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Italy – Responding to COVID-19 emergency with solidarity and creativity

2 weeks 4 days ago
Italy – Responding to COVID-19 emergency with solidarity and creativity

(ANS - Rome) - The spread of COVID-19, which has been gripping Italy in recent weeks, has required exceptional prevention measures that are upsetting the normal habits and social life of citizens. With Don Bosco's own concreteness, the Salesians and young people permeated by his charism are, however, responding to these challenges with two weapons: solidarity and creativity.

By way of example only, we'd like to report a few good practices put in place in various Salesian contexts across the Peninsula, among those whose news has come to the editorial office (and confident that many others will be similarly underway).

In Trapani, Sicily, respecting all the special attentions that the situation requires (safety distance, hygiene ...), the young people of the Salesian oratory made themselves available to do the shopping on behalf of all the elderly over seventy years old with pathologies, to save them from leaving home.

The same is happening in Caserta, where the elderly can contact the number of the Salesian oratory and hand over a shopping list by telephone, along with their contact details. Later, an animator goes to collect money and bags/trolleys and then returns to deliver the goods.

With schools forcibly closed, the Salesians in Borgomanero, in the province of Novara, ensure didactic continuity through digital opportunities.

Through tutorials, e-learning platforms, audio files, shared apps, emails and video conferences, all the teachers are continuing the lessons; thanks to tools such as Skype and Meet, students can intervene and interact with teachers; and there is no lack of individual counters and study method tutoring, for those who need to share lesson plans and notes. And to ensure physical activity too, the teachers of Motoria, always through a specific app, guide home training sessions.

In the same vein we have news that other institutes have also implemented various initiatives, such as the "Bearzi" of Udine, or the Salesian Vocational Centers of Mestre and Sesto San Giovanni; starting this week, the latter offers its students the “digital good day” of the catechists of the various sectors.

Also, the "La Festa dei Giovani" - the traditional celebration of the Salesian Youth Movement of the Triveneto area - has changed its form this year, but not its spirit: in the day and at the times when there would normally have been the Youth Festival in Jesolo, that is from 8:15 in the morning until 16:15 on Sunday 8 March, videos and proposals followed one another on all Donboscoland channels, so as to experience at least a little - and in a digital manner - the joy of staying together!

The theme of the year “LÌ DOVE SEI - There where you are” - the slogan has never turned out to be more appropriate! - is the proposal that was launched to everyone: to live in your own homes, with your families, where one may enjoy the joy of becoming saints.

  • Italia
  • Solidarietà
  • Coronavirus
  • IME ITALIA MERIDIONALE
  • ISI ITALIA SICILIA
  • ILE ITALIA LOMBARDO EMILIANA
  • INE ITALIA NORD EST
  • ICP ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE SPECIALE PIEMONTE E VALLE D'AOSTA
    Jesus Jurado

    RMG – Fr Ángel Fernández Artime confirmed Rector Major

    2 weeks 4 days ago
    RMG – Fr Ángel Fernández Artime confirmed Rector Major

    (ANS - Rome) - The 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation has renewed the mandate of Rector Major to the standing RM, namely Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, for 2020-2026. The election was decided at the first round of voting.

    Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, 59, was born on 21 August 1960 in Gozón-Luanco, Asturias, Spain; he made his first profession on 3 September 1978, his perpetual vows on 17 June 1984 in Santiago de Compostela, and was ordained priest on 4 July 1987 in León.

    Originally from León Province, he has been Youth Ministry Delegate, Rector of the school at Ourense, member of the Council and Vice Provincial and, from 2000 to 2006, Provincial of León.

    He has a Doctorate in Pastoral Theology and a Licence in Philosophy and Pedagogy.

    He was a member of the technical commission that prepared the General Chapter 26. In 2009, he was appointed Provincial of South Argentina, and thanks to this position he also got to know and collaborate personally with the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, today Pope Francis.

    On 23 December 2013, he was appointed Provincial of the new province of Mary Help of Christians in Spain, an office he couldn’t take on, since the 27th General Chapter had elected him as tenth Successor of Don Bosco. It was 25 March 2014.

    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
    • Ángel Fernández Artime
    • Rettor Maggiore
    • Nomine
    • CG28
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Fiji – A multi-purpose community center construction is well underway - and will be completed in 2020

      2 weeks 5 days ago
      Fiji – A multi-purpose community center construction is well underway - and will be completed in 2020

      (ANS – Suva) – The Australian Salesian Missions Overseas Aid Fund (ASMOAF) in conjunction with the Australian Social Communications team have released a new video that celebrates the progress of a significant milestone in its Pacific Project – Fiji Community Centre.

      21 years after the arrival of the Salesians in Fiji, 5 years after the visit of the Rector Major to Suva and 3 years after the inauguration of the first SDB parish in Suva, Fiji - the Salesians give thanks to God for an almost complete multipurpose hall, the Don Bosco Youth Centre, in SJB Parish Suva.

      The video updates donors on the impact of their contributions whilst highlighting the potential of the centre and the need for further support.

      ASMOAF has been working in collaboration with the local Salesian community in Suva, Fiji to raise funds to construct the centre, which will provide young people with a place to visit and feel at home; a place where they can learn, live and laugh. 44% of the population in Fiji are under the age of 25 and there are limited opportunities for employment; the community centre will be vital in helping these youngsters on the right path for their future lives.

      Parish priest Fr Mikaere Leilua is overseeing the project and in the video, expresses his deep gratitude to the donors. The project is now well underway, having suffered setbacks related to wet weather and delays in the delivery of the steel beams, however, it is now full steam ahead!

      The video can be viewed on YouTube and those who have contributed to the project are encouraged to share the video with their friends, families and communities. It is hoped that the construction of this centre will be a turning point for the Salesians in Fiji, providing them with even greater means of empowering the local communities.

      The Salesians of Don Bosco have been a part of the Fijian community since the year 1999, primarily a house of studies catering for young Salesians from the Pacific region, as well as some involvement in local parish activities. During a visit in 2015, the Rector Major (Fr Ángel Fernández Artime) expressed a strong desire to see the community expand to include a strong youth-focused outreach, which was a motivating factor of this project.

      The centre will include a multipurpose community space, open areas for learning, kitchen and dining area, sporting and recreational facility and a community garden. The idea is to make the centre as self-sustainable and eco-friendly as possible, so that it will last for an extended period of time. All these resources will help create a central hub where young people will be able to meet in a safe environment and grow as they walk accompanied by their peers and their Salesian mentors.

      To view the video, please click here: https://youtu.be/58WEWVKahXA 

      To help support the Pacific Appeal, please click here: https://www.salesianmissionsaustralia.org.au/donate/pacific-appeal 

      {gallery}Fiji - Centro Polivalente - marzo 2020{/gallery}

      • Fiji
      • AUL AUSTRALIA PACIFICO
      • Missioni
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Spain – 33rd edition of "Don Bosco National Award"

        2 weeks 5 days ago

        (ANS - Zaragoza) - On 10, 11 and 12 March, the Salesian institute of Zaragoza hosts the 33rd edition of the "Don Bosco National Award" for Design and Technological Innovation. This year, 57 projects were submitted, competing in the sectors of industry, communications, science, health, social and legal sciences.

        During this competition's history, created in 1984 to contribute to the education sector and relations between academia and business, 1,087 projects have been presented.

        The Don Bosco National Award is a showcase of initiatives applicable to future business projects. All the projects presented can be viewed at the exhibition which will take place in the "Salesianos Zaragoza" sports pavilion and will be open to the public on 11 and 12 March.

        This year, the public, subsidized, and private educational centers of 12 Spanish autonomous communities are participating: Andalusia, the Canary Islands, Castile and León, Catalonia, Community of Madrid, Community of Valencia, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Murcia, Basque Country and Aragon.

        The type of projects is much varied; hence, different categories are foreseen:

        - 16 projects in the Industrial Area, including the Mechatronics, Automotive, Electricity, Electronics and Robotics sectors.

        - 19 projects in the Communications Area, which includes Telecommunications, Image and Sound, Multimedia and IT sectors.

        - 9 projects in the Scientific Area, concerning works in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Natural Sciences and the Environment.

        - 13 projects in the area of Health Sciences and Social and Legal Sciences, which assesses Medicine, Psychology and Literature projects.

        The "Nacional Don Bosco Prize" award the First Prize winner an amount of Eur 1,500, in addition to the recognition and diploma; and four second prizes of Eur 750, also including recognition and diploma.

        A "Special Prize" will be awarded by the Ministry of Defense to the best project presented by educational centers not belonging to the Ministry of Defense, that has its application or is linked to security and defense.

        The "Formation Awards" are four and are highly appreciated, as they give the opportunity to spend a week in specialized research centers.

        One of the great results of the "Don Bosco National Award" is that over the years it has managed to involve more and more public institutions, universities and companies that, together with sponsors, collaborators or suppliers, have united their interests in favor of and fostering technological innovations promoted by young people.

        • Spagna
        • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
        • Scienze
        • Tecnologie
        • Premi e Riconoscimenti
          Jesus Jurado

          Cambodia – Up and running again, after the flood

          2 weeks 5 days ago
          Cambodia – Up and running again, after the flood

          (ANS - Sihanoukville) - Sihanoukville is a seaside city in southern Cambodia. It overlooks the Gulf of Siam, which in recent years has seen rapid development, especially thanks to huge Chinese investments, providing a new and overwhelming tourist impulse to the area: hotels, condominiums, restaurants, tourist spots and 70 casinos. But far from redistributing this new wealth in a fair way, these investments are further widening the gap between those who can afford leisure and luxuries and those who make ends meet with humble and poorly paid jobs.

          The Salesians have been present in the city since 1997 and, faced with these difficulties, have tried to tackle the problem by abandoning the city's most expensive areas and concentrating the various works in a single complex, so that the mission could continue to be maintained with its own forces.

          The center of Don Bosco Sihanoukville houses a technical institute with different fields of study and a hotel industry school attended by almost 500 students and 90 employees, a hotel and a boarding house that can accommodate up to 160 people and a community of 5 Salesians and 8 volunteers.

          But on the night of August 8, 2019, an extremely violent storm - not unusual in these latitudes but still of exceptional magnitude - hit the city. At the time, there were about 250 people in the mission. The stream that runs alongside the Salesian work and which was once 15 meters wide in recent years, due to massive construction, has seen the size of its riverbed decrease to just 4 meters, with disastrous consequences for the mission.

          The stream overflowed violently, breaking down the mission's surrounding wall and pouring tons of water and mud into the property. In a few minutes, the water level reached 130 cm, destroying the technical workshops and laboratories, its offices and the rooms. The good news is that there were no casualties.

          Unfortunately, the laboratory, with all its equipment, was destroyed, blocking the sources of income of the work, as well as the training activities of the students of the Don Bosco hotel school, who have the opportunity to acquire not only practical skills, but also contacts with the area's restaurateurs who buy ice cream there for their own businesses.

          The Salesians in Sihanoukville want to be able to return to normal as soon as possible. The first step is to restart the ice cream parlor-pizzeria, which was used - together with the hotel - to generate additional funds for the school and offer internship opportunities to the boys and girls of the hotel. Founded 12 years ago, the ice cream parlor-pizzeria was so successful that it was soon joined by an itinerant sales business with a pickup truck.

          To ensure a bright future for the children in need in Sihanoukville, the Salesians are ready to roll up their sleeves again, set to go.

          For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

          • THA THAILANDIA
          • Cambogia
          • Missioni Don Bosco
          • Educazione
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Peru – Salesians and UNHCR united for Venezuela’s refugees and migrants

            2 weeks 6 days ago
            Peru – Salesians and UNHCR united for Venezuela’s refugees and migrants

            (ANS - Lima) - Latin America has become almost entirely a place for refugees. According to the latest data from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) "Venezuelans continue to flee violence, insecurity and threats, as well as the lack of food, medicines and essential services ... It is the largest exodus in recent history in the area."

            Anyone who had known Venezuela a few years ago, and who has visited it in recent years, certainly does not recognize it. Venezuela was the richest country in Latin America for decades. Thanks to its enormous natural wealth and, especially, to its oil exports, it was one of the leading countries of Latin America. Unfortunately, the political, economic and social collapse of recent years has plunged the country’s standings and, according to data and estimates from the International Monetary Fund, it is already one of Latin America’s poorest countries in terms of per capita GDP.

            According to UNHCR data, there are more than 4.5 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees in other countries. Colombia is the first country in terms of the number of Venezuelans hosted, around 1.3 million. Peru is the second with around 768,148. Faced with this situation, the Salesians of Magdalena del Mar, Lima, have opened a house for young people who arrive in Peru, where they are offered food and accommodation.

            In consideration of the large number of Venezuelans, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Salesians to sign an agreement and to use the halls of the Salesian institute in the Breña neighborhood of Lima to set up temporary migrant assistance offices. It is expected to receive an average of 1,000 people per day.

            Fr José Valdivia, SDB, Provincial Economer of Peru and head of the Venezuelan Youth House, explained that the cooperation agreement was made through UNHCR, a strategic ally of the Salesians and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and he also added that 80% of asylum seekers in Peru are Venezuelans.

            In support of this operation, the young people who belong to the Don Bosco House joined the young Venezuelan migrants and refugees who live in the Magdalena del Mar neighborhood, also in Lima. For four days, the young Venezuelans worked hard, with the support of some UNHCR representatives, to set up the spaces in the Breña center to thus become the assistance offices for migrants and refugees.

            The agreement reflects the efforts and commitment of the Salesian Province in the difficult situation faced by thousands of young Venezuelan migrants.

            {gallery}PER - Accordo con UNHCR 2020{/gallery}

            • Perù
            • PER PERÙ
            • Migranti
            • Rifugiati
              Gian Francesco Romano

              The Philippines – Don Bosco Agro-Mechanical Technology Center has new farm equipment for crop production

              2 weeks 6 days ago
              The Philippines – Don Bosco Agro-Mechanical Technology Center has new farm equipment for crop production

              (ANS – Legazpi) – Salesian Missions donors are ensuring that Don Bosco Agro-Mechanical Technology Center (known locally as Don Bosco Legazpi), located in Banquerohan, Legazpi City, Philippines, has the equipment needed for a new soybean production program on its demonstration farm. Don Bosco Legazpi is a technical vocational school offering skills training and a farm development program for youth and local farmers to help them achieve self-sufficiency.

              The Don Bosco Demonstration Farm allows graduates and their families to use the land to organize small cooperatives and assists them with sourcing microfinancing, farming assistance and marketing of their agricultural products.

              With the funding provided, Salesian missionaries were able to secure two front wheel tires for a John Deere tractor, a portable soy harvester, a roller seed planter, a chisel plow and spring cultivators. Fifteen farmers connected to Don Bosco Legazpi benefited directly from this donation. Some farmers in neighboring areas who utilize the center’s land preparation services, such as plowing and rotavating, have also benefited from the donation.

              Aurelio Gonzales, who is a local 80-year-old farmer, was one of the beneficiaries. He has two children who graduated from Don Bosco Legazpi and are now gainfully employed. He is a member of the Don Bosco Cooperative, which serves the broader community of farmers.

              Since 2015, Gonzales has utilized the Common Service Facility of Don Bosco Legazpi, especially the use of a 4-wheel drive tractor for plowing and rotavating as part of the land preparation, roller planter for planting, and other post-harvest machines.

              In August 2019, Gonzales ventured into sweet corn and yellow corn production. As farmer-beneficiary, he was given access to farm machines from Don Bosco Legazpi. With the technology provided, Gonzales has been empowered and his way of farming has improved from traditional farming into more efficient and effective ways of utilizing his land. The use of mechanical machines and equipment results in a good harvest of his crops.

              “We appreciate the funding our donors provided that is enabling students and local farmers to have the proper equipment necessary for updated farming techniques,” says Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Don Bosco Legazpi was specifically opened to provide technical farming education to poor youth with scarce resources, and instruct them in the practical skills of farming to allow them to earn a living and give back to their communities.”

              Don Bosco Legazpi offers its students an opportunity to combine theory with practice through its hands-on approach. Students use the skills they learn in the classroom by putting them directly to work in the fields that are part of the center’s farm. They are taught theoretical and practical courses in greenhouses, growing vegetables, cereal crops, gardening, breeding, animal husbandry and veterinary sciences, as well as milk, cheese and dairy products.

              Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines—working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. According to UNICEF, there are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent of the population are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent.

              Source: MissionNewswire

              • Filippine
              • Rurali
              • Agricoltura
              • FIN FILIPPINE NORD
              • Solidarietà
              • Procure Missionarie
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Ecuador – "Yankuam Jintia Football School": proposal for evangelization of Achuar children and young people

                3 weeks 2 days ago

                (ANS - Wichimi) - If there is one thing that cannot be missing in an Achuar community, it is a soccer field. The love for this sport flows in the veins of both young and old. It is a taste shared by men and women, a sport around which the community meets to encourage their team, and to share the traditional "chicha" drink. 

                Soccer, or football, for Achuar is synonymous with happiness. This motivated Fr Agustín Togo to think of a project that involves football as an instrument for teaching human, Catholic and cultural values. After several months of talks with the communities and after obtaining funding, this idea took shape, and on 16 February 2020, the "Yankuam Jintia Football School" was officially inaugurated in the community of Wichimi.

                The aim of the proposal is to educate children and young people not only from a technical point of view or knowledge of the rules of the sport, but – first and foremost - to educate them so that they learn the values ​​of football and practice these values in their daily lives. “Don Bosco has always dreamed that young people were happy in everything they did. These people like football so much, why not start a football school for the Achuar?" said Fr Togo.

                At the inauguration event, two community elders, Carlos Mukucham and Eduardo Mukuink, were at the table of the authorities. They thanked Fr Togo for his pastoral work and described the opening of this football school as a historic event. José Sanchim, administrator of Wichimi, expressed that all families will support this initiative and that in the future the idea is to generate sporting matches with other communities.

                One of the most symbolic moments was the signing of the agreement, which provides for the care of the equipment provided, collaboration in the planned activities, and the commitment of the community in carrying out the teaching of the civic, spiritual and cultural values ​​that are part of the football school.

                Baptizing this project with the name of "Yankuam Jintia" - the name that was attributed to Fr Luis (Luigi) Bolla, for years a missionary among the Achuar - has a special meaning: it is a way to pay homage to this great Salesian missionary who worked for this Amazonian people all his life. In addition, many of those who knew him described him as a good footballer, and he was always seen playing with children.

                The event ended with a demonstration of agility and speed exercises that brought together the entire community. Happiness was clearly visible on each of the faces of everyone present and, of course, on Father Togo's, who chose the school's motto, "From talent to vocation", so that the plan of God becomes reality in the life of these children.

                {gallery}ECU - Scuola calcio Wachimi - 2020{/gallery}

                • Ecuador
                • Luis Bolla
                • Calcio
                • Sport
                • Educazione
                • ECU ECUADOR
                • Missioni
                  Jesus Jurado

                  India – “Naidile”: an initiative of “Don Bosco School” in Devadurga, Raichur

                  3 weeks 2 days ago
                  India – “Naidile”: an initiative of “Don Bosco School” in Devadurga, Raichur

                  (ANS – Devadurga) – ‘Naidile’, a series of awareness programmes across eight locations in Devadurga taluk, was organised by Don Bosco School, Devadurga from 7 to 23 February, 2020. Naidile meaning “water lily”, is a flower that indicates purity of heart. This initiative by the Child Rights Club members evolved from their desire to make a difference in the humdrum lives of the slum dwellers of the taluk.

                  The children had dialogues with the DC, SP, CEO and other bureaucrats of the district to share their ideas and seek permission. In response, Shri. Venkatesh Kumar, DC of Raichur, instructed the Tahsildar that the government departments should assist the students.

                  As a result, the following government departments collaborated with DB Devadurga for the event – Department of Women and Child Development, Education, Zilla Parishad, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department (RWSSD) and the Health Department.

                  In spite of all their limitations and the challenges, the villagers concurred to collaborate and cheerfully provided them with all facilities. The support and services of the Government officials as the important stakeholders inevitably contributed to the success of the event. Children organised various awareness programmes, street plays and stage performances which sensitised the community on child rights issues like child marriages, child labour, gender equality, water, sanitation, and girl child safety.

                  The street play was an emotionally-sensitive portrayal of the distress a child undergoes when denied of his/her rights.

                  Thus, the children’s dream to make a difference in the lives of the people of Devadurga taluk came true.

                  Don Bosco Devadurga and BREADS proudly congratulate these children: “Their efforts have impacted the lives of the children in the slums of Devadurga taluk, through awareness creation among the adults and various stakeholders. Kudos to these students whose inspirational steps have created ripples among the other schools!”

                  Source: BREADS

                  • India
                  • INK INDIA BANGALORE
                  • Diritti
                  • Bambini
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Belgium – DBYN supporting more inclusion

                    3 weeks 2 days ago
                    Belgium – DBYN supporting more inclusion

                    (ANS – Heverlee) – “Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw”, the European network of Salesian youth organisations, participated in the writing of the joint Position Paper: “Inclusive Youth and Education Programmes”. The document, subscribed by a large number of European and national civil society organisations, is an urgent appeal to political decision-makers to take measures regarding more inclusive EU youth and education programmes.

                    Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw, connecting 18 organisations in 16 countries dedicated to youth and to young people with fewer opportunities, sees inclusive youth work as an essential part of their daily work. As implementers of inclusive youth work projects, DBYN strongly believes that truly inclusive education programmes at European level should be accessible for every young person.

                    This position paper presents 9 recommendations and concrete practical suggestions for an inclusive implementation of the European youth and education programmes Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps.

                    These recommendations are based on the gathered experience of implementing the programmes in the areas of youth work, adult education, vocational training as well as school education and voluntary services. DBYN hopes that these recommendations will improve the new generation of programmes in order to facilitate the participation of ALL young Europeans.

                    As practical measures to improve inclusion in EU youth and education programmes in the new generation of programmes from 2021, DBYN therefore recommends:

                    1. Involve persons with fewer opportunities and special needs as experts, implementing organisations and civil society structures.
                    2. Directly address target groups experiencing disadvantage and discrimination and provide structured information.
                    3. Use accessible programme documents.
                    4. Apply flexible rules in the support of additional expenses for participants with fewer opportunities and qualified professionals.
                    5. Ensure awareness among evaluators and decision-makers about the special needs of disadvantaged target groups.
                    6. Fund supporting structures for interested volunteers and avoid additional burdens in the application process.
                    7. Ensure equal application of the rules across all programme countries and all national agencies.
                    8. Accompany participants with fewer opportunities more closely during their stay abroad.
                    9. Provide targeted and group-specific support for language learning.

                    You can read and download the position paper here: www.donboscoyouth.net

                    • Belgio
                    • Don Bosco Youth Net
                    • Europe
                    • Unione Europea
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Spain – "United we are stronger": contributing to projects for equal opportunities for girls and women

                      3 weeks 2 days ago

                      (ANS - Madrid) - March 8 is International Women's Day, which commemorates the struggle for women's participation and equal opportunities in society. It is sad to celebrate when the facts and figures speak differently, of various types of violence against women. The realities of the Salesian Family all over the world work to improve the quality of life to girls, adolescents and women; as does, for example, the "Network of Salesian Social Platforms" in Spain, which claims women's rights and denounces the inequalities, abuses and injustices that many women suffer every day, especially those most at risk or vulnerable.

                      Through literacy projects, education and accompaniment, social and work integration, reception for "single-parent" families and women victims of male violence, the Network of Salesian Social Platforms responds to the specific needs of many women who have no economic autonomy and offers a solution to serious problems, such as those of human trafficking, gender-based violence or exclusion resulting from migratory processes.

                      These initiatives and projects are widespread in the Spanish Salesian world: just think of the "Malaikas" programs of the "JuanSoñador" Foundation; "Entre Mujeres" of the "Valsé" Foundation, and "+ Mujer" of the "Valponasca" Association, or to the accompanying and orientation program of the Don Bosco Foundation.

                      In Coruña, the "Círculos de Mujeres" project of the "JuanSoñador" Foundation favors the associations of migrant women, and aims to strengthen the female social empowerment activities of the "Malaikas" project.

                      There are also several programs to promote female employment, fostering and promoting their autonomy and socio-cultural empowerment, and employment skills, such as the aforementioned "+ Mujer" or the "Tú Puedes" and "Inserta-t" programs of the Mornese Foundation.

                      In the Salesian context, equality education projects are also being developed, to promote women's participation and to make society aware of the problem of inequality. The programs "Gritare al mundo", "Aurrera", and "Xarxa 'the window'", are learning projects that promote gender equality and the social and employment integration of women who are in a situation of risk and social exclusion.

                      With the "United we are stronger" campaign and all the actions that take place every day of the year, the Salesian Social Platforms want to promote a change of mentality and collaborate in the transformation of social and political reality, promoting a culture of respect, generosity, justice in favour of women, and maintaining the commitment to be a reference entity in terms of equality.

                      • Spagna
                      • Donne
                      • Ragazze
                        Jesus Jurado

                        Vatican – Holy See grants authorization for the cause of Fr Silvio Galli, SDB

                        3 weeks 3 days ago
                        Vatican – Holy See grants authorization for the cause of Fr Silvio Galli, SDB

                        (ANS - Vatican City) – On 19 February 2020, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints communicated to the Bishop of Brescia, Msgr. Pietrantonio Tremolada, the go-ahead from the Holy See to the opening of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Fr Silvio Galli (1927-2012), professed priest of the Society of St. Francis of Sales. After the favorable opinion of the Lombard Episcopal Conference, with this communication, the Diocesan Inquiry on the life, virtue, fame of holiness and signs will come alive, with listening to witnesses and the collection of documentary material.

                        Salesian Fr Silvio Galli was born on 10 September 1927 in Palazzolo Milanese and lived, as a religious and priest, at the "San Bernardino" of Chiari (Brescia) for over 50 years, first as a teacher of Classics, then as a Dean, finally as a priest of “the last” - an inspirer and guide of the "Auxilium" for the relief of material and moral poverty -, confessor and exorcist.

                        The fame of holiness and the conspicuous fame of signs that had accompanied him already in life found confirmation at the moment of death and continues from the moment of death to the present day: in less than 8 years, several large notebooks have been collected, full of requests for intercession and reports of graces written by those who had gone to his cemetery grave, notebooks to which other, numerous, reports of favors have continued to be added. Furthermore, still alive today, the experience of assisting the poor he wanted and entrusted to the "Auxilium" remains active, a sign of how much of what he had taught and transmitted has remained alive and has its fruitfulness that continues even after the passage of time.

                        The bishop of Brescia has established that the opening of the diocesan inquiry of the Servant of God will take place in the Cathedral of Chiari on 12 June, the eighth anniversary of the death of Father Silvio Galli.

                        • Vaticano
                        • Silvio Galli
                        • Santità Salesiana
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Nigeria – Over 20,000 people have access to clean water thanks to Salesian Missions

                          3 weeks 3 days ago
                          Nigeria – Over 20,000 people have access to clean water thanks to Salesian Missions

                          (ANS – Lagos) – Five communities in Nigeria have access to clean water thanks to donor funding through the Salesian Missions' “Clean Water Initiative.” The borehole projects have been completed in the Nigerian states of Bagbe, Litaye, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, and Imo.

                          Due to geographic conditions, there is very little potable water in this region and people are forced to travel long distances to access clean water for their daily needs or rely on rain and river water, which can sometimes be contaminated.

                          UN-Water estimates that worldwide 2.1 billion people lack access to safely-managed drinking water services and by 2050, the world’s population will have grown by an estimated 2 billion people, pushing global water demand up to 30 percent higher than today. One in four primary schools has no drinking water service, with students using unprotected water sources or going thirsty.

                          For those who have no access to clean water, water-related disease is common with more than 840,000 people dying each year from water-related diseases. UN-Water notes that more than 700 children under 5 years of age die every day from diarrheal disease linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.

                          The five new boreholes will provide clean water, reduce outbreaks of waterborne diseases and eliminate the need for traveling hours each day in search of water. More than 20,000 poor children and families will benefit from this life-saving project.

                          “Water is essential for life, and it’s critical that Salesian programs around the globe have access to safe, clean water for the health and safety of those we serve,” said Father Gus Baek, the Director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Improving water and sanitation facilities brings a sense of dignity to communities and promotes proper hygiene and safe drinking water. This also reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools, keeping them away from important study time.”

                          According to UNICEF, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the ninth most populous country in the world. With an estimated population of 150 million, one in every five Africans is a Nigerian. The country has been undergoing explosive population growth and has one of the highest growth and fertility rates in the world. By United Nations estimates, Nigeria will be one of the countries responsible for most of the world’s total population increase by 2050.

                          While Nigeria has the second strongest economy in Africa, it also has extreme rates of poverty with 100 million people living on less than $1 a day. About 64 percent of households in Nigeria consider themselves to be poor while 32 percent of households say their economic situation had worsened over a period of one year, according to UNICEF. Poverty still remains one of the most critical challenges facing the country and population growth rates have meant a steady increase in the number of people living in conditions of poverty.

                          Source: Salesian Missions 

                          • Nigeria
                          • Acqua
                          • Procure Missionarie
                          • AFW AFRICA OCCIDENTALE ANGLOFONA
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Great Britain – A new formation programme for Salesian animators

                            3 weeks 3 days ago
                            Great Britain – A new formation programme for Salesian animators

                            (ANS – Bollington) – At “Savio House” on the 22nd February, the Salesian Youth Ministry vision team launched the new programme for Salesian animators. It is a formation programme for young people into service for the young especially those in most need. The new programme consists of 5 pathways: First Encounter, Moving on, Animator, Invitation to Leadership, and Companions.

                            At the launch were SDBs, Salesian Cooperators, leaders of Salesian projects and young animators. The overall aims of the new formation programme are:

                            • to train all our new animators in Salesian spirituality with ongoing sessions at all stages;
                            • to offer opportunities for personal growth at each stage;
                            • to create pathways that each have different focus and time commitment respecting the stage that individuals are at in their own professional field;
                            • to provide several First Encounter opportunities for young people aged 12-17;
                            • to create a smoother transition from youth to animator;

                            The programme was warmly welcomed by those who attended. As animators will now be making an annual commitment to the mission, we were able to hold our first commissioning service during Mass on the Saturday evening. The companions of youth ministry will be mentoring and training our younger animators and we hope that the first encounter experiences bring many young people through the formation. I look forward to seeing young people more easily accessing the path into becoming a Salesian animator and part of our Salesian Family here in the GBR province.

                            The five stages defined:

                            First Encounter is a way into meeting the Salesians through and national events or projects like local a youth group or national youth gather. The age group we are targeting would be 14+. There is no commitment from the young people at this stage.

                            Moving On is a path that leads into curiosity and desire to engage with us; opportunities open at this stage include RISE, Young Animator Programme, Youth Easter or leadership roles at the local level.

                            Animator is the beginning of more formal formation for those 18+ who feel called to serve the young in the Salesian Family. Here our young adults will learn more about the ethos and spirituality under which our mission lies. Those on this path will receive formation on topics such as safeguarding, Don Bosco’s preventive system, and youth work skills. There will be opportunities and commitments with a commissioning to mission annually.

                            Invitation to Leadership rises out of the Animators but is not a static role: when not called to leadership all our animators will be active in the Animator stage. We are all Animators wherever we are called to serve. While on this path, the leaders will have formation on subjects such as conflict management, finances, and spirituality.

                            The final path leads the experienced animators back into service of the young adults.

                            Companions are so called after the relationship between Don Cafasso and Don Bosco. These adults will be called upon to lead workshops or sessions and perhaps take on the Mamma Margaret role in our projects. They will mentor new leaders, reflect upon the Salesian charism and be invited to reflect on their own further involvement with the wider Salesian Family.

                            This link takes you to the full presentation.

                            Sue McDonald
                            Salesian Youth Ministry GBR Animator

                            • GBR GRAN BRETAGNA
                            • Animatori
                            • Formazione
                            • Gran Bretagna
                            • Giovani
                            • Accompagnamento
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Italy – GC28: Chapter also transposes Decree of Italian President of Council of Ministers of 4 March

                              3 weeks 3 days ago
                              Italy – GC28: Chapter also transposes Decree of Italian President of Council of Ministers of 4 March

                              (ANS - Turin) - The 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation, in progress in Turin, also implements the Decree of the President of the Italian Council of Ministers of 4 March 2020, concerning measures to combat, contain, inform and prevent COVID-19 nationwide.

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

                                Italy – GC28: Chapter members at work on second core theme

                                3 weeks 3 days ago
                                Italy – GC28: Chapter members at work on second core theme

                                (ANS - Turin) - The morning of Wednesday 4 March was spent in the Assembly and in the afternoon in the Commissions, where work began on the second nucleus of the Chapter's theme: the profile of the Salesian today.

                                Fr Jose Kuruvachira, Provincial of Dimapur, yesterday's moderator, led the assembly in the two morning sessions, entirely dedicated to the 15 proposals that the juridical commission had presented to Chapter members on the afternoon of Monday 2 March.

                                There were numerous classroom presentations, and those who for reasons of time failed to express themselves in public had the opportunity to send their contributions in writing. This gives an idea of ​​how intense the participation has been.

                                Among the issues examined, on which many expressed themselves, special attention was drawn to Social Communication at the cenral level in forthcoming years, with different opinions on the most suitable way to give the right weight and increase its effectiveness to the animation of this area, considered by all to be increasingly fundamental for the Salesian mission with young people, who are - in all continents - one with the digital world, their constant habitat.

                                Similarly, many interventions focused on how the Congregation's center relates to the Salesian Family and animates and forms the Salesians so that they are enabled, capable of belonging to it, according to what the Constitutions require (art. 5), with some calling for proposals more oriented to establishing a specific Department and others, instead, to continue the experience already underway of the Secretariat, adding new elements for greater effectiveness in animation.

                                A third area that attracted a lot of attention concerned a series of proposals concerning the mandates of the members of the General Council, in particular the sector and regional councilors, as well as the modalities to be followed for the elections of the Rector Major, his Vicar and other Council members. The opinions that emerged and were offered to the Juridical Commission - in response to what the commission itself had already elaborated, after taking into account all the contributions of the Provincial Chapters, of the General Council and of the individual religious - showed that for some, a maximum service of two mandates allows one to offer the best of oneself and, then, also give others the opportunity to do the same; while for others, it is important not to preclude the freedom of choice of the chapter assembly, delimiting it excessively with times, terms or conditions.

                                Overall, the diversity of opinions has brought out the wealth of experiences and sensitivities that concentrate us in an event such as the General Chapter. One also perceives how, day after day, the assembly, as if it were a single body, becomes more and more aware of the great responsibility entrusted to it and in various ways it increasingly takes charge as the main protagonist of the GC28 journey.

                                Photo on ANSFlickr

                                • CG28
                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                • Famiglia Salesiana
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  India – Creating positive ecosystem for interstate migrants in Kerala

                                  3 weeks 4 days ago
                                  India – Creating positive ecosystem for interstate migrants in Kerala

                                  (ANS – Trivandrum) – “Kerala Interstate Migrants Alliance for Transformation” (KISMAT) has been intervening in the lives of the interstate migrants across Kerala by setting up Migrant Help Desks (MHD) in eleven districts to plan and implement development activities. They provide various support services and legal assistance to migrant labourers, mobilising especially those isolated and marginalised. To ensure effective execution of the project, Don Bosco institutions across the selected districts have partnered with BREADS. All the activities are centrally coordinated and replicated across the state through the state office at Don Bosco Veedu, Trivandrum.

                                  After the first year of successful implementation, with numerous types of impacts and critical developments, the project stakeholders took a pause to reflect on the last eighteen months. The evaluation meeting of the sixth quarter of KISMAT was organised by DB Veedu, Trivandrum on 2 and 3 February 2020 at Don Bosco College, Sultan Bathery.

                                  The inauguration of the meeting commenced with a short prayer on the first day. Fr Thomas – Rector, DB Sultan Bathery, Fr Sojan- HOD Social Work, DB College, Sultan Bathery, Fr Jeeson- Director MHD Kozhikode, Fr Thomas P.D- Director DB Nivas, Trivandrum, Fr Tony Varghese- State Director, KISMAT and 11 Project Coordinators were present. Ms. Sandhya, the State Coordinator, welcomed the group; after which, Fr Tony introduced the meeting objectives. Fr Sojan inspired the coordinators about social work practice and its importance among migrant workers. He urged the coordinators to read more journals, articles and books related to migration which would enhance their knowledge and guide them in their practical work among the migrants. He also advocated that KISMAT should become a replicable model for the entire state of Kerala. He reiterated that documentation of every small activity/component is as important as doing the work itself. Social justice, competence, integrity, network rapport and keeping up with the science of the times are also important factors.

                                  Across two days, the project coordinators presented reports on the activities, strategies and progress of the project in their respective MHDs in the district. The drawbacks and geographical challenges of each district were discussed and workarounds identified. The State team presented a consolidated report on the impact and outcomes of KISMAT. Discussing the way forward, the project teams were guided by the State team on the changes to be adopted for making critical impact on the lives of the migrants. In the coming months, the team decided to focus on the formation of Panchayat-level Migrant Welfare Committees in all the eleven districts to create a complete database of the migrants at the local police stations, and ensure a clean, healthy and dignified life for the interstate migrants.

                                  Source: BREADS

                                  • India
                                  • Migranti
                                  • INK INDIA BANGALORE
                                    Jesus Jurado

                                    Italy – GC28: "Which Salesians for today's young people?" Youths offer their indications

                                    3 weeks 4 days ago

                                    (ANS - Turin) - Tuesday 3 March was the day of the first harvest of results. Indeed, the day began with the sharing of the work done by the 4 commissions on the first group: "priority of the Salesian mission with the young." The approach followed was that proposed by the Instrumentum Laboris, inspired by the synodal journey: recognizing, interpreting, choosing.

                                    The sharing between religious of many “youth-filled” and Salesian contexts has been rich and sincere in highlighting strengths, limitations and weaknesses. It is possible to tune in to what emerged by listening to some of the expressions echoed in the classroom by those who presented the work of the commissions.

                                    Young people are our prophets and their life, both in their efforts and their potential, is prophecy for us. We Salesians, with suffering, acknowledge that we do not always know and live in the world of young people and that there is an emotional and effective distance between us and them. They ask us for 'time' and we just give 'space'.

                                    The revolution is to return to first love, to be a Congregation of the poor for the poor: this asks us to rethink our way of life, our religious life, simpler, palpably fraternal and poorer, especially where the works occupy the most space of the Work which is the Charism.

                                    Loving-kindness as the DNA of the Salesian who knows how to live the pedagogy of tenderness: rehabilitating the affective as a key element in the alliance between adult and young person. 'People will not remember what you said or what you did, but how you made them feel.' (Maya Angelou).

                                    We believe that the most suitable context for the Preventive System is the family.

                                    The contributions which, however, shook and animated each Chapter member are those that came from the young. Each of them intervened in the classroom, expressing the joy of being able to speak "to my father, in my home."

                                    They frankly asked the Salesians to be simply - and in all - Don Bosco among them, without fears and without waiting for the young people to adapt to the hours of the religious and to the pre-packaged standard answers and structures prepared without them. They are not looking for companions from above, but for the "Don Bosco's of today", ready to walk by their side and to build tomorrow with them, as happened to those first young people who in Turin, with Don Bosco, gave life to the Congregation.

                                    Among the most closely felt requests were: more openness to the gift that women are in the Church and in the Salesian Family; ecology not as an extra task among others, but as the only future for everyone and especially for young people; being with the young and on the side of the young, starting with those among them who are oriented towards Salesian life: "Please do not make them quickly become old and distant as soon as they enter your houses of formation!"

                                    In the afternoon, the work of the Commissions on the second group resumed: "Profile of the Salesian today".

                                    Photo on ANSFlickr

                                    • CG28
                                    • Italia
                                    • Giovani
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Italy – GC28: young people arrive in the commissions, proposals arrive in the classroom

                                      3 weeks 5 days ago
                                      Italy – GC28: young people arrive in the commissions, proposals arrive in the classroom

                                      (ANS - Turin) - Monday 2 March was characterized by two types of work: in the morning, in the commissions; in the afternoon, at the assembly, for the presentation of the proposals elaborated by the juridical commission.

                                      By interviewing various members of the commissions who continued the work already started last week on the first nucleus (Priority of the Salesian mission among young people), one can grasp the general satisfaction with the climate of sharing that has been created within the commissions and subgroups.

                                      Among the most characteristic features of this chapter work phase, the following emerged:

                                      -       The fact that an atmosphere of understanding, openness and willingness to collaborate with any type of service requested was immediately created: one feels at home, with the desire to share and receive the contributions that others have to offer.

                                      -       The division into smaller groups made possible a wider and more intense participation of the Chapter members, bringing out the great variety of contexts and ways of incarnating the Salesian charism in each Region. However, the story of experiences has always been illuminated by a gaze forward towards the next 6 years, trying to understand together the path towards which the Lord calls the Congregation. The need for change is felt.

                                      -       The main protagonists of the day were the young people themselves, invited to the GC28, who took part in the work of the commissions, thereby changing their internal dynamics: the Salesians ready to listen and the courageous and competent young people in making their contribution. "It is the presence of young people, not only here in the chapter, that shows us the way. They are the center, like the sheep are for the Good Shepherd, who is around, on the outskirts, in order to better graze and defend them. Young people are for us the treasure in the field ... ".

                                      In the afternoon the session began with the brief presentation by Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation, of Young Salesians and accompaniment - Orientations and directives, a document recently promulgated by the Rector Major and by the Council which illuminates the reflection on the second core of the theme of the GC28 (Profile of today’s Salesian).

                                      The juridical commission then presented its proposals by grouping them into 15 themes, the result of listening to all the contributions received from the Provincial Chapters, from the General Council, from individual Salesians. In forthcoming days, there will be time to study them and to discuss in groups or in commissions.

                                      These proposals concern the nature and service at the central level of the Salesian Family, Social Communication and Missions; the duration of the mandates of the members of the General Council and the modalities for their election; the role of Regional Councilors; the configuration and naming of some regions. The last section has already been dedicated to the personal study of these proposals.

                                      Photo on ANSFlickr

                                      • Italia
                                      • CG28
                                      • ICP ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE SPECIALE PIEMONTE E VALLE D'AOSTA
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Argentina – Agustín and Guadalupe: "Volunteering is convincing oneself to go towards God"

                                        3 weeks 5 days ago

                                        (ANS - Rio Tercero) - Agustín Lobos and Guadalupe Cejas belong to the community of the "Don Bosco" oratory of Santiago del Estero. This year, they have decided to grow in the service, to "leave a footprint" and go in search of a new experience. Volunteering led them to live a busy summer in Rio Tercero, an Argentine city located in the center of the Province of Cordoba.

                                        "After thinking about it for a long time, we decided to do the summer volunteering experience in another community, being the first animators of our work to do such a thing. We've always been in Santiago del Estero to receive others in our oratory, but this time it was up to us to reach another home in a place we knew nothing about. We went without any expectations, but with a heart prepared for everything that would come," they say.

                                        In Rio Tercero, the volunteers perceived the Salesian spirit strongly. "Even for them, it was the first time they opened the doors to volunteers from other provinces, and from the first day they made us feel at home."

                                        Agustín and Guadalupe were not alone: ​​there were also 6 other volunteers with them, and for everyone the proposal was for them to be available to live different moments on the various days. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, they went on a mission to the Magnasco area, talking and interacting with the boys and girls in the neighborhood and their families. On that occasion, the squares and courtyards were filled with jugglers and small artists. On Tuesday and Thursday morning, there was training for volunteers, with the opportunity to get to know each other better and to meet God. And in the evening, there were the so-called "Active Nights" (NEA, in Spanish), moments in which games, sports and music could be shared, always in good company.

                                        The motto of the initiative was: "Holiness is walking together", based on the 2019 Strenna of the Rector Major. Looking back on their experience, Agustín and Guadalupe observe: "We've met many good animators in this beautiful courtyard. Above all, beautiful people, with a big heart, who give all of themselves to the children who need it. We spent incredible days, in which God was always present, in everything we did. It was so much that we experienced that we didn't want to leave."

                                        "Our advice to all the animators who feel the desire to carry out a voluntary work is to convince themselves to go towards God, to face other realities, to leave their comfort zone and to follow and live the Salesian charism," they conclude .

                                        • Argentina
                                        • Volontariato
                                        • ARN ARGENTINA NORD
                                        • Oratorio
                                        • Testimonianza
                                          Jesus Jurado
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