skills to work with children. Now I understand that it is just a matter of accompanying them, knowing what their needs are and then trying to respond to them.

        What I do here derives from observation. At one of the first Masses with the children, I noticed that one of them had a big tear in his trousers. So I took them and stitched them up, and that's how I started. There is no day when Monika, the other volunteer, and I don't help the youngsters with manual work. And I found that some people have extraordinary imagination and talent: they made a shoe from a piece of wood and two strips, glasses with wire, and a guitar from other found materials.

        Here there are 40 resident children, and about 35 others come to the center every day, that is, they have the opportunity to shower, go to school, eat. It's all very noisy and fun. They argue and fight, but they also take care of each other. I start the day with them at 6 for Mass and finish at 21 when the kids have their last lessons, mostly reading or studying, or watching a movie or telling a fairy tale on weekends.

        During the day I help them to go to school, to arrange their clothes, to organize their free time, to animate the oratory, to pray with them, to learn to read. The days are full of their presence and their business.

        The mission of "Ciloto" is a dream especially for these young people, who have been deprived of their home and their family. They have lost it due to poverty, material exploitation, unemployment, family conflicts, rejection, violence and many other consequences of the lack of social justice and mutual love.

        More information at: https://misjesalezjanie.pl/ 

        • Zambia
        • ZMB ZAMBIA MALAWI ZIMBABWE NAMIBIA
        • Volontariato
        • Polonia
        • Giovani a Rischio
          Gian Francesco Romano

          India – Don Bosco Konkan Development Society provides more than 50,000 people with nutritional support

          4 days 4 hours ago
          India – Don Bosco Konkan Development Society provides more than 50,000 people with nutritional support

          (ANS – Panjim) – Salesian missionaries with “Don Bosco Konkan Development Society” in Goa, India, were able to provide more than 50,000 people with nutritional support thanks to donors, including funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. While Goa faced food scarcity, Salesians were able to secure rice and other rations from sources in Maharashtra, as well as local suppliers.

          The work in securing, sorting, storing, packing and then delivering the food was extensive. Given there was no labor available to help, Don Bosco Konkan Development Society staff members unloaded the trucks, packaged to-go kits and distributed the kits across Goa in smaller personal vehicles. Staff members Walter and Yasin were heavily involved in the operation and made delivery trips covering the state of Goa. Don Bosco Konkan Development Society used its local networks to deliver the kits to every needy household and distributed thousands of kits over several months.

          As the crisis continued in Goa, there was an exodus of migrant workers back to their villages. To help them, camps were set up for them to stay while trains took them back home. Don Bosco Konkan Development Society provided cooked food for migrants for their stay in the camps and provided 5,500 food packets for them to take on their travels. Don Bosco Childline South Goa pitched in by distributing biscuits and water at the railway station.

          Salesian missionaries in Goa, India, are extending food relief operations to regions in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

          “We continue to supply food and sanitary kits to people who are now dealing with loss of employment or those unable to move out of containment zones,” said Father Laurence Monteiro, executive director of Don Bosco Konkan Development Society. “We have crossed the 50,000 mark in terms of people reached. We have now extended our operations to regions in Karnataka and Maharashtra.”

          Donors make a real impact on programming for poor and at-risk youth in Salesian programs in India and around the globe. Salesian missionaries, teachers, staff and students are all grateful for the support.

          Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.

          Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.

          India has the world’s fourth-largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

          Source: Mission Newswire

          • India
          • INP INDIA PANJIM
          • Procure Missionarie
          • Solidarietà
          • Coronavirus
            Gian Francesco Romano

            India – Completion of the short-term Tailoring Course at Don Bosco Human Resource Centre

            4 days 4 hours ago
            India – Completion of the short-term Tailoring Course at Don Bosco Human Resource Centre

            (ANS – Gagillapur) – 4 November 2020: it is an incredibly special day for 15 young girls who successfully completed 2 months of basic Training in Tailoring Course at “Don Bosco Human Resource Development Centre” (DBHRDC), Gagillapur, Hyderabad. This institute has trained more than 3.000 youth on various skill training domains since 2010.

            In collaboration with JEW, Austria, through “BoscoNet”, New Delhi, the DBHRDC commenced a skill training programme for 15 girls in the first batch from 1st September 2020 to 31st October 2020 with all the precautions during COVID 19 Pandemic.

            The girls were blessed with the presence of eminent personalities, Smt. Damayanthi IAS, former Principal Secretary of Govt. of Andhra Pradesh as the Chief Guest; other dignitaries Rev Fr Thathireedy Vijaya Bhaskar sdb Provincial of Salesian Province of Hyderabad, Rev. Fr Noel Maddhichetty sdb, Director, BoscoNet,  New Delhi, Rev Fr Thomas Koshy sdb, Former Director, YaR National Forum, New Delhi, Fr Bellamkonda  Sudhakar sdb, Executive Director, Bosco Seva Kendra, Fr Vijay, Parish Priest Gagillapur, Fr Sarath, Centre Head, Gagillapur, and several other priests, sisters and staff.

            Fr Sudhakar Welcomed the guests and gathering for the Certification ceremony and updated the activities carried at DBHRDC, Gagillapur, and at DHISHA: a “Don Bosco Centre for Career Guidance and Job Placement Centre”, Migrant Ministry.

            Smt. Damayanthi IAS, appreciated the great work executed by “Don Bosco Human Resource Centre” and invited the Salesians to train the youth on job-oriented skill training programmes in her native place. She recalled her childhood days where she was educated in a Catholic Boarding School run by the Sisters in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh.

            Fr Sudhakar and Fr Noel spoke about the mission for the young and vast reach-out across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and South Odisha. Fr Noel requested Madam Smt. Damayanthi IAS to help us to start IAS academy at DBHRDC, Gagillapur.

            The students performed a short cultural programme and two of them also shared their experience and about their learning during the training. All the 15 students were delighted to receive a course completion certificates and sewing machines.

            Fr Sarath proposed vote of thanks and expressed gratitude to the project Partners JEW, Austria and BoscoNet, New Delhi.

            {gallery}INH - Corso cucito ragazze 2020{/gallery}

            • India
            • INH INDIA HYDERABAD
            • Ragazze
            • Formazione Professionale
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Zambia – “Amplifying the Arts”: cultural exchange through arts program for 120 youth

              5 days 4 hours ago
              Zambia – “Amplifying the Arts”: cultural exchange through arts program for 120 youth

              (ANS – Lusaka) – Youth in Zambia had an opportunity for cultural exchange through arts programming thanks to funding Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, received from the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia. The “Amplifying the Arts” project empowered vulnerable youth to tell their stories through American-inspired creative expression and to celebrate the diversity and unity of the human experience. The project also aimed to strengthen cultural ties between the U.S. and Zambia.

              The project was launched in November 2019 with a talent identification event held by Bosco Youth Reach Out as an invitation to participate to youth in the surrounding areas. The event attracted more than 1,000 spectators, and 150 children and youth performed. Of the 150 performers, 120 youth, aged 15-25, were selected to attend the training.

              The training workshops began in December and introduced youth to song-writing, dance, a traditional instrument, poetry, painting and guitar lessons. A talent show celebration, which brought together more than 600 people, was held in February to showcase what the youth had learned. Following the talent show, upwards of 160 children and youth began showing up to the workshops.

              The “Amplifying the Arts” project in Zambia empowered vulnerable youth to tell their stories through American-inspired creative expression.

              The program ran through March until the country went into lockdown because of the pandemic. During the lockdown, mentors used social media and other platforms to connect with the participants, sustaining engagement and attracting the youth to return upon re-opening. In-person workshops resumed in July with 70 to 80 attendees. Following safety precautions, participants began to work on their final art presentations. The project ended with an exhibition talent show for the community in September that brought together 336 spectators.

              Participating youth, who came from challenging backgrounds and were vulnerable to at-risk behaviours, were encouraged to express their stories through music, spoken word and creative writing. Youth transcribed their stories into songs, artwork and poems to promote their voices through visual expression to a wider audience. They were also introduced to the basic principles and techniques of mindfulness and physical expression through yoga and other forms of mindful movement techniques that teach relaxation, discipline, and encourage a deeper sense of self-awareness as a means of encouraging self-expression and stress management.

              The mentorship during the project was guided by Nhkani Znaga. The guidance encouraged youth to be more optimistic about their lives and talents. The mentors and facilitators reported changing mindsets throughout the program. The fights and bullying among children drastically reduced as the project progressed and children self-regulated during sessions.

              Participants were also exposed to new platforms such as the Zambian National Broadcasting Channel. The network provided mentorship and guidance to participants. Natasha Tembo, a talented young singer and poet; Friday Siame an upcoming guitarist and musician; and David, a young upcoming producer and singer are now featured on the TV show “Folk Music Talk Show” on Fridays. In addition, two other young artists were offered the opportunity from the Salesians of Don Bosco to design a mural in the conference hall. Exposure opportunities will help these young girls and boys find a livelihood in the work that they do.

              “We are grateful to the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka for the opportunity to provide vulnerable youth this chance for a cultural exchange through arts programming,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “The youth who took part in the project were afforded new opportunities that broadened their perspective through learning new cultural practices. They also had the chance to improve their skills in creative and expressive art and mindfulness.”

              Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.

              The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.

              Source: Mission Newswire

              • Zambia
              • ZMB ZAMBIA MALAWI ZIMBABWE NAMIBIA
              • Arte e Cultura
              • Procure Missionarie
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Italy – Casa Don Bosco House Museum remains open online as virtual museum

                5 days 4 hours ago
                Italy – Casa Don Bosco House Museum remains open online as virtual museum

                (ANS - Turin) - Inaugurated at the beginning of October, the Don Bosco House Museum, the new museum exhibition of the places of the origins of Don Bosco's educational and spiritual adventure, remains open online, in compliance with the rules imposed to counter Covid-19. Visitors from all over the world can visit it through the virtual museum.

                The virtual museum, which has already started, but which will be developed further over time, intends to be a digital presentation of the 4,000 square meters and 27 physical exhibition spaces of “Casa Don Bosco”. The enterprise is not easy, because the Don Bosco House Museum is first and foremost a place to live and experience: it is there that you can breathe the miracle of the life of a saint who changed the lives of thousands of young people of his time and, thanks to his successors, of millions of young people since then.

                But in this moment in which, due to the pandemic, all the museums in Italy are closed, on the website www.museocasadonbosco.it you can embark upon a virtual visit: enter the room where Don Bosco slept and work, observe the architectural development di Valdocco, admire the representations that the artists gave of Don Bosco and his work with young people over the ages.

                In this way the virtual museum tries to make known the documents of the foundation of the Salesian house, the original photographs, Don Bosco's clothes, small bits of Salesian history to the many people who - today because of the pandemic, tomorrow even if only for the distance - cannot physically reach it.

                • ICP ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE SPECIALE PIEMONTE E VALLE D'AOSTA
                • Italia
                • Musei
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Guatemala – The Eta storm, the fury of nature

                  5 days 4 hours ago
                  Guatemala – The Eta storm, the fury of nature

                  (ANS - San Pedro Carchá) - “It was a terribly perfect combination. The virus, the one that changes its name, coronavirus or Covid-19, has long put us in the corner. Then the flood hit us, not universal, but yes, devastating.” Thus begins the testimony that Fr Heriberto Herrera, SDB, sends from Guatemala, a country still very much tried by the passage of the tropical storm Eta and the subsequent hurricane called Iota.

                  Not even the elderly had ever experienced such a scandalous waste of water. In a few days the landscape has changed: water and more water, above, below and in between. And it continued to rain without brakes, almost with enthusiasm.

                  The situation began to turn gray when the images and stories of what was already a tragedy never seen before in these parts appeared. Landslides, lagoons that come out of nowhere, roofs at water level, blocked roads and paths. Men, women and children crowded together in provisional and providential spaces.

                  And then the innate goodness of the human heart emerged. A wave of emergency aid began to appear as if by magic. Saving lives, clearing roads, mobilizing emergency resources. Here is the touching dimension of this seemingly insensitive human being.

                  Our small and large Salesian world of Carchá has had the misfortune of being at the epicenter of the storm. Our 300 villages or rural communities have been hit by the disaster. Salesian solidarity is beginning to make itself felt. Within a few days, our center in Chibajché started receiving trucks full of all kinds of aid. Courageous volunteers ordered and packaged these valuable resources, which were then sent by pickup to reachable communities.

                  Our second mission center, Campur, fifty kilometers from Carchá, turned out to be one of the most damaged places in the country. In a short time, the village turned into a deep lagoon. So deep that it completely covers our church and part of the Salesian house. Many houses are submerged, others have been invaded by water, and in some cases, this dirty liquid has destroyed the goods. The whole population fled for fear that the small hill next to it would collapse over the village.

                  Fr José María Seas, a Salesian, is the parish priest of Campur. He experienced the tragedy on his skin. As an impromptu reporter he recorded shocking videos, narrated in such a dramatic voice that Campur became national and international news. The result: immediate aid to Campur is unstoppable, both from the government and from communities near and far.

                  As I write to you, Iota, Eta's twin sister, is arriving, (ed.'s note, Hurricane Iota actually reached Guatemala on November 17.) Only this was missing. Some say it's a Grade 5 hurricane, others a Grade 1. The reality is we don't want any more water or damage.

                  The common will is to roll up our sleeves and rebuild this corner of Guatemala inhabited by poor, peaceful and hard-working people.

                  {gallery}CAM emergenza uragano{/gallery}

                  • Guatemala
                  • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                  • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
                  • Solidarietà
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    RMG – South Asia Provincial Delegates for Mission Animation Meeting

                    5 days 4 hours ago
                    RMG – South Asia Provincial Delegates for Mission Animation Meeting

                    (ANS – Rome) – The 12 Provincial Delegates for Mission Animation (PDMAs) of South Asia had their annual meeting on ZOOM from 10th-12th November. The meeting began with a prayer by Fr Jose Kuruvachira, the provincial of Dimapur, the one in charge of Evangelization for SPCSA. The only lay person in the group, Mr. Marco Fulgaro, served as the moderator of the meeting from Rome.

                    The first day was a sort of re-evaluation of the previous year’s action plans. From the reports of the 11 provinces, taking stalk of our missionary animation programmes, it was revealed that much was achieved in spite of Covid-19, through the use of multi-media. However, in five provinces the PDMAs were newly appointed and they did not have much to report. The concern for first proclamation and “snatching souls” is still the driving force of much of our works.

                    The in-puts from the core-team was the most salient feature of our meeting. The Councilor for Missions, Fr Alfred Maravilla, joined the meeting from the Philippines. He briefly touched on the meaning of proclaiming the Gospel and said that it is the fruit of a passion in our hearts to share the experience of Christ with others. “The task of the PDMAs,” he said, “is to stir up this same passion in the hearts of others. In all our planning and activities (print media, seminars) we should strengthen the missioner, and mission will follow. The Spirituality of the Missioner is all that really matters. One can give only what one has.” Fr Alfred Maravilla ended by throwing a challenge to the South Asia region to improve on the number of missionaries ad gentes.

                    Mr. Fulgaro spoke on the topic “refugees and displaced people, a new mission frontier”. It was noted that the Youth Ministry Sector at the Generalate animates the work for Migrants. He then spoke about the need to put in place various stratagems to actively “promote Salesian Missionary Service” in the Provinces.

                    Fr Pavel Zenisek spoke about the role of PDMAs and CORAM and how to promote collegiality among the different sectors of the province, as all are working for the same mission. Fr George Menamparampil explained the meaning of “the mission day” of the Salesians and suggested innovative ways to make use of “Cagliero 11 and other mission animation materials sent from Rome.

                    The third and final day was meant for planning for the future. Many suggestions were proposed as takeaways.  Some are given below.

                    Planning for the future - way ahead in Pandemic times and after.

                    1.       Missioner is the mission. So, deepen the faith. Keep the fire burning – warmth warms – “to snatch souls”. Let our lamps be burning bright with the extra oil of the Holy Spirit. They should not need to go “buy” it as long as we Salesians are there.... to accompany the clever, the foolish, the sinner, the seeker, the youth, the migrant, the refugee, in “season and out of season”.

                    2.       The need to focus on the “periphery” or “win the winnable while they are Winnable” principle.

                    3.       Use extensively the media to update the missioner and to preach the Gospel from the rooftop. Use good Bible films like “The Chosen one”, “A.D.Empire & the Kingdom”, and “God befriended me”, etc. Make use of the wealth of YouTube by Bishop Barron, Brant Pitre, Fr Choondel, to catechize and preach to the nations.

                    4.       To promote missionary thinking and reflection in our region by documentation. To send every year someone for MTh in missiology from each province.

                    5.       To make a module for missionary animation and formation in the form of a book, or Power Point in the coming year which can be widely circulated and used by the PDMAs in all the formation houses.

                    6.       The PDMAs to network, especially with all those who have gone through the Missionary Course and ex-PDMAs for missionary animation in the provinces.

                    7.       To preach the Gospel “with all boldness” using the incarnational method. Sensitive to the ethos, culture, language, governments but without compromising or sacrificing our specific identity.

                    8.       To promote actively the concept of “Mission without borders” inter-provincial and international (ad gentes) by Reviving the two Missionary Aspirantates.

                    9.       To network with everyone, especially the youth, the laity, Salesian volunteers and past pupils to participate in the “mission for all: Mission by all” project as GC 28 suggests.

                    10.     To promote “live-in experiences” of Mission for longer periods  or Mission tourism to Vietnam, Korea, Africa and  Nepal, Mynmar, Bangladesh or within SA. 

                    11.     To take up “Mission Delhi” seriously as proposed in the SPCSA.

                    12.     To organize the Missionary Course and Pilgrimage twice in 2021, if there are takers. One in April-May  and another in Oct-Nov.

                    13.     Missionary Animation and Salesian Volunteering be made part of the programme for Deacon’s and Rector's orientation courses.   

                    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                    • Animazione Missionaria
                    • Asia Sud
                    • Alfred Maravilla
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Taiwan – The Salesian charism unites bishops and Sons of Don Bosco

                      5 days 4 hours ago
                      Taiwan – The Salesian charism unites bishops and Sons of Don Bosco

                      (ANS – Taipei) – On the evening of 15 November 2020, the Salesian Community of “St. John Bosco Parish” in Taipei was happy to experience a doubly episcopal event: during supper, Salesian Cooperator and Salesian Past Pupil Taipei Archbishop Thomas Chung An Zu, on a friendly visit to the Community, announced that Pope Francis appointed 54-year-old Fr John Lee, also a Don Bosco past pupil of the Salesian Technical School in Tainan, as new Bishop of Tainan. “All we Salesians were overjoyed to hear the news and, together with Archbishop Thomas, immediately toasted to the health of this new successor of the Apostles,” said Fr Lanfranco M. Fedrigotti, SDB.

                      Bishop-elect John Lee was a student in the car-repair department of the Salesian school in Tainan in 1981-1984. During his third year, his assistant was first-year practical-trainee Sc. Joseph Ng Chi Yuen, the present CIN Provincial. For his priestly ordination, Fr John Lee chose the school hall of the Salesian Technical School, where he was ordained with two companions on 1 January 1993. His priestly ordination took place just one day before the episcopal consecration of Bishop Bosco Lin as Auxiliary Bishop of Kaohsiung (2 January 1993). Bishop-elect John Lee is now the successor of Bishop Bosco Lin. In fact, Bishop Bosco Lin was appointed Bishop of Tainan on January 24, 2004, and installed as Bishop of Tainan on 21 March 2004.

                      77-year old Bishop Bosco (so named at his baptism by the German missionary Fr Ferdinand Pauli OP, long before the Salesians arrived in Taiwan!) can now finally retire, after 26 years of dedicated apostolic service. As a Salesian Cooperator (like Archbishop Thomas of Taipei), Bishop Bosco has been particularly close to the Salesians in Tainan.

                      Bishop Bosco’s successor, Bishop-elect Fr John Lee, a good singer and guitar player, for many years has been the youth ministry and vocation pastoral animator of the Tainan Diocese, often working closely with the SDB of Salesian Technical School.

                      During the Good Night Talk after the sung First Vespers of Sunday, Archbishop Thomas Chung announced to the community that, with the consent of the CIN Provincial, he had appointed our Vice-Rector Parish Pastor Fr Edgar Andrew Carbon as Spiritual Director of the Archdiocese Youth Office.

                      In total, there are currently five bishops in Taiwan who are part of the Salesian Family: in addition to the bishop emeritus of Tainan, Msgr. Bosco Lin Chi-nan (Salesian Cooperator), to the newly appointed bishop of Tainan, Fr John Lee Juo-Wang (past pupil), and to the archbishop of Taipei, Msgr. Thomas Chung An Zu (past pupil and Salesian Cooperator), Msgr. Joseph Ti-Kang (Salesian Cooperator), 92-year-old archbishop emeritus of Taiwan, and the archbishop of Kaohsiung, Peter Liu Cheng-chung.

                      Source: AustraLasia 

                      • Taiwan
                      • Vescovi
                      • Exallievi
                      • Salesiani Cooperatori
                      • Famiglia Salesiana
                      • CIN CINA
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Slovenia – Validity of diocesan inquiry for Cause of the Servant of God Fr Andrea Majcen, SDB

                        6 days 4 hours ago
                        Slovenia – Validity of diocesan inquiry for Cause of the Servant of God Fr Andrea Majcen, SDB

                        (ANS - Ljubljana) - The Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, transmitted the news that the Holy See has approved the validity of the diocesan inquiry for the Cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Fr Andrej Majcen to the Superior of the "Saints Cyril and Methodius" Province of Slovenia, Fr Marko Košnik, to the vice-postulator, dr. Alojzij Slavko Snoj, SDB, to the members of the Salesian Family, and to all the friends of Don Bosco in Slovenia.

                        In its ordinary meeting of 23 October 2020, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints saw and heard the opinion of the extensive documentation on the life and virtues of the Servant of God Fr Andrej Majcen, a priest of the Congregation of Saint Francis de Sales, and confirmed the validity of the diocesan process. The document is signed by the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Msgr. Marcello Semeraro.

                        The Postulator General, Fr Cameroni, also adds that this “is a great goal, fruit of the work done with passion and competence in the diocesan phase. A special thanks to Fr Snoj and to those who have given their contribution in different times and ways.”

                        Even the vice-postulator dr. Snoj welcomed the news received and thanked God and all the collaborators who contributed to this result, each according to their part. He continues to invite the whole Salesian Family, and especially the Slovenian, to ardent prayer for the continuation of Fr Majcen's case.

                        In this way, the diocesan phase of the process comes to a close and all the material is delivered in Rome to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The Postulator General will now ask the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to appoint a Relator, or Supervisor, who shall be the guide in the preparation of the "Positio", that is, the volume that summarizes the evidence collected in the diocese; it is the so-called Roman phase of the process.

                        • Slovenia
                        • SLO SLOVENIA
                        • Santità Salesiana
                        • Andrej Majcen
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Spain – For World Day of Childhood and Adolescence, Salesian Social Platforms launch #AprendemosDeTi campaign

                          6 days 4 hours ago
                          Spain – For World Day of Childhood and Adolescence, Salesian Social Platforms launch #AprendemosDeTi campaign

                          (ANS - Madrid) - On the occasion of the World Day of Childhood and Adolescence, which is celebrated next Friday, November 20, the entities that make up the National Coordination of Salesian Social Platforms are promoting the campaign #ApreseemosDeTi (Let's learn from you) to highlight the commendable behavior of children and adolescents during the Covid-19 pandemic and protect their rights.

                          The social and economic crisis caused by the pandemic is leaving behind disturbing figures on poverty. A panorama that directly concerns the infant population. Yet, explains Monti Garrido, Coordinator of the socio-educational area of ​​the "Ángel Tomás-FISAT" Foundation, an organization that is part of the Salesian Social Platforms, “We must learn from children, especially from the most vulnerable. In this pandemic they are surviving in circumstances that have become even more precarious. Yet, they teach us to face them with a positive attitude, they have adapted better than adults and are demonstrating a greater resistance than what the educators themselves expected.”

                          Salesian social entities want to both inform and denounce the situation of vulnerable children in the midst of an economic, social and health care crisis. And therefore they require greater commitment on the part of social agents, institutions, and society in general, inviting us to reflect and act in various areas:

                          RIGHT TO QUALITY EDUCATION, guaranteeing access to technological resources, internet connection, and improving the digital skills of families and children.

                          DECENT LIVING CONDITIONS, ensuring:

                          - adequate nutrition for the development of minors, as well as for pharmaceutical drugs and hygiene.

                          –       energy resources (electricity, water and gas) which guarantee the well-being of minors in their homes.

                          –       access to safe and adequate housing, the lack of which is now one of the main problems affecting families and therefore the well-being of minors.

                          –       that the Minimum Living Income for families with children is compatible with other supplementary regional subsidies in order to achieve at least the relative poverty threshold. Accompany these resources with the reduction of bureaucracy.

                          –       protection in the family context, with measures to support families and to strengthen prevention and socio-educational programs in families at risk.

                          PARTICIPATION, LEISURE AND RECREATION

                          - Although Covid-19 has led to the limitation of free time and sport, and to the reduction of spaces for participation and socialization, it is necessary to maintain an acceptable level of openness, considering that these areas are necessary for the psycho-physical development of minors.

                          The Salesian Social Platforms, through 142 projects dedicated to childhood and adolescence, offer resources for an integrated and complementary education to school and family education, and allow children in situations of social vulnerability to be accompanied in their growth process and maturation, leading them to develop in a full, harmonious and happy way.

                          Currently, the entities of the Salesian Social Platforms accompany almost 10,000 minors to Spain, thanks to the commitment of 648 professionals and 412 volunteers.

                          • Spagna
                          • Bambini
                          • Diritti
                          • Piattaforme Sociali Salesiane
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Argentina – Scholarships for Educational Integration

                            6 days 4 hours ago
                            Argentina – Scholarships for Educational Integration

                            (ANS - Cordoba) - The "Scholarships for Educational Integration" program is a project being implemented since 2007 by the "St Giovanni Bosco and St Domenico Savio" Parish of Cordoba in collaboration with the BBVA Group. The alliance's objective is to strengthen the integration and permanence in the educational system (lower and high schools) of adolescents between 12 and 19 years old, whose families have a low level of income, insufficient to support their education.

                            Education poses a dilemma. On the one hand, it serves as a tool for upward social mobility and for the achievement of social equity; on the other hand, it requires certain levels of social equity to ensure quality.

                            The Educational Integration Scholarships program aims to overcome this problem by providing financial assistance to young people in vulnerable situations so that they can continue their studies. Furthermore, it assigns each student a tutor who has the responsibility to accompany him or her and to collaborate in his/her development.

                            Mariel is one of these tutors, who also works as a volunteer in the school support area of the parish of "St Giovanni Bosco and St Domenico Savio" in Cordoba - attended by many minors who come from the slums of "El Tropezón".

                            The scholarship, she says, is used for the purchase of books, photocopies, school materials, as well as items for personal hygiene, snacks and transport costs to and from school. “Aid in many ways is an incentive, especially for the older ones. Most of the purchases are made by the mothers, but the older ones organize themselves with their purchases, plan, calculate and analyze,” Mariel reports.

                            This year, due to the pandemic and forced isolation, many families have been left without income, while children and young people have stopped attending school, so the scholarship was aimed mainly at the purchase of food.

                            Regarding the sustainability of the study, the pandemic and isolation have led to great difficulties in carrying out their homework, as most of the children have relatively old phones and devices shared between 2 or 4 people, the internet may reach them only intermittently, and many of them do not know how to handle computer programs or tools such as Word, Excel or Google Drive.

                            But Mariel recalls that “Don Bosco advised us to be at the side of the young, to listen to them, to advise them and to accompany them.” For this reason, for her part, she has done and is doing everything in her power to allow these children to continue their studies. She keeps in touch with families by phone, pays attention to deadlines for reporting expenses, gives them the tools to do their homework, and helps them. In addition, she went to plead their case with the bank herself so that the children could keep the subsidy and expenses and their backing maintained taking into account the current context.

                            All this speaks of an exceptional commitment and love.

                            • Argentina
                            • ARN ARGENTINA NORD
                            • Povertà
                            • Educazione
                            • Solidarietà
                            • Coronavirus
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Italy – "Free to leave, free to stay": experience of solidarity and redemption matured at Salesian center in Castel de' Britti

                              1 week ago

                              (ANS - Bologna) - "Free to leave, free to stay" was a three-year campaign (2017-2020) of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) aimed at raising awareness among the Italian population on the issue of migration and carrying out development projects in the countries of departure, transit and reception of migrants, especially the most vulnerable. The Salesian Vocational Training Center in Castel de’ Britti, near Bologna, was one of the locations for its implementation.

                              Women freed from human trafficking, prostitution, assistance for unaccompanied minors, job training: these are just a few examples of how the project “Free to leave, free to stay” has concretely enabled the redemption of many migrants.

                              In the diocese of Bologna, the Italian Caritas has set up a project starting from 2018, which involved four entities already operating in the area: the "Albero di Cirene" association, the "Papa Giovanni XXIII" association, the "Centro Nazionale Opere Salesiane – Formazione Aggiornamento Professionale" of Emilia Romagna, and the social cooperative "Ceis Arte".

                              “This type of experience,” explains Elisabetta Cecchieri, head of the diocesan Caritas for the project 'Free to leave, free to stay', “has allowed us to work and think together on concrete solutions and to get to know each other even better. We wanted to create a control room to better invest in our territory.”

                              In detail, the "Tree of Cyrene", which has aid activities in the streets, has chosen to create training courses for young volunteers and has implemented the reception capacity for women freed from trafficking. The “Ceis Arte”, at its shelter for unaccompanied foreign minors, has promoted a school of Italian culture as a service for greater reception and integration.

                              Two projects have also been activated in the center of Castel de' Britti, including a course for welders. The project took place between April 2018 and March 2020 for a total duration of about 50 hours, plus training on workplace safety. “Both minors and adults took part, 9 in total, including some reported by the Public Personal Services Company,” explained Lucia Mele, from the Salesian center. In Italy, the qualification as Welder requires a license which, depending on the type of work, requires updating and its cost is circa 1,500 euros – an amount that is out of reach for most of the young people of the Salesian VTC.

                              But these young people “having formation, partly carried out in the firm, can still entice employers to hire them. The employer will then provide for the license,” assures Dr. Mele. And, in fact, this path has already paid off, leading to the employment of several young people recently.

                              • Italia
                              • Migranti
                              • ILE ITALIA LOMBARDO EMILIANA
                              • Formazione Professionale
                              • Chiesa
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Spain – International recognition for José María Díaz, professor at Salesian Institute in Úbeda

                                1 week ago
                                Spain – International recognition for José María Díaz, professor at Salesian Institute in Úbeda

                                (ANS - Úbeda) - Professor José María Díaz Fuentes, who has been working for almost three decades at the "St Domenico Savio" Salesian School in Úbeda, has been awarded the "Global Teacher Award", a prestigious international recognition assigned by the “AKS Group” through its “AKS Education Awards” which aims to give credit to the excellence of teachers around the world.

                                Professor Díaz Fuentes is one of the three professors from all over Spain who have achieved this result in this 2020, third edition of the award, which saw thousands of candidates from over 100 countries participating.

                                Díaz Fuentes thus becomes part of the group of "exceptional" teachers chosen for having made an extraordinary contribution to their profession, thanks to the excellence in teaching and the growth of their students, teachers serving the community inside and outside the classroom.

                                With a degree in Physics and with a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Educational Sciences, he has accumulated almost thirty years of experience as a teacher of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science and Technologies in secondary/high schools. In particular, he is known for his commitment in trying to foster the interest of his students in the sciences, especially in the fields of Physics and Astronomy, for which he has been promoting, together with his colleagues in the department, basic works in the classroom and others developed comprehensively and on a voluntary basis in extra-curricular activities.

                                Thanks to selfless efforts, his research group has already been awarded several times by various scientific bodies, why, a few years ago, he was appointed "Ambassador of the Scientix Community" founded by the European Commission in the context of "Horizon 2020" program for research and innovation. This means that he participates in a European project which develops didactic units that can be used by other teachers in their respective classrooms to transmit scientific knowledge and skills to students.

                                For his part, he assures us that what led him to study Physical Sciences was his passion for astronomy as a child. To this was then added his inclination for the world of education which, he says, influenced his formation at the Salesian center "in an atmosphere of constant generosity and joy."

                                "Our future depends on education in all senses, on the vocations (all) that will come and on the structures that are made available for their development," he said.

                                Now, with this Global Teacher Award, he is recognized for his teaching effectiveness, his specialized leadership, his commitment to the community, and his potential to further distribute the healthy development aspects of educational programs. All this in the belief that a small contribution can make a big difference for society.

                                Because there is no better way to create a better world than through stimulating and inspiring teaching.

                                The prizes will be awarded next Sunday, November 22, on the occasion of a digital gala that will conclude the week focussed on education.

                                • Spagna
                                • SMX SPAGNA MARIA AUSILIATRICE
                                • Docenti
                                • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Nepal – Dalai Lama praises Salesian Fr George Thirumalachalil's book on missionaries in Tibet and Nepal

                                  1 week ago
                                  Nepal – Dalai Lama praises Salesian Fr George Thirumalachalil's book on missionaries in Tibet and Nepal

                                  (ANS - Kathmandu) - The Dalai Lama, the highest theocratic authority in Tibet, expressed great appreciation for the book by Fr George Thirumalachalil, a Salesian, on the history of the Catholic Church in Nepal, Tibet, and several states of India.

                                  “His Holiness was very interested to know the history of the missionaries to Tibet and the hazardous journeys and experiences they endured crossing the difficult terrains of Tibet,” says Dalai Lama’s secretary Chhime R. Chhoekyapaan in an email letter to Father Tomy Augustine, rector of Salesian College in Sondada, West Bengal.

                                  The 235-page book, entitled "Cross on the Roof" is a brief history of the Catholic Church in Tibet and Nepal. It was published by the Salesian Institute of Sonada in collaboration with the Nepal Don Bosco Society in Kathmandu. The book narrates the missionary expeditions from the 18th century and the attempt to make the Gospel known in Tibet, the traditional center of Buddhism, and in Nepal, the only Hindu kingdom in the world. In Nepal, four missionary stations were opened headed by the Capuchins, who remained there from 1715 to 1769.

                                  The Salesians started their mission in Nepal many years later, in 1992. Today they are well established in the country with 21 religious from five Indian Provinces serving 7 presences. In Nepal, the Salesians have decided to contribute to and disseminate Christian literature and, precisely for this reason, the book by Fr George Thirumalachalil, published last October 18, was sent to the Dalai Lama, who has always been interested in Christian history.

                                  In fact, as his secretary explains, the current Dalai Lama visited the symbolic places of Christian missionary activity in these territories, such as the birthplace of Francesco Orazio della Penna (1680-1745), a Capuchin missionary pioneer in Tibet; and in 2005, on the occasion of an exhibition on the history of missionaries in Tibet, he also visited Rimini, Italy, to visit the Capuchin monastery.

                                  The Dalai Lama also recalled that relations between Buddhists and Christians have ancient roots. In fact, he recalled the close contact that one of his predecessors, the Dalai Lama VII (1708-1757), had with Pope Clement XII (1652-1740).

                                  Finally, secretary Chhime recalled his visit to the Salesian College of Sonada in the 1970s, when he was a student of the "St Joseph's School", North Point, in Darjeeling.

                                  • Nepal
                                  • INC INDIA CALCUTTA
                                  • Dialogo
                                  • India
                                  • Cina
                                  • Tibet
                                  • Missioni
                                  • Personaggi illustri
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Chile – Salesian agricultural school of Catemu and other partner institutions inaugurate first Regional Center for Agro-Ecological Formation

                                    1 week ago
                                    Chile – Salesian agricultural school of Catemu and other partner institutions inaugurate first Regional Center for Agro-Ecological Formation

                                    (ANS - Catemu) - The representatives of the educational community of the Salesian Agricultural School of Catemu, of the Universities of Viña del Mar and "Las Americas", of the National Botanical Garden, the technical teams of Otic Pro Aconcagua, Sinapsis, RMGM, La Semilla Foundation, the Ministerial Regional Secretary for Agriculture, and the Mayor of Catemu have signed a collaboration agreement for the creation of the first Regional Agro-Ecological Formation Center.

                                    The purpose of this agreement is to improve the training curriculum of future agricultural technicians of this important formation center. All the authorities present, in fact, underlined the importance of the Salesian School in the conservation, protection, promotion and enhancement of rural culture and the environment.

                                    During the activity and in alliance with the bodies present, the Council of Experts and Academics was created. It will have the task of managing the improvement process and the participation of the Ministry of the Environment and private entities in this initiative, leaving representatives of the parents and students very satisfied.

                                    After the agreement was signed, the members of the new Council met for the first time to establish guidelines and commitments to advance the construction of the center.

                                    This innovation will make it possible to manage all the processes associated with the teaching of the Salesian Agricultural School - production of milk, cheese, eggs, honey, wine, fruit, jams, fodder, and more - according to a model of circular economy and clean production and become an educational reference point for all rural realities.

                                    The signing of the agreement, which took place in the first week of November, represents a great opportunity for the School, since, as stated by Nataly Araya, Director of the Institute, it is in line with the Salesian Pastoral Education Project (PEPS) and is a demonstration of the good practices carried out by the Salesian institute, also in collaboration with other actors, for the sustainable development of the planet.

                                    • Cile
                                    • CIL CILE
                                    • Agricoltura
                                    • Formazione Professionale
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Vatican – Fr Walter Guillen Soto, SDB, appointed auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

                                      1 week 1 day ago
                                      Vatican – Fr Walter Guillen Soto, SDB, appointed auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

                                      (ANS - Vatican City) - The Estampa Hall of the Holy See announced Saturday 14 November that His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Salesian priest Fr Walter Guillen Soto as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Fr Guillen Soto, currently Rector of the “St Giovanni Bosco” National Youth Shrine of Tegucigalpa, has now been assigned the titular episcopal see of Nasbinca.

                                      Walter Guillen Soto was born on 6 December 1961 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He holds: a Licentiate in Theology from the "Universidad Francisco Marroquín" in Guatemala; in Pedagogy and Educational Sciences at the "Universidad Don Bosco" in San Salvador, El Salvador; and a Doctorate in Education and Pedagogical Sciences from the "Universidade de Santiago de Compostela", Spain.

                                      He made his religious profession as a Salesian of Don Bosco on 6 June 1986 and received priestly ordination on 5 November 1988.

                                      In his religious life he has held the following positions: Academic Director of the "San Miguel" Institute in Tegucigalpa; Director of the Archdiocesan Theological Institute of Tegucigalpa; Director of the "Ricaldone" Institute in San Salvador; Director of the Don Bosco College of San José, Costa Rica; Director of the "Instituto Técnico Don Bosco" in Panama City, Panama; Director of the "Instituto Tecnológico Don Bosco AC" in Saltillo, Mexico; personal secretary of the Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Salesian card. Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga.

                                      Since 2017 he has been Rector of the "San Juan Bosco" Shrine of Tegucigalpa and since 2018 Chaplain General of the Catholic University of Honduras. He was also President of the Catholic Federation of Panama and President of the Inter-American Confederation of Catholic Education (CIEC).

                                      Together with Fr Guillen Soto, the Holy Father also appointed Fr Teodoro Gómez Rivera, of the clergy of the diocese of Choluteca Honduras, currently Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar for the pastoral care of the diocese, as auxiliary bishop of Tegicigalpa, and assigned him the titular see of Tatroporto Castle.

                                      • Vaticano
                                      • Nomine
                                      • Honduras
                                      • Walter Guillen Soto
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Democratic Republic of Congo – Don Bosco Center and AVEC groups give hope to "Mothers Courage" of Bukavu

                                        1 week 1 day ago

                                        (ANS - Bukavu) - Francoise, Esperance, Anastasie ... These are just some of the many beneficiaries of the 43 AVEC groups (Association Villageoise d’Epargne et Crédit, local Association for Savings and Credit) accompanied by the Don Bosco Center of Bukavu. Thanks to this institution, many women - 90% of group members - are able to obtain support in the event of happy events (a wedding or a birth) or fatal events (a bereavement, an accident, or an illness); and thanks to micro-credit, AVEC groups promote solidarity, teach how to manage money and savings, give the possibility to apply for a loan to start a small business.

                                        Since the beginning of the pandemic, the daily reality of millions of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been worsening and many women members of the AVEC groups have no longer been able to pay their dues necessary for the proper functioning of the deposit and loan fund. "For this reason, the social workers Nicole and Gisèle have distributed start-up aid, from 50 to 150 dollars approximately, to over 120 very poor mothers who were unable to start a small Income Generating Business and participate fully in the AVEC group," says Fr Piero Gavioli, a Salesian missionary, Director of the “Don Bosco Center” in Bukavu.

                                        The testimonies presented here give an idea of ​​the advantages of this creative form of charity - which develops the individual talents of the people helped - as well as difficulties encountered.

                                        FRANCOISE received a sum of $ 80 to boost her small spice and shoe shop. Her business progresses and helps her respond to the needs of her family. As the supply of spices from Rwanda became difficult with the pandemic, she began selling underwear. She is a member of the "AVEC Tuamke" group of Camp TV, and is very grateful to the Salesians for the help received.

                                        ESPERANCE and her husband are partners of the same AVEC group. They received  150 dollars in aid which enabled them to restart their businesses. The husband strengthened his small resale of cigarettes and sundries in the large market of Kadutu and Esperance began to sell large bananas at the market of Muhanzi. The confinement due to the pandemic had interrupted their activity a bit, but now they are moving forward.

                                        ANASTASIE is the President of her AVEC group. She received a 120-dollar sewing machine from her group. Before, they all used 3 old machines in turn, while today these mothers have the opportunity to use a good quality machine and sew clothes that they sell to survive.

                                        "Mothers Courage thank the Don Bosco Center for the help received. Their thanks goes above all to the people who give us the means to help them. May the Lord bless them," concludes Fr Gavioli.

                                        {gallery}AFC Mamme Coraggio Bukavu ultima 2020{/gallery}

                                        • Rep Dem del Congo
                                        • AFC AFRICA CENTRALE
                                        • Donne
                                        • Economia
                                        • Povertà
                                        • Sviluppo Sociale
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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