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Chile – International formation meetings: the Preventive System in the 21st century

1 week 2 days ago
Chile – International formation meetings: the Preventive System in the 21st century

(ANS - Santiago) - The Salesian School of America (ESA), together with the Catholic University "Silva Henríquez" (UCSH) and the Salesian Province of Chile, has organized a series of formative meetings on the Preventive System for educators of the American continent.

Accompanying educators and fostering the charism through its vital core, that is the Preventive System, is a constant challenge for all Salesian education, secondary school and university. For this reason, this cycle of distance learning was created, through the Zoom platform, for all those educators present in America who wish to strengthen their educational and charismatic vocation.

About 170 people - including Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Directors and Rectors, teachers of schools and vocational training centers and universities, from the American continent – as well as the Provincial of the Salesians of Chile, Fr Carlo Lira - took part in the first meeting, held on April 7.

Fr Claudio Cartes, Referent for the Salesian School of America of the Salesians of Don Bosco, greeted the participants and said that "Salesian environments have a great path, which is the Preventive System. We want to strengthen this charismatic identity in our educational and evangelizing mission.” 

Sr. Ivone Goulart, Referent for the Salesian School of America of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, also greeted participants: “The challenge is to educate like Don Bosco. The preventive system in education is needed today more than ever," she said.

The speaker of this first meeting was Fr Alejandro Rodríguez, Doctor of Education at the University of San Francisco, who discussed: "Salesian leadership, charism and education in a preventive key".

The priest presented several elements that should be considered in educational spaces in the post-pandemic era, such as: planning in the face of economic volatility, building trust, greater systemic optimization, high expectations to deliver quick results, new skills , abilities and knowledge, increase personal and organizational adaptability, greater flexibility to work how and where one wishes to.

And after having manifested: "The preventive system is a vocation of service to young people who are looking for answers", he concluded with some points that he wanted to emphasize clearly:

-       Educating is an art that requires a familiar environment and a precise intentionality.

-       The Salesian Preventive System is a relationship.

-       The added value is its own prevention.

-       Leadership is experience: of the spirit, of Don Bosco, of the Oratory as structure and criterion, of assistance as presence, of encounter in joy and solidarity.

His presentation was completed by a question and answer session.

The next appointment will be held on Wednesday 14 April at 10:00 (UTC-4) in Chile and the conference will be held by Fr Michael Vojtas, professor at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome. To register: www.salesianos.cl/sistemapreventivo 

  • Cile
  • CIL CILE
  • Scuole
  • Formazione
  • Sistema Preventivo
  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy – Missionaries heralds of hope

    1 week 3 days ago
    Italy – Missionaries heralds of hope

    (ANS – Rome) – On 4 April  2021, at the end of Vespers of the Solemnity of Easter, the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, communicated to the Generalate Community the destination of the eight new FMA missionaries.

    The new missionaries, from seven Provinces and three Continents, learned of their destination at the end of a time of discernment, prayer, and dialogue lived from 15 to 26 March 2021, with the accompaniment of the Councillor for the Missions, Sister Alaíde Deretti.

    Mother Yvonne wished the new missionaries “to be like the first missionaries, whom Mother Mazzarello had the courage to send to America, and for this we are here. On this Easter day, the Angel sent Mary Magdalene to proclaim the Resurrection and you are called to proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus in the certainty that He accompanies you and that every difficulty is a participation in the Mystery of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. (…) Missionary is love in the heart that leads us to live and proclaim the Good News. The hope on this Easter evening is that you may be witnesses and heralds of the Resurrection”.

    Sr. Alaíde Deretti, Councillor for the Missions, thanking each new missionary and their provinces of origin for their generous ‘yes’, took up the words of Pope Francis: ” ‘outgoing Church’… is the command of Jesus, who in Mark’s Gospel asks His followers to go all over the world and preach the Gospel ‘to every creature’. The Church is either outgoing or it is not the Church. Either it is in proclamation or it is not the Church. If the Church does not go out, it is corrupted, it is distorted. It becomes something else” (From the interview with Gianni Valente – Extraordinary Missionary October, 2019).

    The Councillor wished them “to allow themselves to be led by faith and hope in this particular time when the world needs health, safety, and courageous heralds of the Gospel”.

    The new missionaries will continue their formation journey in preparation for the mission ad gentes, intensifying the study of the language of the Founders, attending courses at the Pontifical Urbanianum University of Rome, participating in moments of encounter with the different Sectors, and sharing the experience of life in the international and multicultural community of the FMA Generalate.

    The destinations of the new-missionaries:

    • Czopur Anna (PLJ)
      St. Mary D. Mazzarello Province (AEC) – Camerun, Guinea Equatorial, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville
    • Nguyen thi Hong Anna (VTN)
      St. Francis di Sales Province (ABA) – Patagonia
    • Gonsalves Collette (INB)
      Our Lady of Good Counsel Province (IMR) – Malta
    • Do Carmo Albina (TIN)
      Queen of Peace Preprovince (ANG) – Angola
    • Coching Maria Alem (FIL)
      Jesus Adolescent Province (MOR) – Egypt
    • Pham thi Bich Thao Maria (VTN)
      St.  Francis Xavier Province (ABB) – Patagonia
    • Kim Min Seon Cristina (KOR)
      Mary Our Help Province (CMY) – Cambodia, Myanmar
    • Quintero Arévalo Emma Teresa (CMM)
      St. Mary D. Mazzarello Province (AEC) – Camerun, Guinea Equatoriale, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville

    Mother communicated the destination of Sr. Hwang Hye Soon Giuseppina, from Morning Star Province (KOR), formerly a missionary in China. Sister Giuseppina, after having participated in the discernment process together with the new missionaries, was assigned to Queen of Peace Preprovince (ANG) – Angola.

    Source: CGFMA

    • Italia
    • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
    • Yvonne Reungoat
    • Missioni
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Mexico – Extraordinary Visitation of Fr Hugo Orozco Sánchez to "Our Lady of Guadalupe" Province (MEM) continues

      1 week 3 days ago

      (ANS - Ciudad de México) - From 26 to 28 March, Fr Hugo Orozco Sánchez SDB, Regional Councilor for Interamerica, as part of his Extraordinary Visitation to the "Our Lady of Guadalupe" Province of Mexico-México (MEM), stopped in the social work “Artesanado Salesiano di Nazareth” in Mexico City, where he met and got to know the whole educative-pastoral community. Accompanying him in many moments of his visit were also Fr Ignacio Ocampo Uribe, MEM Provincial, and his Vicar, Fr Carlos Barbosa Castillo.

      During the Eucharistic celebrations he presided over, the Regional Councilor highlighted the importance of the social work that takes place in this center and underlined the need to continue to support it, recalling that it offers many children, adolescents and young people access to formal and vocational education, and participates in the Salesian project of social promotion “Chavos de Don Bosco”.

      On Good Friday, last April 2, Fr Orozco Sánchez presided over the celebration of the Lord's Passion in the Parish-Shrine of Mary Help of Christians. The assembly of the faithful gathered in the parish, even if small, in compliance with all health measures in force, was very significant; hundreds of other parishioners and faithful were also spiritually united in the celebration online via social networks.

      To all the faithful, present and connected via the internet, the Regional Councilor reminded us that "God loves us immensely, does not abandon us and is always ready to forgive us, to the point of having given the life of His beloved Son to save us."

      On Saturday 3 April 2021, during the solemn Easter Vigil, in the same church, Fr Orozco Sánchez said: "The Resurrection is an opportunity to start over from where it all began ... We who are witnesses of the Risen One, are people who give, we are joyful people, we are optimistic people, people who give comfort, people who smile despite the difficulties ... We are the people who believe in the Resurrection.”

      Then he underlined the invitation that the angel made to women and disciples to "go to Galilee, to see Jesus", highlighting that Christ loves us so much that, even if we have abandoned Him, He allows us to start over from the place where it all began, the place of the first meeting and the "first love".

      And, referring to what the Pope said about this image of Galilee, he added that it contains three beautiful Easter messages: “The love of Jesus has no limits; the love of Jesus confronts us with a better future; and for the love of Jesus there is not a single sin that leaves us excluded from His love for us. Three Easter messages that, if we make them our own, will really give us reason to celebrate this Easter!”

      • Messico
      • MEM MESSICO MÉXICO
      • Hugo Orozco Sánchez
      • Pasqua
      • Visita Straordinaria
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Myanmar – Solidarity and prayer for Myanmar continue throughout East Asia-Oceania Region

        1 week 4 days ago
        Myanmar – Solidarity and prayer for Myanmar continue throughout East Asia-Oceania Region

        (ANS - Yangon) - After the violent clashes that broke out in Myanmar last Saturday 27 March, during which civilians, students and even children lost their lives, the Salesians and the Salesian Family of the East Asia-Oceania Region have intensified their movement of prayer and solidarity.

        Many Asian local churches have also expressed their closeness to the suffering people of Myanmar, who have witnessed violence, killings and imprisonment since February. Korean Cardinal Andrew Yeom soo-jung (archbishop of Seoul, South Korea) also invited the entire Catholic community, made up of 1 million people, to a prayer novena in Myanmar, which ends today, April 7.

        A day of prayer was also held last March 31 organized by the Interprovincial Conference of the FMA of East Asia (CIAO in English), which includes 8 Provinces and a total of 1,110 Sisters. On this occasion, the FMA Province of Philippines and Papua New Guinea (FIL) made its digital platform available to follow the event online.

        The Salesian Provinces and the Association of Salesian Cooperators of many countries belonging to the East Asia-Oceania Region responded to the appeal for prayer and solidarity. In many places, then, the prayer activity was especially intensified during the days of Holy Week.

        In these difficult months for Myanmar, through the Catholic media and social networks, there are many stories of hope that follow one another. The Burmese people are showing great courage and determination, showing themselves willing to suffer for freedom and for a better future for the country.

        In recent weeks, citizens' responses to violence are becoming more and more creative: drums are beaten, rubbish is unloaded in public places, the United Nations is appealed to in the streets of Yangon. All this always through the civil disobedience movement.

        A few days ago, Pope Francis also shared his solidarity with the suffering people of Myanmar, whom he personally visited a few years ago. "I kneel with you in the streets of Myanmar," said the Holy Father.

        Thus, the prayer for peace in this country does not stop and appeals to world leaders are growing to respond to the cry of those who suffer.

        • Myanmar
        • MYM MYANMAR
        • Asia EstOceania
        • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
        • Salesiani Cooperatori
        • Preghiera
        • Violenze
        • Famiglia Salesiana
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Italy – Alin, from pupil to entrepreneur thanks to Salesian Vocational Training

          1 week 4 days ago
          Italy – Alin, from pupil to entrepreneur thanks to Salesian Vocational Training

          (ANS - Serravalle Scrivia) - Alin Cazacu is a young past pupil of the Salesian Vocational Training Center (VTC) of Serravalle Scrivia in the province of Alessandria, Piedmont. Thanks to his determination, his commitment, and the teachings received during his years as a student of the Salesian course in the Salesian VTC, he was able to fulfill his dream of starting his own business: he opened a pizzeria.

          A serious preparation towards the world of work and the possibility of an internship in a firm so as to immediately put into practice what he had learned 'at his desk' were the keys to entering the world of work as a protagonist.

          Today Alin is 27 years old and lives in Sardigliano. Three years ago - with his business partner and best friend - he opened the pizzeria “Il Quadrifoglio” in Cassano Spinola. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, they are only engaged in take-away, but the hope is to re-open the dining room to full capacity, since it had become a point of reference for the neighboring townspeople.

          Alin attended the VTC course in Serravalle Scrivia as a sales assistant: “A friend of mine recommended it to me. He told me about a beautiful environment, useful for learning and being inserted into the world of work,” he says.

          The training course led him first to do an internship in a clothing store, then to start working in a pizzeria as an employee.

          “In the store, I put into practice the notions learned above all on how to approach customers, be polite and how to understand the needs of those in front of you. The course was very useful because they also taught me English - essential these days - and I was able to take the HACCP qualification for preparing and serving food and drinks, which came in handy later, saving time and money. Finally, I have perfected the theoretical knowledge in internship: theory and practice for a complete formation.”

          The vocational school staff explain: “The course, completely free, includes 300 hours of internship, in collaboration with the commercial activities of the area, especially the outlet (the largest in Italy) in the third year of attendance, after the first two in which supplementary vocational subjects are taught.”

          Depending on the chosen address, the subjects taught change: "Sales techniques, cash management, organization of the point of sale ... in addition to English, Russian and business Chinese, languages required for dealing with customers who arrive in Serravalle.”

          Thus, after a few years as an employee, Alin and his friend decided to go on their own. Now he bakes and serves pizzas and can't wait to go back to setting the tables for all the customers who have learned to know him, appreciate his professionalism and taste his pizzas.

          • ICP ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE SPECIALE PIEMONTE E VALLE D'AOSTA
          • Formazione Professionale
          • CNOSFAP
          • Italia
          • Lavoro
            Gian Francesco Romano

            East Timor – Flood victims needs shelter-food-medicines

            1 week 5 days ago
            East Timor – Flood victims needs shelter-food-medicines

            (ANS – Dili) – A flash flood caused by torrential rains crippled areas around the capital city of Dili, East Timor, as well as some nearby islands in Eastern Indonesia (NTT), including the island of Flores and the Western part of Timor Island, Indonesia, in the early morning hours (3-5 AM) of Easter Sunday (April 4). To date, reports claim there are some 160+ victims of landslides and houses buried under mud, kilometres of destroyed road, and thousands of displaced people. In Dili, the water in the rivers rise as much as 2-4 meter above the ordinary level.

            Although the main rainfall stopped on Monday (April 5), the water-level was still high. Rescue work continues to search and discover missing people and restore the basic roads and streets in the affected area.

            The Salesians of Don Bosco (Vice Province of St Callisto Caravario, East Timor - TLS) with the headquarters in Dili-Comoro, one of the centres of this natural disaster, is now sheltering some 3,000 people who fled from their homes due to this calamity in its “Comoro Don Bosco” compound. Some blankets, food and basic medicines were distributed. Also, the archbishop of Dili, Virgilio da Silva, SDB, was present with his words of consolation to the flood refugees.

            At the same time, the whole Salesian Family, with the Comoro FMA communities, Salesian Cooperators, ADMA and Don Bosco Past Pupils extend their hands to the victims.

            At present, the TLS Vice Province has 11 canonical communities in East Timor, with 3 of them located precisely in the capital of Dili-Comoro district, with the parish of Mary Help of Christians; “Don Bosco Technical Centre”, a TVET centre, with a large oratory; and a post-novitiate community with the Philosophy study centre. Also, the Provincial house is located in the Dili-Comoro venue.

            On the other hand, the Salesians of Don Bosco are not yet present in the Eastern Indonesia provinces affected by the flash floods, especially in Flores Island. The only presence is the Don Bosco community of Sumba, apparently without any major damages.

            Prayers and any meaningful sign of solidarity is highly appreciated. “We pray for the people of East Timor and Easter Indonesia!” the Salesians say.

            {gallery}TLS - Inondazioni 2021{/gallery}

            • Timor Est
            • TLS TIMOR EST
            • Indonesia
            • INA INDONESIA
            • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Mozambique – Solidarity, fundamental ingredient in "Don Bosco-Maputo" Social and Sports School of Real Madrid

              1 week 5 days ago

              (ANS - Maputo) - The “Don Bosco-Maputo” Real Madrid Social-Sports School carries out its activities at the “San José de Lhanguene” Salesian Mission in Mozambique's capital. The Salesians have been working in the country for over a century to help the most disadvantaged children, offering them an integral education. Through the practice of football and basketball, more than 70 children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 17 learn values ​​and improve their academic performance in this sports and educational project that involves the Salesians and the Real Madrid Foundation. The current pandemic situation has affected the activities, but not the accompaniment of children and their families, which continues with solidarity and awareness-raising activities.

              The Salesian Mission San José, in Maputo, is part of the collaboration project of the Socio-Sports Schools that the Real Madrid Foundation has launched with the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, "Misiones Salesianas" - a collaboration that has turned 10 in 2021 and which today is divided into 21 schools in 14 countries on three continents, benefiting almost 4,000 children every year.

              For three days a week, the students of the "Don Bosco-Maputo" school participate in training sessions for an hour and a half. Sport and educational reinforcement complement each other so that through sport the project participants learn good habits for study, hygiene and nutrition.

              Mandatory confinement during the last school year and the consequences of the pandemic forced a reduction in sports activities and the number of participants. However, the accompaniment of children and their families has translated into solidarity, through the distribution of food, masks and protective devices, as well as through awareness-raising speeches to avoid infections.

              Source: Misiones Salesianas

              Walter is 13 years old and one of the participants in the football school: “Here we have fun, we learn a lot and make friends. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher and I know that what I'm learning will help me achieve this goal," he says.

              The school year in Mozambique begins in February. Last year, all activities were marked by the pandemic, but classroom activities were replaced by visits to children and their families to encourage and help them during the lockdown.

              The limitations of participation and health measures to avoid contagion are still respected: the use of masks during school reinforcements, hand disinfection before entering the playground or in any activity organized by the school and measurement of the participants' temperature before entering the sports complex take place.

              However, what never changes in the socio-sports schools of the Real Madrid Foundation is the joy of the students, a concrete expression of the motto that guides these activities which benefit thousands of vulnerable children all over the world: "They play, we educate".

              • MOZ MOZAMBICO
              • Mozambico
              • Sport
              • Coronavirus
              • Educazione
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Spain – A digital and inclusive school for the disadvantaged: "Don Bosco F5"

                1 week 5 days ago

                (ANS - Sevilla) - "Don Bosco F5" will be a digital, inclusive and supportive school, the first to be developed in Andalusia under the "Simplon.co" pedagogical model. It has already selected the first 25 participants who will be educated in the new technologies according to this model. This is a project born from the collaboration between the "Fundación Don Bosco" and the "Factoría F5", which will be financed by the "Endesa" energy company. It is part of the activities developed by the "Fundación Don Bosco" in the "Polígono Sur" area of ​​Seville, considered one of Spain's most vulnerable areas, where a large number of minors, young people and families are immersed in highly vulnerable situations, especially in terms of employment.

                The "Don Bosco F5" school project was born as a response to the crisis generated by Covid-19 to seek a strategic alliance between three leading realities in educational and social intervention, technological training and entrepreneurial commitment; and without forgetting that currently in Spain there are 12.3 million people in a situation of social exclusion (data from the tenth report on the population at risk of poverty or exclusion - AROPE) while there are over 56,000 vacancies in the technology sector (data from “Fundación Telefónica”).

                "Don Bosco F5", thus, wants to be a commitment to hidden talents, especially among women in precarious situations, unskilled young people, long-term unemployed, applicants for international protection, gypsies, excluded young people, immigrants and all those groups that start from a situation of fewer opportunities.

                An innovative methodology will be used for the development of the project, focused on job placement, centered on an active, 100% practical pedagogy, which will combine classroom and online dynamics, deductive learning methods and a constant vocational orientation, with the creation of real projects for the organizations involved, lectures by industry professionals, meetings and hiring days with companies and at job fairs.

                One of the most interesting aspects of this inclusive project is that it will be possible to access training in the most sought-after skills in the digital sector even without prior knowledge on the subject.

                At the same time, this is not a leap in the dark: the experience of the already active F5 schools states that 76% of students in the months immediately following the training obtain a job, access further training courses or start an entrepreneurial project.

                On a technical level, a 1,000-hour formation will be offered on Front-end design and development of websites and applications (HTML, CSS and JavaScript), Design and back-end development of websites and applications, User experience design and prototyping, Usage of agile methodologies, such as Kanban or Scrum.

                After receiving over 150 applications, 25 people have been selected who, despite coming from unfavorable personal, economic and/or social circumstances, have shown that they possess the required qualities: personal autonomy, logic, great motivation and the ability to work as a team.

                • Spagna
                • Lavoro
                • SMX SPAGNA MARIA AUSILIATRICE
                • Scuole
                • Giovani a Rischio
                • Tecnologie
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Brazil - Easter Vigil in the Iauaretê mission

                  2 weeks 2 days ago
                  Brazil - Easter Vigil in the Iauaretê mission

                  (ANS - Iauaretê) - How is Easter lived and experienced in the missions? Salesians tell us how one prepares for the most important days of the year in the poorest lands in the world. In particular, Fr Roberto Cappelletti, a missionary in the Amazon, in Iauaretê, at the extreme western border of Brazil, right in front of the border with Colombia, wanted to share the solemn moment of the Easter Vigil in his mission.

                  The Easter Vigil in Iauaretê is extremely evocative and special. Iauaretê is a missionary district with 10 villages around the Salesian house and each village is consecrated to a Salesian Saint.

                  As Fr Cappelletti explains: “On the night of the Vigil, each village lights a large fire in the central and community part. Simultaneously communicating the beginning with the sound of the bells of the main church, the inhabitants of each village light their candle at the central fire and walk towards the parish. The inhabitants of the ten villages,” he continues, “arriving in front of the parish church, form a large circle in front of the pile of wood prepared by the liturgy team. Each village also brings with it the new Easter candle. During the song, everyone, each with their own candle, sets fire to the large pile of wood from which, during the liturgy, the 10 candles of the villages and the paschal candle of the main church will be lit. It is a time of great spirituality and very emotional. Children, adults and the elderly, as a sign of faith in the Risen Christ, bring their small contribution of light, as witnesses of the Resurrection. In 2017, I celebrated 37 baptisms during the Easter Vigil. Let's say that the celebration lasted a little longer than expected (3 hours), but it was really beautiful,” added the missionary.

                  Fr Cappelletti also wanted to share an anecdote, dating back to a few years ago, when he celebrated the Easter Vigil in the village of the Hupda ethnic group, Santa Cruz do Cabarí.

                  “In 2018 I celebrated the Easter Vigil in the village of the Hupda ethnic group, Santa Cruz do Cabarí. On Holy Thursday all the inhabitants of the other Hupda villages of the Japú river arrived. There were about 700 people. I spent Thursday night, all Friday, and all Saturday confessing these people; 95% confessed in their own language, which I did not know,” he explained. “I entrusted everything to the Mercy of God, who knows all and forgives all. I had brought a traditional Easter candle, but to my surprise they, amazing beekeepers, had made a huge one out of beeswax. I was moved. Due to its size, they transported it to the center of 'Our Church under the Stars' with a wooden cart. On that night, 85 baptisms were celebrated between children and adults. The most beautiful Easter Vigil I've ever experienced.”

                  Source: Missioni Don Bosco

                  • Brasile
                  • Pasqua
                    Virginia Nitto

                    Madagascar - Education and evangelization: Salesian missionary presence in country's south-west

                    2 weeks 2 days ago
                    Foto Facebook: don Giovanni Corselli e mons. Rosario Vella

                    (ANS - Ankililoaka) - In Ankililoaka, in the south-western area of ​​Madagascar, the Salesian mission represents an important point of reference for the local population. The Salesians of Don Bosco are concerned with offering them hospitality, medical assistance, education, but - above all - help and hope. One of them, Fr Giovanni Corselli, a missionary in the country for almost 40 years, interviewed by the news agency Fides, describes how his life changed when, in September 2019, he arrived in the missionary district of Ankililoaka, where he had started the Salesian work with the current Bishop of Moramanga, Mons.Rosario Vella, SDB, back in September 1981.

                    “After having always been in small villages, in the field,” writes Fr Corselli, “at the age of 76, they appointed me director here in Ankililoaka. It is important for us to be close to people. In our community we strive to carry out work of evangelization and human promotion by trying to educate young people and the population to work together, stimulating them to reflect and seek their own autonomy. The main problem,” continues the missionary, “is that of water, of which unfortunately we have seen a dramatic decrease in recent years. The rains have decreased and for an agricultural population that expects everything from the rains it becomes problematic to be able to make ends meet. This year it has rained almost nothing and people have collected little. In its social structure, the population retains many characteristics of village life. Most retain the traditions of the ancestors. The Coronavirus pandemic has also been added, which continues to rage and has increased the restrictions, which for the people who live day-by-day, become unbearable.”

                    “Of course,” explains Fr Giovanni, “in this context, the last thing parents think about is the education of their children. Despite the presence and use of social media, the population is not very open to the outside world. This creates a lot of difficulties for education and evangelization, our main objectives. For this reason, we try to let the little ones study, to educate the parents and, indirectly, to direct them to profitable activities of various kinds in order to become autonomous. In Ankililoaka we have 14 elementary schools in the villages with a school population of 2,599 pupils, a large middle school and a high school with around 750 pupils. In addition, the Trinitarian Sisters of Valenza, who work with us, run a dispensary and an elementary and kindergarten school with about 700 students.”

                    “Wherever I worked,” concludes the missionary, “both in Tulear in the context of parish activities and neighborhood animation, vocational school, women's promotion, elementary school for recovery, and in Benaneviky, a very extensive first evangelization missionary district, with connection difficulties, elementary schools in the villages, construction of wells, I was able to see that for the people we are a point of reference, and that they need to be helped, encouraged, animated and supported. We do not get discouraged and we entrust ourselves to the Lord and to the Virgin Mary Help of Christians and even if progress is very slow we continue to fight and encourage.”

                    Source: Fides

                    • MDG MADAGASCAR
                      Virginia Nitto

                      Senegal - Young people from Tambacounda engaged in agroecology

                      2 weeks 2 days ago
                      Senegal - Young people from Tambacounda engaged in agroecology

                      (ANS - Tambacounda) - "Cultivating the skills of young people. Formation in agroecology in Tambacounda (Senegal)". This is the name of the project that the Salesian NGO Bosco Global has recently started with the support of the “Fons Menorquí de Cooperació Internacional”. The initiative is encouraging and was received with great enthusiasm by 10 young people, boys and girls, students of the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Tambacounda and their families, about 50 people.

                      Thanks to this project, some of the young people are already thinking about the possibility of setting up a business, which could market the organic products of their crops. At the end of the strictly agroecological training, in fact, they will also be offered a course on how to obtain microcredits. The young people of the project are well aware that solidarity must be global, aimed in all directions.

                      What gives greater hope for this project is the certainty that it will lead to the creation of a true and proper school.

                      Young people are learning organic farming techniques, soil enrichment and the optimization of the most precious resource: water. The young people have already been assigned rural plots and some of them have already started working.

                      Furthermore, the initiative was designed with a gender perspective, which seeks to reduce gender inequality by empowering women. It will also help curb desertification and enrich the soil that is now depleted due to a lack of nutrients and water and climate change, which is shortening the rainy season.

                      In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, young people are fully aware that the relationship of human beings with our mother Earth must change radically.

                      A short video is also available on the YouTube channel of the NGO Bosco Global, in which the young participants in the project tell their testimonies, explaining the value that this initiative has for them.

                      • AFO AFRICA OCCIDENTALE FRANCOFONA
                      • ONG
                        Virginia Nitto

                        Zambia - Rapid growth of Salesian lay vocation

                        2 weeks 3 days ago
                        Zambia - Rapid growth of Salesian lay vocation

                        (ANS - Kabwe) - In Africa, the expansion of the Catholic Church and the Salesian Congregation is ever faster and the Association of Salesian Cooperators is no exception. In fact, there are already many well established local centers and, above all, an ever-increasing number of new members.

                        Kabwe, which is part of the "Mary Help of Christians" Vice Province of Zambia-Malawi-Zimbabwe-Namibia (ZMB), is a city with two Salesian parishes, which are entrusted with many mission stations, primary and secondary schools, a home for street children, oratories and, recently, the Novitiate has returned to this city after nine years.

                        The 25 members of the Association of Salesian Cooperators of the local center animated by the Salesian community "Blessed Artemide Zatti" come from both Salesian parishes. Most are women; then there is a good number of teachers and faithful, all deeply committed to the work of parish evangelization. Furthermore, on January 31, another group of 11 aspirants began the formative journey, which will last three years and which will be accompanied by the Formation Councilor and Delegate for Social Communication, Fr Ignatius Musenge.

                        The Salesian Cooperators experience the joy and satisfaction of their apostolic commitment by directing the oratory, carrying out daily work, accompanying youth groups or even simply living their vocation as teachers in their respective schools. Belonging to both Salesian parishes in Kabwe, they also form a natural bridge between the two communities and hope to be able to open another center soon.

                        During the Extraordinary Visitation, conducted on behalf of the Rector Major by Fr Václav Klement, Extraordinary Visitor "ad nutum" and "pro tempore", the Salesian Cooperators gave voice to their joys and their daily challenges. Some of the points highlighted were: how to effectively help the poor, how to “rejuvenate” their presence and how to get younger members.

                        Those involved in the Oratory, on the other hand, highlighted how often they find themselves faced with the poor understanding of the parents as regards Don Bosco's educational system. The lack of training materials, such as a Don Bosco film, adequate literature on his educational system and the lack of materials relating to the Salesian Family, constitute a challenging problem.

                        Despite the difficulties, the lay Salesian vocation continues to grow in this part of the Salesian world.

                        • ZMB ZAMBIA MALAWI ZIMBABWE NAMIBIA
                        • Salesiani
                        • Salesiani Cooperatori
                          Virginia Nitto

                          Ecuador - Salesian missionary work continues even in midst of pandemic

                          2 weeks 3 days ago
                          Ecuador - Salesian missionary work continues even in midst of pandemic

                          (ANS - Quito) - At the beginning of the pandemic, many of the parents of the children hosted at the Wasakentsa Mission called their children home for fear that they could be infected with Covid-19. To respect demands for social distancing, many young people thus returned to their respective homes.

                          However, this situation turned out to be a little more complicated than expected, both for the young people and for the parents, as educating their children from home was not an easy task. This situation seriously jeopardized students' academic performance. Thus, at the request of the parents and with the consent of both the institutions and the Wasakentsa mission, all the students returned to class, receiving lessons from Monday to Friday and giving priority to teaching the most important subjects.

                          The pandemic did not prevent the Salesian missionaries of Wasakentsa from traveling through the jungle to visit the various Achuar communities. One of them is Fr Agustín Togo, who says that during the pandemic, the NAE (Achuar Nationality of Ecuador) sent people trained in the communities of the Amazon to hold workshops on the preparation of natural medicines. “For the inhabitants of these communities,” explained Fr Togo, “it's very important to take advantage of the benefits of plants."

                          Even when there are no protective devices such as masks or when it is difficult to find Western medicines, Fr Togo asks to be treated with the tools available to us, always relying on God. “Faith in God,” he says, “is very important to overcome the pandemic, as is helping each other.”

                          In the Wasakentsa Mission, however, it is not just about medical treatment and the pandemic. Fr Togo himself is developing various projects, such as devoting himself to sports and writing a booklet on football. The booklet will highlight the human values of sport, which are often also linked to cultural and Christian values. It will therefore not just be a set of rules and description of the discipline, but a real guide for those responsible for the formation of students.

                          The brochure will be written in Spanish, but the idea of translating it and adapting it to the Achuar language, to make it easier to understand in Amazonian communities, is being considered.

                          • Ecuador
                          • ECU ECUADOR
                          • Missioni
                          • Coronavirus
                            Virginia Nitto

                            Brazil – New horizons of Salesian communication in the Country

                            2 weeks 4 days ago
                            Brazil – New horizons of Salesian communication in the Country

                            (ANS - Brasilia) - The annual national meeting of the Provincial Social Communication Delegates of the Salesian Network of Brazil (RSB) took place digitally from 23 to 26 March. The representatives of the six Provinces of the Salesians of Don Bosco and of the 4 new Provinces of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians present in the country took part.

                            In addition to evaluating the work done in the sector in 2020, defining the programmatic lines of work in the communication area of ​​the entire RSB, and encouraging spaces for comparison, dialogue and sharing of good practices, the digital meeting provided, on the third day, Thursday 25 March, the presence of some special guests.

                            In the first place, the executive Directors: of the General Network (RSB), Sr. Silvia Aparecida da Silva; of the network sector dedicated to social initiatives (RSB-Social), Fr Waldomiro Bronakowski; and of the schools (RSB-Schools), Sr. Adair Aparecida Sberga; and then prof. Adauto Soares and Drs Leila Iannone and Lara Cristina Borges, authoritative officials of UNESCO (the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture) in Brazil.

                            On the occasion, Sr. Marcia Kofferman, Head of Communications in the RSB, illustrated to the guests the journey made in the Salesian world in the educational field, and presented the reality of the RSB in its 106 schools, 109 social units, 13 university institutions and 11 institutions of social communication. She also indicated the possibility that, in the near future, there may be a commitment of greater closeness and partnership between RSB and UNESCO.

                            For her part, prof. Soares, economist and philosopher, active at UNESCO in the field of communication and information, said she was impressed by the vastness and quality of the RSB, as well as by its attention to edu-communication and the level of use of new technologies.

                            Then Dr. Iannone, past pupil of the FMA of São Paulo, spoke of the importance of innovating the training curricula of educational centers in this time of enormous changes, giving space both to the skills of Information and Communication Technologies, and to socio-emotional skills.

                            On the last day, Friday 26 March, instead, the work sessions focused on the theme "Parameters of institutional quality for schools", with Sister Silvia Fonseca, who is also one of the members of the working group for the development of the document on these parameters; she presented in detail the parts of the institutional document that refer to the dimension of communication.

                            • Brasile
                            • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                            • Comunicazione Sociale
                            • Educomunicazione
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              RMG – EAO Eco Team on Igniting Ecological Education, Spirituality and Solidarity in the Region

                              2 weeks 4 days ago
                              RMG – EAO Eco Team on Igniting Ecological Education, Spirituality and Solidarity in the Region

                              (ANS – Rome) – On the occasion of the solemnity of the feast of Annunciation, 25 March 2021, the East Asia-Oceania (EAO) Eco Team gathered online to also share the good news of how each Province or Delegation in the region joyfully moves towards radical ecological conversion which responds to both the cry of the poor and cry of the earth. The presence and accompaniment of the EAO Regional Councillor, Fr. Joseph Nguyen Thinh Phuoc SDB, was very helpful and encouraging.

                              The sharing of best practices, environmental activities and awareness campaigns created a venue to:

                              -      allow the coordinators to be familiar with what’s happening and get in touch with the right people in their respective Salesian localities;

                              -      and enrich and inspire each other on how to animate the Salesian eco-movement and involve more young people to be active stewards of the Common Home.

                              The second agenda of the meeting was to put a collective effort as one region in preparation for the World Earth Day on 22 April 2021 with the theme “Restore the Earth”. Truly moved by hope, various suggestions and ideas were solicited from the Eco team members and still in the process of discussion. This first concrete eco-solidarity in the region hopes to boost up awareness and formation among our Salesian youth and help them live the spirituality of ecological conversion in a Salesian way.

                              In his address, Fr Nguyen Thinh Phuoc emphasized the Salesian way of bringing our youth into this direction: “We are evangelizers. We tackle these issues not only on human perspective but mainly from faith perspective. That’s why we have to read Laudato Si' carefully and be connected with the creation”. He also shared, “From the Congregation perspective, we are implementing the line of actions according to the Rector Major’s guidelines related to our eco groups and have discussed during the Provincial meetings, among the Economers and many more. In the next meeting of the General Council, these issues will be brought up into discussion to see how the regions are moving and animating. I’m very happy that in the EAO Region we have been doing a lot of things and overcome language barriers. Thanks to Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB to set up this one very effectively.”

                              He finally affirmed everyone and uplifted them with these words: “The system is very fluid. Continue the movement no matter how little it is, and may this movement become a tree for everyone to benefit.”

                              Taichi Miranda

                              • Asia EstOceania
                              • Ambiente
                              • Creato
                              • Joseph Nguyen Thinh Phuoc
                              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Italy – Volunteer work, workshops and sports… “Casa Valdocco” Day Center starts up again

                                2 weeks 4 days ago
                                Italy –  Volunteer work, workshops and sports… “Casa Valdocco” Day Center starts up again

                                (ANS - Torre Annunziata) - The Salesian presence in Torre Annunziata, a town on the outskirts of Naples, represents an educational oasis in an area full of challenges, significantly increased and aggravated, moreover, by the pandemic. For this reason, the reopening of the Salesian Day Center "Casa Valdocco", animated by the Salesians and their lay collaborators, after almost two months of closure due to the Covid-19 emergency, is a ray of hope for those children who most need a friendly presence at their side.

                                The minors who attend the day center are sent there by the social services of Area N.30 (Municipalities of Torre Annunziata, Boscoreale, Boscotrecase, Trecase) upon notification by the schools and by the Social Service of the Juvenile Justice Center for restorative justice paths.

                                They are young people who already have difficult contexts behind them and who have spent the last few months experiencing further difficulties. "They remained closed in their homes, where often, in a single room, attempts were made to follow Distance Learning (DAD), sharing the same mobile phone between several brothers, unable to have a confrontation with peers and educators," explains Fr Antonio Carbone, Director of the Salesian house in Torre Annunziata.

                                In this year of DAD, the Salesians and their lay collaborators at Casa Valdocco have put in place many strategies to reduce the growing school evasion. And now that the center can finally restart, they have provided for a reshaping of the activities and educational interventions aimed at the many young people followed by the operators of the Center.

                                It starts at 8.30 to encourage those who are unable for various reasons to participate in the DAD, and continues in the afternoon with the study space and workshops.

                                The innovative aspect of the new phase of this service is the creation of an educating community in which the outdoor educational experience is favored, further to the traditional indoor one: a perspective of leaving the physical space of the Day Center in favor of an educational strategy in which to bring together the social, cultural, sporting and voluntary experiences of the territorial network.

                                The approximately 40 beneficiaries are involved, for example, in volunteer projects, as well as in urban redevelopment interventions. In this way, in addition to enjoying open spaces and receiving educational content, they also act in favor of the community.

                                The activities are the most varied and include workshops of legality, creative writing and artistic recycling, without forgetting the courses and workshops of pizza-making, boxing, pastry-making, cafeteria-service, sailing, volleyball, football, dance, rugby, small artistic works ...

                                All this, thanks to the planning, integrated services and collaborations developed by the non-profit organization "Piccoli Passi Grandi Sogni aps – Small steps, big dreams" belonging to the network of Salesians for Social APS.

                                • IME ITALIA MERIDIONALE
                                • Coronavirus
                                • Educazione
                                • Italia
                                • Giovani a Rischio
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Democratic Republic of Congo – First activities of new Provincial: two Curatorium

                                  2 weeks 5 days ago
                                  Democratic Republic of Congo – First activities of new Provincial: two Curatorium

                                  (ANS - Lubumbashi) - On Saturday 20 March, the day after his inauguration as Provincial of the Central Africa Province (AFC), Fr Guillermo Basañes led a Curatorium at the "St. Francis de Sales" Theological Studentate to review the resolutions adopted last year and give indications for this year to guarantee quality formation to the religious in initial formation. In addition to Fr Basañes, Fr Manolo Jiménez, Provincial of the Vice Province of Africa Congo Congo (ACC), Fr Innocent Bizimana, Provincial of Madagascar (MDG), and Fr Alphonse Owoudou, Regional Councilor for Africa-Madagascar, were also present.

                                  In the afternoon the team continued their pilgrimage to the Kafubu valley for a second Curatorium, this time at the "St John Bosco" Institute, where 73 young Salesians study philosophy. After the presentation of the reports planned for the meeting, respectively on community life, academic activities and the functioning of the bursar's office, the members of the Curatorium took the opportunity of Vespers to greet the large formation community of Kansebula, where the elderly Salesians of the Province also live. It was a good opportunity for the new Provincial and for the Regional to thank the formation team for the work of accompanying the young people in formation.

                                  In all the appointments the Provincials conveyed the concern of the Rector Major for the care of vocations in AFC, and their importance for the mission, not only in Africa and Madagascar, but for the whole Congregation and the whole Church.

                                  • Rep Dem del Congo
                                  • AFC AFRICA CENTRALE
                                  • Guillermo Basañes
                                  • Alphonse Owoudou
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Spain – Easter meetings organized by Salesians will bring together about 2,000 young people in complete safety

                                    2 weeks 5 days ago
                                    Spain – Easter meetings organized by Salesians will bring together about 2,000 young people in complete safety

                                    (ANS - Madrid) - The Easter Triduum is the culminating moment of the entire liturgical year and is a living expression of the faith of millions of people around the world. Aware of this, the Salesians in Spain are preparing the Easter youth meetings. About 2,000 young people, according to forecasts, will participate in this experience of meditation on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, always in compliance with health measures: some in local centers, others through the online broadcasts of some religious celebrations and moments of encounter.

                                    The two Salesian Provinces of the country, Spain-St James the Greater (SSM) and Spain-Mary Help of Christians (SMX) have organized these Easter meetings in recent months, which will take place from 1st (Holy Thursday) to 4th April (Easter Sunday). And the Salesian houses are now focusing on the so-called "urban Easter", the celebrations within the centers themselves, without moving away, and involving, in addition to the youth groups, also the families of the children, their educators and the members of the Salesian Family.

                                    Already during Lent, the Salesian centers have developed various initiatives to prepare for Easter. Retreats were held for educators and youth leaders, special celebrations for children, adolescents and young people, days of coexistence in schools and youth centers, spiritual exercises for religious….

                                    For the SSM Province, the invitation for this 2021, adapted to current limits, is a local, flexible and versatile proposal. "We are convinced that this invitation is an opportunity to call the entire educative-pastoral community of Salesian works around the local celebration of Easter. In fact, the animation and experience of the Easter Triduum was planned for each work, calling together all the pastoral environments of each house, as well as the groups of the Salesian Family," explains Fr Xabier Camino, Delegate for Youth Ministry of SSM. And, as in previous years, the goal is to promote the integration of young people in the celebrations of their parish communities.

                                    In line with the pastoral campaign of the year, the SSM Province proposed "Hope gushes out" as the Easter motto. “We hope that this initiative will help us to continue to be pastorally creative in this different time that we want to live with Christian hope”, concludes Fr Camino. Thus, reflection materials were prepared for groups divided into three age groups (17 to 20, 21 to 25, and 25 and up), as well as prayer proposals, motivational videos and group reflections.

                                    In the SMX Province, the motto chosen for this year is "We are one", in line with the pastoral campaign of the last two years. “The celebration of Easter is an invitation to unite with Jesus in His way of giving Himself totally, which leads us to the fullness of life. And it is by uniting with Him that we build the Christian community in which 'We are one'. This year we hope it will be an opportunity to build together this community which, united with Jesus, is a witness of the Resurrection,” explains the Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry, Fr Jordi Lleixà.

                                    • Spagna
                                    • SMX SPAGNA MARIA AUSILIATRICE
                                    • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
                                    • Pasqua
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      India – Rise above disability: inspiring story of five students

                                      2 weeks 5 days ago
                                      India – Rise above disability: inspiring story of five students

                                      (ANS - New Delhi) - Ricky Singh is a first-year student of Graphic Design at the Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI) in Okhla, New Delhi. Ricky has been deaf and dumb from birth and there are four other companions who live the same condition in the Salesian institute. All five are able to communicate with each other and with others thanks to sign language, and are happy and proud of their academic environment, because teachers and classmates are also learning this form of communication, which makes their life easier and happier. Indeed, the Don Bosco Technical Institute offers everyone the opportunities to excel in life.

                                      As the Greek politician and orator Demosthenes said: "Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises". Accompanying and supporting each other in research, learning and other activities, these students are courageously facing life's challenges, transforming them into opportunities for growth.

                                      Ricky Singh, who hails from the Umarlia district in Madhya Pradesh, with eyes full of joy, confirmed this: “Though I am hearing and speech impaired, I am happy that God has gifted me with lots of other qualities and talents. It helps me to do things differently and grow together with other trainees of the institute. I feel happy, and I am proud to do this course at Don Bosco Technical Institute, Okhla.”

                                      After attending the St Francis School for the Hearng Impaired in Lucknow, Ricky learned about the programs of the Salesian Institute in Okhla and the opportunities offered to young people in need. The institute takes care of the general development of its students through various curricular and co-curricular activities, and also offers sessions and stimuli for personal growth.

                                      Despite the many challenges, their presence in the institute is an inspiration for other students and a stimulus to be positive and to value the talents and skills given by God, in the knowledge that anyone who dares to dream can work hard and transform those dreams in reality.

                                      • India
                                      • INN INDIA NEW DELHI
                                      • Disabilità
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Sierra Leone – Urgent aid for hundreds of children who have lost everything in a fire

                                        2 weeks 6 days ago
                                        Sierra Leone – Urgent aid for hundreds of children who have lost everything in a fire

                                        (ANS - Freetown) - The capital of Sierra Leone is once again the scene of a tragedy of immense proportions: a vast fire that broke out on Wednesday night in the suburb of Susan Bay, near the bay of Freetown, destroyed more than 10 hectares of land covered with shacks and huts in wood and sheet metal. Over 500 of these houses are reduced to ashes and more than 5,000 people have lost everything, including more than 600 minors, boys and girls, beneficiaries of the socio-educational programs of the Salesian "Don Bosco Fambul". The Salesians have already announced that their doors are open to welcome, help and protect, especially children, adolescents and mothers with small children.

                                        “We have lost everything. We got out as fast as possible as soon as we heard the shouts 'Fire, fire!' We were on the street, without food since that day and without knowing where to go, because I am taking care of my grandmother who is very old,” says Yaikain, one of the girls hosted at “Don Bosco Fambul” and who, like hundreds of children, urgently needs help.

                                        In just four hours, and for reasons still unknown, the fire spread through the wood and cardboard that shaped most of the humble houses. Apparently there are no victims, but there are about 80 injured and more than 5,000 displaced.

                                        “Children, adolescents and mothers with babies know they have a safe place to go to at 'Don Bosco Fambul',” says the Spanish Salesian missionary Fr Jorge Crisafulli.

                                        The Salesians have already acted in this way in other similar tragedies, opening their doors and offering all possible help to the most needy population.

                                        They did so during the Ebola epidemic in 2015, welcoming orphaned minors; in December 2016, when another fire in the Angola Town suburb left hundreds of people homeless; they did it again in August 2017, when the Salesian courtyards became the new home for dozens of people for several months, when a landslide on the "Sugar Loaf" hill caused over 1,000 deaths and hundreds of injuries and displaced persons; and, finally, they did so during the confinement for the Covid-19 pandemic, hosting dozens of children.

                                        “Many children we had rescued from the streets and reinstated with their families lived there. Many minors from the anti-violence program, saved from prostitution, also survived crammed into these humble shacks. More than 600 boys and girls we serve in our programs have lost everything in the Susan Bay fire, so we urgently need help to cover their basic needs,” adds Fr Crisafulli.

                                        The Salesians, who are collaborating with the government, the mayor's office and other NGOs active in Freetown, are clear. “We will help those who have lost everything by giving them shelter, clothes, hygiene products, food and medicine, so we will in turn need urgent help for hundreds of minors,” concludes the Salesian missionary.

                                        • Sierra Leone
                                        • AFW AFRICA OCCIDENTALE ANGLOFONA
                                        • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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