Main page content

Swaziland – Youth exchange: streetwise youngsters meet

1 month 1 week ago
Swaziland – Youth exchange: streetwise youngsters meet

(ANS – Manzini) – From 23 April to 5 May, a group of Dutch youngsters from Amsterdam visited Don Bosco’s Manzini Youth Care in Swaziland. During the visit they exchanged experiences and thoughts with peers from Swaziland. The theme of the exchange was: ‘self-dependence’. The visit was jointly organized by Don Bosco SAMEN, the Dutch Salesian voluntary service, and Manzini Youth Care.

The Dutch group is formed by 5 streetwise youngsters with experience of living on the streets and/or receiving residential care. They are accompanied by 6 volunteers, experienced in volunteering at Don Bosco street children projects worldwide. Manzini Youth Care (MYC) facilitates residential care for street children in Manzini, the second biggest city of the Kingdom of Swaziland. Youngsters who are about to turn 18 and need to leave MYC and youngsters who already left MYC take part in the workshops.

Self-dependence is the theme of the exchange. Residential care in the Netherlands is quite well-organized and intense for minors. Once turned 18, youngsters leave the care system and need to take care of themselves. The level of support decreases rapidly. On the one hand this gives a sense of freedom, but at the same time it is a giant leap in sense of responsibility. For many youngsters this step is too big, and after some years they end up having financial debts and other problems. In Manzini, youngsters experience similar difficulties. Leaving MYC is a big step and it is a challenge for MYC to provide transition care. During the workshops, the youngsters discussed their ideas about self-dependence. What is self-dependence? What did or do they need to build up an independent life, a life in which they can take care of themselves? When do they wish help from others, but also, when do they not want help?

The end-product of the exchange will be a poster with recommendations for care organizations helping youngsters with their transition to adult life. During the workshops the youngsters exchanged experiences about their daily life in residential care and their needs for independence. A lot of understanding was experienced between the Dutch and the Swazi youngsters. They found also some differences in their needs; for example, the two societies giving them different examples of what a self-dependent life is. But they found more commonalities: a self-dependent life starts with basic needs like a small amount of money to organize their lives, a house and others means to stay healthy. Most important seems to be that they can make their own choices and take responsibility for it. If this means they need help, it is a sign of self-dependence if they do ask for it.

During informal meetings, like dinner or a sports event, the youngsters found understanding on different levels. They found out that a streetwise life in the Netherlands and Swaziland doesn’t differ as much as expected and the youngsters were able to share their stories and relate to each other. A boy who had been on drugs for years went to rehab and it is now 1.5 years that he has been “clean”. One of the Dutch participants heard this story and it inspired him in his own process of refusing to use drugs. Many more stories were shared and they all inspired in their own way.

  • Swaziland
  • AFM
  • Bambini di Strada
  • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
  • BEN
  • Olanda
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – Global novena to Mary Help of Christians: videos already online

    1 month 1 week ago
    RMG – Global novena to Mary Help of Christians: videos already online

    (ANS - Rome) - The "global" novena to Mary Help of Christians begins today, 15 May. To participate in the novena proposed by the Rector Major to the entire Salesian Family, all nine videos in Italian, English, Spanish and French are currently on the web, and the videos of the first days in Portuguese and Polish editions.

    "I will give you the Teacher," little John Bosco heard being said in his dream as a nine-year-old boy. "She did everything," a mature Don Bosco would later say, almost at the end of his life, as he thought back to the many challenges he had faced and overcome for his young people. Our Lady had always been a close presence in the life of Don Bosco and he never tired of repeating it and encouraging people's devotion to Her.

    This year, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, the novena proposed by the Rector Major to the whole Salesian Family focusses on the dreams of Don Bosco wherein the figure of Mary Help of Christians emerges, and follows the same thread of the reflections being used for the procession in honor of Our Lady which, as per tradition, is held on the evening of May 24th in the streets of Turin.

    In each video, the Rector Major presents the dreams of Don Bosco, which are then discussed and supplemented with Marian testimonies by different members of the Salesian Family. Discussed are themes such as: the Salesian mission, the spiritual life, the missions to the farthest corners of the earth, Salesian holiness... Always from a Marian point of view.

    Finally, on the last day of the novena, the Rector Major shall present what is his dream for the Congregation and the Salesian Family.

    The videos can be found at www.sdb.org; and the ANSChannel on YouTube.

    Starting from next Monday, May 14th, videos in French, Portuguese and Polish will begin to be uploaded and made available to users.

    Thanks to the collaboration between the Dicastery for Social Communication and the Communication Team of the Southern Italy Province, a written Italian-language aid was also produced featuring the entire texts of the novena.

    • RMG
    • Maria Ausiliatrice
    • Torino
    • Valdocco
    • Comunicazione Sociale
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Uruguay - Rector Major: "Commitment and life pass through a personal and profound experience of God"

      1 month 1 week ago

      (ANS - Montevideo) - On Thursday morning, 10 May, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, began his day by presiding at Mass for aspirants and young people in vocational discernment in the Provincial House. Later he went to "Talleres Don Bosco" for the celebration of the 125 years of the center that combines offering work skills with the development of values, and for the 50 years of the "Benigno Paiva lrisarri" institute, a Salesian house for teenagers located in the countryside around the small town of Sarandí del Yí, in the department of Durazno.

      Because of the anniversary celebrations, the center's theater, "Talleres Don Bosco", was full of young people. Two educators presented the event, while the Rector Major answered questions and spoke about his recent experience in Syria: "We were in Damascus, in Aleppo ... Some things if you do not see them you cannot understand ... What you see on television, little, is even distorted ... What struck me most was meeting the more than 230 animators of the oratory, young people like you, university students, who, despite living in the ruins, were full of hope, smiles, and they were neither bored nor desperate, nor did they complain or cry ... It was a pleasure to receive their smile, their embrace, their enthusiasm."

      In the early afternoon, Fr Á.F. Artime gave an interview to the program "La tarde en casa". He spoke about his vocation, his decision to be a Salesian and his tasks as Rector Major. He also addressed the issue of migrants all over the world: "I tell you with pain, it hurts me to see that Europe is not able to give a more courageous response to tackle the problem of migration ..."

      Interviewed also by "Radio Sandi", he declared: "We are united to the Salesians of the whole world by our passion for the young ... It is enough that they are young that we love them and, regardless of their faith, we welcome them in Salesian houses."

      Finally, in the evening, he had a spiritual meeting with young people during which he affirmed: "Commitment and life pass through a personal and profound experience of God. It is what I invite you to."

      It is possible to follow the Rector Major's visit to Uruguay on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.

      • Uruguay
      • URU
      • Ángel Fernández Artime
      • Rettor Maggiore
      • Giovani
      • Anniversari
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Democratic Republic of the Congo - Development and food self-sufficiency: mothers as protagonists

        1 month 1 week ago
        Democratic Republic of the Congo - Development and food self-sufficiency: mothers as protagonists

        (ANS - Kinshasa) - When you bet on mothers to create development you can't go wrong. This is why, with the project at Mont Ngafula, a municipality of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Salesians are convinced they cannot fail. Their objective: to help the women of the parish to start small agricultural activities that generate income.

        The small town of Mont Ngafula suffers from its isolation due to the lack of a road that connects it to the city, a factor that deeply penalizes its socio-economic context. Added to this is the lack of water and electricity. Almost all families suffer from a lack of work: they lack the means to satisfy basic needs, and there is the need to work to raise awareness on how to get out of this marginality.

        Inside the mission of Don Bosco's spiritual Sons there are already small plots of land set aside for the production of vegetables, fruit, cereals as well as the breeding of small farm animals, all activities that contribute to the sustenance of families. Empowered by this experience, the women have set themselves the goal of achieving food self-sufficiency through the cultivation of vegetables that, once the gardens are fully operational, can be sold to the market.

        The project foresees several steps. The first concerns a period of modern and integrated training in the subject of agro-zootechnics, or agricultural sciences. Subsequently, within a year, 80% of participants shall be able to benefit from a supply of seeds and tools to renew cultivation in their own gardens. Then, after the harvest, they will be able to reimburse the Salesians for the "loan" of the means of production, delivering them 20% of the vegetables, which will feed the little orphans who are guests of the "Maison Papy" community, another structure of the mission.

        At the same time, the serious problem of the scarcity of water for irrigation will be addressed by increasing the capacity of the current well.

        In the long term, the community of Mont Ngafula will be able to extend the cultivated land and produce vegetables that can be sold in the city. And 107 families, with a more stable income, will also be able to pay for their children's studies.

        Helping vulnerable families by focusing on mothers, generators of life, the reference of affection and love and bearers of hope: this is the meaning of the project!

        For more information visit: www.missionidonbosco.org

        • AFC
        • Missioni
        • Missioni Don Bosco
        • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
        • Donne
        • Sviluppo
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Chile - "Silva Henríquez" University starts First Doctorate in Youth Studies

          1 month 1 week ago

          (ANS - Santiago) - A ceremony held at the "Hilda Chiang" Auditorium launched the Catholic University's first "Doctorate in Social Sciences with a focus on Youth Studies." The event, chaired by the Rector of the "Silva Henríquez" (UCSH), prof. Galvarino Jofré, SDB, celebrated the doctoral program given by the Faculty of Juridical, Economic and Social Sciences, with the Center for Youth Studies (CEJU) as a technical body.

          During the event, April 23, prof. Jofré thanked the work of the team of professionals who, on behalf of UCSH, took part in the preparation of the proposal, and said: "With the beginning of this doctorate, as a university, we feel challenged to meet the different aspects that the formation of this level of specialization necessarily involves, namely: teaching, supervision of the thesis, research experiences, curriculum of the program, intellectual environment of the program and the institution's intellectual environment."

          For his part, the Director of the Doctoral program, Dr Jorge Baeza, explained that "in the genesis of this doctorate there was an absolute convergence between the CEJU, who felt they had the maturity to activate a similar university path, and the network of Institutions of Salesian Higher Education (IUS) of America, which requires the Silva Henríquez University to prepare academics able to work in research and action in the field most dear to the Salesian Congregation: youth."

          In the same way, Dr Baeza added that, "there is an extremely small number of university centers that are forming high-level researchers to study and influence public policies for the benefit of young people. Ours is the second doctorate in this field in all of Latin America."

          Taking part in the presentation were university authorities, school principals, ruling bodies and administrative staff and PhD students from Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile.

          Fr Roque Luiz Sibioni, Delegate for Youth Ministry at the "Salesian University Center de São Paulo" (Unisal - Brazil), is one of the first students of the Doctorate. "This experience is an opportunity to further explore the studies already made on young people and on what problems concern them. As a Salesian, it is also an institutional experience. I have examined other doctoral programs, but this focuses mainly on young people, that's why I'm here."

          Finally, Fr Giuliano Vettorato, Director of the International Observatory of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, began the first lesson of the program, its title: "The study of the condition of youth in the condition of modernity: wealth of research and interpretive difficulties."

          • Cile
          • CIL
          • Università
          • IUS
          • Silva Henríquez
          • Giovani
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Uruguay - Rector Major: "Today Don Bosco would be happy"

            1 month 1 week ago

            (ANS - Montevideo) - Yesterday, Wednesday 9 May, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, experienced an intense series of activities in Uruguay: first the meeting with the President of the Republic, then the meeting with the Salesian Provincial, Fr Alfonso Bauer, and his Council, followed by lunch with the bishops, a visit to the nursing/rest homes of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, another to the Minga Project center and, finally, he participated in the thanksgiving event by this last towards the community of Las Piedras.

            At 9 AM, the Rector Major, accompanied by Fr Bauer and Fr Marcelo Fontona, SDB, was received by the President of the Republic, Hon. Tabaré Vázquez, at the presidential residence "Suárez y Reyes". The X Successor of Don Bosco thanked the President for the cordiality of the meeting.

            Immediately afterwards, the Rector Major and the other Salesians went to the Provincial House to receive the greetings of the bishops, and shared lunch.

            In the afternoon, the Rector Major, with Fr Horacio López, his Secretary, the Regional Councilor for the South Cone America Region, Fr Natale Vitale, the Provincial and other Salesians, reached the city of Las Piedras, 20 km from Montevideo. He visited the "Madre Promis" nursing home of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. He then visited the Minga Project house, which offers a complete educational and social assistance service for adolescents and young people at risk.

            Fr Á.F. Artime then moved a few blocks away to reach the auditorium "Batalla de Las Piedras", where he participated in a thanksgiving event by the Minga Project to local citizens, an event that opened with the consignment of a plaque to the mayor of the city, Gustavo González.

            The X Successor of Don Bosco also expressed his thanks, "from the heart and on behalf of Don Bosco." He admitted to feeling deeply moved and touched and added: "Don Bosco would be happy here today."

            In his speech, he also added, "Don Bosco told us that in the heart of every boy, however difficult it may be, there are seeds of goodness." And addressing the mayor, he expressed his gratitude and observed, "We have something that unites us: it's them, the children, the young ... Being able to do something for them is the most serious thing there is, I would even dare say sacred!"

            All photos of the Visit are available on ANSFlickr

            • Uruguay
            • URU
            • Rettor Maggiore
            • Ángel Fernández Artime
            • Personaggi illustri
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Germany – More than 200 guests at annual event for founders, supporters and donors

              1 month 1 week ago
              Germany – More than 200 guests at annual event for founders, supporters and donors

              (ANS – Benediktbeuern) – Over 200 guests came together to the annual “Stifterfest” for founders, donors and friends of the Salesians Don Bosco in Germany. They came together to Benediktbeuern, in Bavaria, for the annual “Stifterfest”, an event to thank everyone, get together and provide information about the work of the Salesians Don Bosco.

              The festivity began on Friday, April 20, in the evening, with a talk from Brother Lothar Wagner, who told the guests about his work in Gambia. He spoke about the fight against Ebola, working with children in prison, and also about the strategical thoughts, that are necessary to engage in the most effective way.

              On following Saturday children from the circus Birkino, a project of the Salesians Don Bosco in Chemnitz, entertained the guests. Former volunteer Veronika Hein talked about her time and work in Benin. “You cannot change the world, but you can be there for people”, was her conclusion. The executives of the foundation centre, Philipp Hof, and of Don Bosco Mission, Dr. Nelson Penedo, talked with founder Theodor Gams about how the money of the benefactors is spent in a way that satisfies all involved parties the best way possible – with strategy, stability and a clear policy that profits young people.

              Another highlight was an honourable thanks to P. Herbert Bihlmayer for the great merit he provided as “driving force and father of the foundation centre”. New founders were honoured with the “Don Bosco medal”. And Phillip Hof presented the facts about the asset growth of the centre  so in future there will be a great basis to help and support young people in the spirit of Don Bosco.

              • Germania
              • GER
              • Donazioni
              • Economia
                Gian Francesco Romano

                India – Teachers explore Learning Disabilities at Don Bosco Chhota

                1 month 1 week ago
                India – Teachers explore Learning Disabilities at Don Bosco Chhota

                (ANS – Chhotaudepur) – “Don Bosco Research Centre-Mumbai”, in collaboration with the “Lok Seva Kendra Chhota”, organised a day-long Teacher Training Workshop: “Learning Disabilities: Identification and Remediation,” at Don Bosco Chhotaudepur on May 3. School teachers from Narukot, Kawant and Chhotaudepur participated in this workshop, that also had eager social work staff from these centres.

                Fr Ajoy Fernandes, Director of Don Bosco Research Centre-Mumbai, was the resource person for the workshop and facilitated the entire proceedings assisted by Fr Mayank Parmar, Director of DRISTI Don Bosco-Kapadvanj. The bi-lingual workshop in English and Gujarati focused on understanding the learning problems that children have and how the teachers could identify the specific problem of each particular child, enabling the child to learn better.

                Through input and simulated interaction in groups, with pertinent feedback from the teachers, Fr Fernandes and Fr Parmar helped teachers to understand the environmental, emotional/behavioural and actual learning problems of school children. The teachers were taken through the process of recognising, identifying, accepting and assisting the child with difficulties to encourage, support and enable these children to cope with and improve their learning ability.

                Interacting with the participants, Fr Fernandes, who is also a trained psychotherapist with a PhD from Manila, in Philippines, said, “It is important to understand and help children with learning difficulties. As teachers who wish the good of the children and as responsible parents, all of us need to acknowledge, be aware, recognise, accept and intervene constructively through a multi-pronged approach that involves IQ testing, comprehensive assessment including educational assessment, clinical assessment and occupational therapy.”

                Fr Fernandes also provided the participants with guidelines for personal and group reflection with pertinent examples from his research work among 140 schools in Mumbai city and from the other 10 metropolitan cities across India. He also administered a pre- and post-workshop questionnaire, the findings of which will eventually be published and presented to the Government of India to help alleviate the learning disability of school children.

                Kiran sir from Don Bosco Chhota, one of the participating teachers, said, “This is such a wonderful learning  experience. Despite the sweltering heat, we were totally attuned to the presentation and the discussions because it affects us as teachers and because without understanding the children, we will not be able to make any headway in our teaching. Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia are all learning disorders which can be rectified and reversed if attended to at the right time in the right manner.”

                Br Ramesh Durairaj, administrator, and Fr Shaun D’Lima, school animator, were the main organisers of this participatory training.

                Source: Don Bosco India

                • India
                • INM
                • Salute
                • Docenti
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Uruguay - Rector Major: "we come here with great enthusiasm"

                  1 month 1 week ago

                  (ANS - Montevideo) - "I dream of encountering the 'sympathy' of young Uruguayans," said the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, on arriving in Uruguay on the night of Tuesday, 8 May. Coming from Paraguay, the Rector Major landed at the Carrasco airport at 9:40 pm, together with his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, and the Regional Councilor for the America South Cone, Fr Natale Vitali.

                   

                  Fr Alfonso Bauer, Provincial of the Uruguayan Province, and Sr. Laura Guisado, Superior of the Uruguayan Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, together with several Salesians and a group of young people from the Salesian Social Communication team, received him.

                  After a first exchange of affectionate greetings, the Rector Major was interviewed live on Facebook by two young people. The young broadcaster offered  mate (infusion made with leaves of mate grass) to the Rector Major, while the other member of the team explained to Fr Á.F. Artes that the mate for the Uruguayans is a symbol of  "an encounter and an opportunity". "We want this visit to be a meeting and an opportunity to fully live the extraordinary charism of Don Bosco," the two young reporters said.

                  "We come here with great enthusiasm," added the X Successor of Don Bosco. "We come with our hearts well prepared for the meeting of these days in Uruguay, willing to give our best. I really want to meet my brothers and sisters and the rich context of Salesian educators and of the Salesian Family who, I believe, in all humility, are fulfilling the dreams of Don Bosco, because today we must be the ones who bring them forward."

                  Subsequently, the Rector Major emphasized that the days to come would be "days of meeting, sharing, mutual listening, but also to be able to say a word about what one is experiencing and feeling for the world." Fr Á.F. Artime then specified this was not the first time he had touched Uruguayan soil, although it was his first time as Rector Major. "I've already had the chance to know the capacity for hospitality and the empathy of the Uruguayans and I think they will be beautiful days," he said.

                  Uruguay is the Rector Major's 62nd visit to a Province and the 77th to a country in his over four years of animation and government of the Salesian Congregation.

                  {gallery}URU - Intervista a Rettor Maggiore{/gallery}

                  • Uruguay
                  • URU
                  • Rettor Maggiore
                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                  • Comunicazione Sociale
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Italy - "The City of Don Bosco"

                    1 month 1 week ago

                    (ANS - Rome) - The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, on the occasion of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, and in light of the XXXIV World Youth Day, to be held in Panama, wanted to produce a publication that offers a look at the city much loved by Don Bosco.

                    "The City of Don Bosco" is a book divided into three parts. The first offers an overview of the main sites encountered by Don Bosco when he arrived in Turin in his years as a cleric student.


                    The second part of the book presents Don Bosco in the midst of his mission, the city's especially meaningful sites and his search for and consolidation of the oratory he dreamed of. Some early images highlight his good-natured face, at times tired from work; other photos show Don Bosco in the foreground across the years, the serenity of his face transmitting peace, wisdom, "a man profoundly man, profoundly holy."

                    An important part of the book is dedicated to the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, a place that celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2018. For Don Bosco it was the heart of his work and a symbol of love for She who was his Teacher and Guide.

                    The book's most important part is the section the Rector Major himself wished to be featured as a title: "The City of Don Bosco". Turin was not just a city; it was the place where Don Bosco gave himself to the young. The city where Don Bosco lives today: the heart of young people all over the world.


                    This is "The City of Don Bosco", a city full of life and dreams, where there are young people; and where there are young people, there, too, lives Don Bosco.


                    "The City of Don Bosco" is not a city of mere places, sites, locations; it is a city of the stories, the faces, the names, the lives of many young people of the world awaiting the Salesians.

                    The book "The City of Don Bosco", edited by Fr Bruno Ferrero, Director of the Italian-language Salesian Bulletin, at the request of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major and X Successor of Don Bosco, will be presented on Wednesday, May 23, at 6.00 pm in the Sangalli Hall in Via Maria Ausiliatrice 32, Valdocco, Turin, before civil and religious authorities and the Rector Major himself.

                    • Italia
                    • Torino
                    • Maria Ausiliatrice
                    • Don Bosco
                    • Rettor Maggiore
                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                    • Comunicazione Sociale
                    • Libri
                    • ICP
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Spain - Over 500 Salesian Vocational Training students present their projects

                      1 month 1 week ago
                      Spain - Over 500 Salesian Vocational Training students present their projects

                      (ANS - Madrid) - On Friday, May 4, the Salesian center of Carabanchel, Madrid, hosted the first Basic Vocational Training Projects Competition. Over 500 students from the Salesian centers of Burgos, Pamplona, ​​Logroño, Villamuriel (Palencia), Deusto (Bilbao) and the Community of Madrid participated. At the event, the Salesians renewed their commitment to fostering basic vocational training, the means to fostering social-working integration of young people with greater difficulties.

                      Basic vocational training is taking root and expanding in Spain not only as a means of recovering students who have dropped out or not completed their compulsory Secondary Education (ESO), but also as a means to achieve social and professional or vocational integration via skills, a trade. For this reason the Salesians are deeply committed to this educational method which responds to their traditional mission, that is, providing formation and accompanying the most needy young people onto the road to a better future.

                      Why the Salesian center of Carabanchel became the center of this celebration of Salesian basic vocational training, for what was an unprecedented meeting in Spain, an initiative that aims to show the potential of these students despite all the difficulties they face.

                      The students of the institute hosted the meeting with the organization of various sports activities, and concluded in the auditorium with awards to all the participating centers and to the three projects most appreciated by the juries.

                      Fernando García, Coordinator of the schools in the "Saint James the Greater" Salesian Province, underlined the familiar and festive nature of the meeting; while José Antonio Poveda, Secretary General of the Catholic schools of Madrid, congratulated the students for their work and encouraged them to continue in their progress.

                      There were also positive reactions from the political authorities present. "Congratulations to the Salesian teachers, students and centers for this initiative concerning an educational phase that is central", wrote Ismael Sanz, Head of the Scholarships and Training Aid of the Community of Madrid, on his Twitter account; he was echoed, again on Twitter, by the Deputy Director-General of Private and Concerted Education, Ileana Guaita, who wrote, "We were impressed by the fantastic work you do and how your students feel so proud and motivated to 'learn by doing'. Congratulations!"

                      • Spagna
                      • SSM
                      • Formazione Professionale
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Uruguay - Rector Major in Uruguay for the first time: "United for young people"

                        1 month 1 week ago

                        (ANS - Montevideo) - For the first time, today, Tuesday 8 May, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, reaches Uruguay. His visit, which will last until May 13, has as its motto: "Meeting with the Successor of Don Bosco ... United for young people!"

                        The Rector Major arrives at Carrasco International Airport at 9 pm (local time) on Tuesday, 8 May. There he will be welcomed by the Provincial, Fr Alfonso Bauer, and the Superior of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Laura Guisado, together with a delegation of young people working in the area of Provincial Communication and of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM).

                        Wednesday, 9 May, the agenda of the Rector Major foresees a meeting in the Presidential House with the President of the Republic, the Hon. Tabaré Vázquez, who used to go to the oratory as a boy.

                        Subsequently, the Rector Major shall meet with members of the Provincial Council, and have lunch with the bishops of the various dioceses of the country. In the afternoon, he will visit the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Las Piedras, not far from Montevideo, and then visit the "Minga Project", an integral socio-educational proposal for children at risk.

                        Thursday begins with the Eucharist in the Provincial House together with aspirants and young people in vocational paths. Then he will take part in the celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the "Talleres Don Bosco" and the 50th anniversary of the "Paiva Institute". In the evening, he will attend a prayer meeting for young people called "Hay Algo Más" (There's Something More).

                        On Friday 11, the Rector Major will participate in the meeting with the Salesian house management teams on the outskirts of Montevideo, while in the afternoon he will dialogue with the Salesians at the "Istituto Maturana".

                        Saturday morning, 12, he meets with members of various communication teams of the Uruguayan Province, at the headquarters of "Radio Oriental 770 AM", then continues to a meeting with the leaders of the different groups of the Salesian Family.

                        Because of his presence, it had been decided to anticipate the celebrations for the feast of Mary Help of Christians. Thus, early afternoon on Saturday, the procession begins with the statue of the Virgin, followed by the Eucharist, presided by the Rector Major, in the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians - where more than 2,000 people will be expected. Finally, in the afternoon, Fr Á.F. Artime will participate in a meeting with the Salesian Youth Movement at the "Colegio Pío" in Montevideo.

                        On his last day in Uruguay, Sunday, May 13, the day on which Saint Maria Domenica Mazzarello is commemorated, the Rector Major will meet with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in the provincial house of Villa Colón, before reaching the Carrasco airport to embark on the journey back to the Salesian headquarters.

                        • Uruguay
                        • URU
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Ecuador - The earthquake destroyed many lives. Today a new start with new school buildings

                          1 month 1 week ago
                          Ecuador - The earthquake destroyed many lives. Today a new start with new school buildings

                          (ANS - Manta) - On 16 April 2016, a powerful earthquake shook Ecuador's coastal areas. The result was tragic: 700 dead, over 6,000 injured and almost 30,000 people homeless. Among the Salesian centers, the one in Manta, near the epicenter of the earthquake, was the hardest hit. The parish church was destroyed, the old building of the institute had to be completely demolished, while the Salesian house for retreats was damaged.

                          In the presence of the Salesian authorities of the country, of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of the city of Manta, the inauguration of the new buildings,  built after the earthquake, took place at the end of April.

                          The inauguration ceremony was attended by Jorge Zambrano, mayor of the Decentralized Autonomous Government of Manta, members of the Cantonal Council, the authorities of the Department of Education, the directors of the Salesian houses, Dr Carlos Bergmann, Vice President of the National Assembly, Salesian Past Pupils, students and their families.

                          The buildings that were inaugurated are part of the first phase of the reconstruction of the Educational Center, which includes: a building for the classrooms, a building for the laboratories of Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and 3 classes for Computer Science, the central courtyard, the refectory , a pitch with synthetic grass and a multipurpose field. For the second phase the construction of an administrative building, the auditorium and a gym is planned.

                          The investments necessary for the reconstruction of this center were collected by private contributions, the Salesian Province of Ecuador and the Salesian community of Manta.

                          The Salesians have been serving the children and youth of Manta for over 70 years. In 1942 the first group of Salesians arrived in the city, and was led by the director, Fr Telmo Andrade. Two years later, Fr Julio María Haro was sent to found a school and take care of a parish. The first Salesians, knowing that only education offers a future for young people, in 1944 began the construction of what would become the "Salesian Educational Unit of San José".

                          The center includes a school attended by about 1350 students, the parish "Our Lady of the Rosary", the festive oratory, the retreat house "Santa Maria de Crucita" and the temple dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul.

                          • Ecuador
                          • ECU
                          • Terremoto
                          • Disastri
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Cambodia – Students with physical disabilities able to access Don Bosco Kep thanks to modifications completed at school

                            1 month 1 week ago
                            Cambodia – Students with physical disabilities able to access Don Bosco Kep thanks to modifications completed at school

                            (ANS – Kep City) – Don Bosco Technical School Kep/Hatrans, located in southern Cambodia, has completed changes to the school’s buildings and dormitories to ensure they are accessible for students with physical disabilities. In January 2015, Don Bosco Tech was awarded a grant from the Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help facilitate this work. The school has also received funding to aid this construction from “Don Bosco Bonn” and the “Sawasdee Foundation”.

                            Don Bosco Kep, which has 250 students, 40 of whom live at the school, began welcoming students with disabilities in 2013. School administrators knew that the campus was not as accessible as it could be for the new students to access all of their classes. Often students would have to rely on their friends for assistance getting to classrooms on higher floors and into dormitory living, making them feel like a burden.

                            With the 2015 USAID funding, Don Bosco Kep made modifications to the school, including the installation of elevators in the main buildings, the construction of ramps to access areas for community gatherings and the creation of a student and teacher residence with all of the modifications that will allow those with physical disabilities to live and attend school independently. The funding also supported creating accessible bathrooms and the purchase of equipment to aid the learning environment for youth with disabilities.

                            “We appreciate the funding from USAID that has allowed Salesian missionaries to transform the Don Bosco Kep campus to welcome and giver greater access to students with physical disabilities,” says Fr. Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “The new construction modifications open up the campus allowing students to have better access from building to building and have a greater degree of self-sufficiency.”

                            For children with disabilities living in Cambodia, access to education is limited and the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty is almost nonexistent. UNICEF notes in its State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities report that globally, close to 61 percent of boys finish school but for boys with disabilities that number drops to 51 percent. For girls, 53 percent finish school but among those living with a disability, only 42 percent finish their education.

                            Because students with disabilities are so marginalized in Cambodia, it is taking some time for families to learn about the modifications at the school and send their children to the newly accessible campus. The school currently has a few students with physical disabilities.

                            Vong Savong was born without legs. He grew in an orphanage in Siem Reap, although he is not an orphan. If he had stayed at home in his faraway village, there is a chance he would be a beggar today on the street. Instead, after conclusion of 12th grade, he joined Don Bosco Kep’s media communication department. He is now working in a TV station as audiovisual editor.

                            Park Anh suffered from polio when he was a child. He was unable to walk properly or sit down. A Belgian doctor in the area helped him so he could at least sit down and he was given specialized equipment to get around. He joined Don Bosco Kep and took IT classes. Recently, he was in Phnom Penh where he was awarded a scholarship to finish superior education at the university. Thanks to Salesian Missions, he was able to access a special motorbike that allows him a greater mobility.

                            A third student, Ourk Samean, lost his right arm when he was 12 after falling from a tree. After enduring a challenging time learning to use only his left arm, he finished studies his studies in IT at Don Bosco Kep. Today, he is working at Don Bosco Children Fund as a computer teacher.

                            Don Bosco Kep provides basic, secondary and technical education to poor youth living in the Cambodian provinces of Kep, Kampot, Takeo, Ratanakiri and Mondolkiri. The school’s educational and social development programs help students break the cycle of poverty and become contributing members of their communities. Salesian missionaries plan to continue to promote their accessible campus for other students who wish to access education in an environment that accommodates them.

                            Source: Mission Newswire

                            • Cambogia
                            • Disabilità
                            • THA
                            • Scuole
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              RMG – Teresio Bosco Biography published 40 years ago

                              1 month 1 week ago
                              RMG – Teresio Bosco Biography published 40 years ago

                              (ANS – Rome) – Already 40 years ago the Italian Salesian Fr. Teresio Bosco published his “New Biography of Don Bosco” with another updated edition in 1988. Since then this Biography was translated into some (estimate) 40+ different languages. According the Don Bosco scholars this is so far the best biography ever published. Fr. Teresio based his wonderful, popular and attractive narrative on the serious research of Don Bosco scholars like Fr. Pietro Braido or Fr. Pietro Stella and on his personal knowledge and research in the Salesian heartland of Piedmont.

                              Unfortunately this wonderful inside in the heart of Don Bosco is not yet available in many of our EAO provinces even after 40 years. As of know, probably not even the English version (51 chapters - 355 pages A4) is not yet visible or available in the communities of our English speaking provinces like FIN-FIS-PGS-AUL or MYM. So far we know only about the Korean, Japan, Mongolian, Thai and Vietnamese translation published in the respective provinces.

                              Fr Teresio Bosco masterpiece does offer rather deep insight in the social, economic, ecclesial and cultural background of Don Bosco times and realities in very simple and attractive style. Indeed he is known as one of the best narrators of Don Bosco to the young, to the young Salesians in both written and oral form.

                              We pray that this 40 years old Salesianity masterpiece will be available in most of the EAO languages, we pray for the respective translators to Tetun, Bahasa Indonesia, Samoan, Pidgin, Fijian, Burmese, Urdu, Chinese and ...

                              One of the EAO pioneers, Fr. Jose Carbonell writes from Spain (Alicante): "During three hours straight, I have been reading some pages of the New Biography of Teresio Bosco. All known already, but it is a pleasure to read it again... Congratulations for the good will in those who will translate in Tetun language. This reminds me when, just arrived to Indonesia in 1985, I requested the translation into Bahasa Indonesia of the book "Stories of Don Bosco" (Aneka cerita mi tentang Don Bosco). Yes, all ours candidates and young Salesians have read this book... and this book promoted many vocations also in Timor Leste…"

                              The full text of the Teresio Bosco Biography in English is available here.

                              Source: AustraLasia 

                              • RMG
                              • Libri
                              • Don Bosco
                              • Asia EstOceania
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Paraguay - Rector Major continues his visit and animates Salesian Family

                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                Paraguay - Rector Major continues his visit and animates Salesian Family

                                (ANS - Fernando de la Mora) - The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, continues his Animation Visit to the "Maria Santissima Assunta" Province of Paraguay. During this time, he has visited a number of Salesian centers of the Province and in every place the emotional response of the many children, young people and the local population for such a welcome presence has been clearly visible and moving. Father-like, Fr Á.F. Artime has been greeting and talking to everyone, made himself available for photos and, despite the tiredness due to the hours and hours of travel on winding roads and program changes, he has always kept a smile for all those approaching him.

                                Despite the heavy rains and the lack of suitable roads, the Rector Major continued his intense program of travel for and throughout the Apostolic Vicariate of Chaco Paraguayo, visiting the mission lands the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians have been traveling for over 70 years. Msgr. Gabriel Narciso Escobar Ayala, SDB, bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate, thanked the Rector Major for fulfilling his promise to visit the Chaco, the indigenous communities and the inhabitants of the villages scattered throughout the mission areas.

                                Saturday May 5, the X Successor of Don Bosco began the day in Puerto Casado, visiting the historic community radio station of the Salesian missionaries, "Quebracho Poty", where he was able to dialogue with the missionary priest Martín Rodríguez.

                                Subsequently, under the pouring rain, in an area of dirt roads, he reached the Community of Castile where, accompanied by Salesian missionaries active in that area, he met the indigenous maskoy population.

                                Yesterday, Sunday 6 May, he arrived at the "San Domenico Savio" parish of Fernando de la Mora. During Mass, celebrated outdoors, before thousands of faithful, the Rector Major said that in our lives "it is God who has the last word". At the end of the Eucharist, the young people animated a moment of celebration and were able to take some souvenir photos with Fr Á.F. Artime.

                                In the afternoon, the Rector Major, accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, by Fr Natale Vitali, Councilor for the America South Cone Region, and Fr Néstor Ledesma, Provincial, participated in a meeting with the Salesian Family in the Salesian Institute of Mary Help of Christians.

                                With this visit, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco continues to encourage and animate Don Bosco's spiritual Sons and Daughters to continue their mission among young people.

                                {gallery}Paraguay - Visita RM 2018{/gallery}

                                • Paraguay
                                • PAR
                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                • Indigeni
                                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Central African Republic - Prime Minister visits "Don Bosco" Lyceum of Damala-Bangui

                                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                                  (ANS - Bangui) – This past April 27, the Prime Minister and Head of the Government of the Central African Republic, Hon. Simplice Salomon Sarandji visited the "Don Bosco" secondary school in the district of Damala, near the country's capital, Bangui. The Prime Minister came in response to the invitation sent to him by the leaders of the school's student cooperative.

                                  During an interview granted to the journalists present, Dr Sarandji underlined his considering the visit to the Salesian Institute a privilege, a school, he described, that participates and helps the government in its action to rebuild the country. His visit therefore wished to represent, in his words, a form of recognition and encouragement to the Salesians of Don Bosco for all the work they have done in the field of education and the formation of young people in the Central African Republic.

                                  In fact, via its Center for Vocational Training, the Lyceum and the Youth Center, the Salesian presence in Damala has always worked for and towards the development and recovery of young Central Africans, with much effort and commitment, most especially after the last time of crisis the Country has recently experienced.

                                  Among its activities, for example, is the Center for Vocational Training which, in collaboration with several NGOs, has allowed several former child soldiers, enlisted in the militias, to benefit from vocational training courses wherein they received an education, and enabled them to enter the world of work and, consequently, a chance to give up arms.

                                  The high school, for its part, even during the harshest times of clashes between various factions, has always continued to offer its educational program uninterruptedly, much to the benefit of the young Central Africans who, indeed, attend the center.

                                  And as far as the Youth Center is concerned, it only suspended its activities when it came to welcoming displaced persons fleeing from battle. Otherwise, it has continued to offer spaces for sharing and recreation for local children - all the more necessary, the more critical the external context is, of course.

                                  These, therefore, are the actions through which the Salesians of Don Bosco actively collaborate in the "reconstruction of the country", actions that have earned the attention and recognition of the Central African Prime Minister who, in his visit, asked not to speak only about what is wrong in the country, but also to mention the many good things that are being done through institutions such as Salesians, where men and women of good spare no effort towards the reconstruction and development of the Central African Republic.

                                  {gallery}RCentrafricana - Visita Premier a Damala{/gallery}

                                  • Repubblica Centrafricana
                                  • ATE
                                  • Personaggi illustri
                                  • Educazione
                                  • Bambini Soldato
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Italy - Annual meeting of ACSSA Presidency

                                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                                    Italy - Annual meeting of ACSSA Presidency

                                    (ANS - Rome) - On April 28, 2018, the annual session of the Presidency of the Association of “Cultori Storia Salesiana” (ACSSA), scholars of Salesian history, took place at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. At the center of the meeting was a review of the preparations for the next five Continental Seminars on the theme: "Incisive and innovative Salesian figures  the twentieth century."

                                    Present at the meeting were: Fr Francesco Motto, President; Fr Stanisław Zimniak, Secretary-Treasurer; Fr Joaquín Torres and Sr. Grazia Loparco for Europe; Br Ariel Fresia, SDB, for America; Sr. Maria Rohrer for Africa, Fr Nestor Impelido for East Asia; and the General Councilor for Formation, Fr Ivo Coelho, who, speaking of fostering historical memory in the Congregation and in the Salesian Family, indicated that it is indispensable to Salesian formation that the knowledge of the sources of inspiration be updated and made available to all.

                                    Regarding the Continental Seminars, the first focusses on South Asia (22-24 June 2018 - Hyderabad, India). Preparations are in an advanced state, though several items still require clarifications.

                                    For the European Seminar (31 October-4 November 2018 - Bratislava, Slovakia), the program is ready, with about forty speakers.

                                    For East Asia (February 10-15, 2019 - Sam Phran, Thailand) the addition of topics related to methodology was proposed to address the request by the least trained in historical work. The preparatory works are still in their embryonic state.

                                    For the Seminary of Africa and Madagascar (4-10 March 2019), the speakers have already been identified by the FMA and here, too, archival conservation and historical method have also been proposed as added topics.

                                    Lastly, the Seminar for the Americas (March 18-22, 2019 - Buenos Aires, Argentina), for which a certain number of available researchers have already been identified.

                                    The five continental seminars are preludes to the 7th International Conference, scheduled for the end of November-early December 2020, with the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS) celebrating a world congress on the Rector Major Fr Paolo Albera in November 2021.

                                    The agenda also examined the activities of the national sections of ACSSA - Italy, Spain, Poland, Brazil, Argentina and India - the improvement and increased use of the ISS-ACSSA website, a report on recent publications and, finally, the economic report. Also this year, eight new members have been admitted, as well as Fr Jan Krawiec, a Polish Salesian, as an honorary member.

                                    Currently ACSSA has 195 members: 75 FMA, 102 SDB, and 18 lay people and members of groups of the Salesian Family.

                                    • Italia
                                    • ACSSA
                                    • Ivo Coelho
                                    • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Paraguay - Mgr. Gabriel Escobar, SDB, to Rector Major: "Thank you for taking us the living source of faith and for confirming us in this missionary vocation"

                                      1 month 2 weeks ago

                                      (ANS - Fuerte Olimpo) - The first village in the Chaco Paraguayo region reached by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in his Animation Visit in Paraguay was the city of Fuerte Olimpo, capital of the Department of Alto Paraguay and of the Apostolic Vicariate of Chaco. In this city, Fr Á.F. Artime was declared an honorary citizen, receiving recognition from the civic authorities and declared an illustrious visitor.

                                      Yesterday Thursday 3 May, Salesian Msgr. Gabriel Narciso Escobar Ayala, bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Chaco Paraguayo, welcomed the X Successor of Don Bosco at the local airport, then escorted him to the majestic Cathedral dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, where children and young people of different educational institutions welcomed the Rector Major with an artistic-cultural exhibition.

                                      Mons. Escobar thanked the Rector Major for fulfilling his promise to visit the vicariate of Chaco Paraguayo. "Your presence helps us to confirm our faith in unity and in love and invites us to be defenders of life, to be instruments of peace and justice. Thank you for bringing us the living source of faith and for confirming us in this missionary vocation, so that we can give answers to the existential peripheries in which we are called to work," said the prelate.

                                      Then Mr. Leonardo Lezcano, Director of the national school "Mons. Dr. Ángel Muzzolòn ", dedicated to the first Salesian bishop of Chaco Paraguayo, presented the Rector Major with the works carried out by this great priest and Salesian missionaries in the educational field.

                                      On his part, the X Successor of Don Bosco thanked participants for the demonstrations of affection, while reiterating that he did not accept these tributes on a personal level, but as gestures of thanksgiving to the great Salesian Family, which has been serving the population of the Chaco Paraguayo for over 70 years.

                                      The X Successor of Don Bosco then flew to the educational center "Ñu Apu'a", which hosts children of the rural and indigenous population in a boarding house, which allows them to study. Afterwards, the Rector Major reached the city of Carmelo Peralta, located on the banks of the Paraguay River.

                                      The visit of the Rector Major to the Chaco Paraguayo ends on Saturday 5 May when, after having visiting Puerto Casado, Fr Á.F. Artime shall return to Asunción.

                                      All photos of the Visit are available on ANSFlickr

                                      • Paraguay
                                      • PAR
                                      • Vescovi
                                      • Gabriel Narciso Escobar Ayala
                                      • Rettor Maggiore
                                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Italy - "Face-to-Face" for novices and prenovices from around the country

                                        1 month 2 weeks ago

                                        (ANS - Genzano di Roma) - From April 29 to May 2, the usual annual "Face-to-Face" meeting took place with novices and prenovices from all the Italian Provinces gathering at the Salesian novitiate in Genzano di Roma. It is a "face-to-face" appointment with the other whereby, assisted by formators and teachers, they share their life experiences, their perplexities, doubts, joys and the beauties of the Salesian vocation and of discernment.

                                        The "face-to-face" is also experienced and lived with oneself, one's own self, to better understand who one is, and what the Lord calls us to. But "face-to-face" is especially between oneself and God, who shows and reveals Himself in prayer lived in and as a community, here on the occasion during the evening rosary in six different languages, in moments of recreation in the courtyard, in shared meals, in the fraternal evenings organized by the novitiates.

                                        On the first day, after an introduction by Fr Francisco Santos, from the Dicastery for Formation, four novices, two from Pinerolo and two from Genzano, spoke of their personal experiences, described how much God's hand had acted providentially upon and throughout their lives.

                                        On the second day, the real "face-to-face" took place; in groups, participants discussed topics such as: vocational journey, motivation, family, life of faith, Salesian charism, community life and difficulties, doubts, uncertainties, fears. After a few minutes, the groups changed, thus offering each prenovice the chance to speak and share with other novices.

                                        Br Jess García, SDB, Economer of the Salesian Central Office, then discussed the theme of the figure of the Salesian Brother of yesterday and today. In the afternoon, the words of Fr Silvio Roggia, from the Dicastery for Formation, initiated the moment of retreat to reflect on what participants received in the morning and saw during the Eucharistic exposition.

                                        The third day was entirely occupied by a visit to Rome: first, as guests of the Salesian community in the Vatican, then on a pilgrimage to some of the most emblematic places of Roman Christianity, finally to the Sacred Heart, where Dr. Renato Cursi, of the Dicastery for Youth Ministry, held a conference on the Youth Synod for them.

                                        Thus the many moments of sharing, the many edifying experiences, days that passed in what seemed the briefest of time: a time of authentic communion.

                                        • Italia
                                        • Novizi
                                        • Prenoviziato
                                        • Noviziato
                                        • Formazione
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          Checked
                                          9 seconds ago
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana
                                          image
                                          News - Salesians of Don Bosco