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Uganda - Isolation and food shortages for Palabek refugees due to coronavirus

1 day 9 hours ago
Uganda - Isolation and food shortages for Palabek refugees due to coronavirus

(ANS - Palabek) – The coronavirus emergency is really not all that different from other crises: in the end, the poorest are always the ones who suffer the most. The refugees are far from their homeland and survive on the basis of what is given to them, as they dream of peace and of returning home. They were not born poor and did not live in poverty: they studied, they are educated, but the war has forced them to flee with only the clothes they had on their backs to save their lives.

This is the situation of over 55,000 refugees residing in the Palabek settlement in northern Uganda. The Salesians, with five missionaries, are the only institution that lives with them within the camp. If the coronavirus were to reach the settlement it would be a catastrophe, as there are no medical means to cure it. For this reason, from the outset, lockdown was decreed with meetings banned and food distribution reorganized.


While economists and global analysts predict that millions of people will lose their jobs and other security in this crisis, refugees are already suffering from the pandemic's consequences. Last April, for example, they received only 70% of their already meager monthly regular food ration per person: 9 kg of corn flour, 6 kg of beans, about half a liter of oil, and a few grams of salt.

Before this situation, in which the majority of the settlement's children suffer from malnutrition, and their mothers from stress and anxiety, the Salesians intervened. The solution is to grow foods like cereals, vegetables, sunflower seeds. "This is the time to be very creative and innovative with the refugees in the field of agriculture. We have prepared vegetable gardens and orchards. We have rented land from the Ugandans. We are starting to breed poultry, pigs and goats," explain the missionaries.


As the rains continue, the real need for refugees is of seeds and simple manual farm tools.

As the refugees have only 30 square meters for use as a home, with a small garden attached, the Salesians organized them into groups and rented land for them from the Ugandan neighbors. When necessary, they also plowed the land for them.


At the same time, since the technical and vocational school is closed, a group of refugees has learned to sew masks: a service that allows them to receive a small income to help their families and that contributes to the community's safety. In the first two weeks of activity alone, 1,500 refuge masks were made.

The Salesians in Palabek are grateful for the help received from Salesian circles around the world, but now they are asking for support to be able to purchase seeds and tools to continue helping refugees.


Source: Misiones Salesianas

  • Uganda
  • Rifugiati
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy - Restoration of mosaic in Don Bosco Temple in Rome: reason for hope in this difficult period

    1 day 9 hours ago
    Italy - Restoration of mosaic in Don Bosco Temple in Rome: reason for hope in this difficult period

    (ANS - Rome) - The mosaic behind the altar of the Don Bosco Temple in Rome, depicting Saint Giovanni Bosco in Glory, surrounded by saints and blesseds of the Salesian Family, after a restoration that lasted several months, was returned last Sunday, on solemnity of Pentecost, to the faithful of the Roman basilica dedicated to the Piedmontese saint. Such an event, highlighted Gianpiero Palmieri, auxiliary bishop of the East sector for the diocese of Rome, "gives new hope in such a dramatic moment."

    The majestic work of art - 15 million tiles set in a surface area of 100 square meters - was presented during the afternoon Eucharistic celebration, presided by Msgr. Palmieri, in the presence of the parish priest of the basilica, Fr Roberto Colameo, and Rome's mayor, Virginia Raggi.
    Four were the verbs the bishop wished to emphasize in the homily, "fundamental and to which we all aspire: that is, to breathe new hope, go out, meet and embrace each other."

    "A precious work of art, as precious is the history of the parish and the neighborhood," said Mayor Raggi in her greeting to the community at the end of the celebration. "I think it's no coincidence to find ourselves here, in this place which was also one of the first to be sanitized in order to allow the faithful to participate again in the celebrations after the lockdown."

    Another key point from which to take an example comes, according to Raggi, from the "courage of the restorers." Despite the fifteen million tiles and the 100 m2 of space to work on, "they did not get discouraged and went to work. The same courage," she concluded, "to which we are all called, to remain united as a community and to one day return to normal."

    A moment, the one experienced by the entire parish community, of "extreme joy and emotion," commented Fr Colameo. "The happiness of being able to admire the mosaic in all its beauty again," he emphasized, "is combined with gratitude towards all those who made all this possible. Despite the ongoing health emergency, it was possible to continue and complete the restoration, a way to stay close to the faithful and the people of the neighborhood."

    How important the mosaic of Don Bosco is for the community of the parish dedicated to him was seen on the occasion of the celebration. All the seats available inside - 200 in total, the maximum allowed by the last decree of the President of the Council of Ministers - were occupied and many of the faithful followed the celebration, remaining correctly spaced out in the churchyard in front.


    "Returning the work in these days," concluded the parish priest, "also means being grateful to the many parishioners who, in the past weeks, have been generous to those who were and still are in economic difficulties."

    • Italia
    • mosaico
    • Tempio Don Bosco
    • Roma
      Jesus Jurado

      RMG – New web portal of Salesian Institutions of Higher Education (IUS)

      2 days 9 hours ago
      RMG – New web portal of Salesian Institutions of Higher Education (IUS)

      (ANS - Rome) - After several months of work, the General Coordination of the Salesian Institutions of Higher Education (IUS) is pleased to present the new IUS web portal to the whole Congregation: www.ius-sdb.com 

      During the last IUS General Assembly (2016) the development of a specific Web Portal was outlined as one of the strategic guidelines to strengthen the communication of the IUS network.

      The website is intended as an instrument that offers relevant information on IUS all over the world, and which allows efficient communication within the network and towards the Congregation, the Church and society. This meant dedicating human, economic and technical resources to the project.

      This new product was made possible thanks to a collaboration agreement between the Ministry of Youth Ministry and the Salesian Polytechnic University of Ecuador which allowed for the design, development, management and administration of the web portal.

      The portal is presented in the most used languages ​​within the IUS: English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. The information offered refers to the identity, mission, organization, data and history of the IUS; you can find all the documentation relating to this sector; in addition, the site allows to learn about and access each of the 95 IUS currently operating. Of course, there is a space for news and events. Information on academic networks and scientific publications produced by the network's institutions has also been included. Finally, a section also lists an account of Salesian residences and college hostels.

      The portal's management is entrusted to an administrator, with the collaboration of a reporter network disseminated in each of the IUS, a solution that fosters participation, animation and joint management. The portal was developed using the Wordpress platform to facilitate access and administration by correspondents worldwide. It is equipped with a server that guarantees greater speed and lower latency from anywhere in the world one connects to it.

      On the part of the General Coordination of the IUS, the invitation is to visit the portal and make your suggestions and advice by writing to the address: infoius@sdb.org 

      Fr Marcelo Farfán
      IUS General Coordinator
      Department for Youth Ministry

      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
      • IUS
      • Sito
      • Pastorale Giovanile
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Paraguay – About 60,000 people assisted by Minga Guazú District Emergency Committee

        2 days 9 hours ago
        Paraguay – About 60,000 people assisted by Minga Guazú District Emergency Committee

        (ANS - Minga Guazú) - Minga Guazú is a municipality in Paraguay located in the central area of ​​the department of Upper Paraná. The Salesians are present with various works: the Don Bosco Institute, the Don Bosco Temple, the Mary Help of Christians parish, the Mary Help of Christians Institute, and the Mary Help of Christians Technical Institute. The Salesian community of Minga Guazú coordinates the logistical work of the District Emergency Committee created at the beginning of the health crisis to alleviate, at least in part, the needs that were beginning to emerge in the city's most vulnerable families.

        Paraguay, with a population of over 7 million people, has 986 confirmed cases, 11 dead and 477 recovered according to the latest data. But they cannot let their guard down; on the contrary, they are working to ensure that the population does not suffer the consequences or poverty due to the lockdown.

        The miracle of Minga Guazú was built with the collaboration of many people, associations and institutions, such as the Municipality and the Office of the Governor, beyond political allegiances and beliefs, with a very strong presence of the young people of the Salesian youth ministry," explains Fr Sergio Maciel, coordinator of the committee.

        In the first phase, the headquarters of the committee was located in the Salesian religious community of 20 km. Food kits were distributed to help the most needy families, with the collaboration of the coordinators of the 65 chapels of the parish. When the organization grew and the requests increased, it was decided to move the headquarters of the committee to the Mary Help of Christians Technical Institute, where it still operates today.

        In this hard work of support for families, the collaboration of Itaipu Binacional has been and still is fundamental. Currently, the committee is distributing basic products to around 370 canteens for the poor across the Minga Guazú district, benefiting over 60,000 people.

        According to Fr Maciel, the work takes place in a "pleasant atmosphere of Salesian joy, a real minga (community work, in Quechua language, Ed.'s note), in the style of the founders of the District."

        For his part, Fr Mario Villalba, Provincial of the Salesians in Paraguay, together with Fr Wilfrido Baez, Provincial Economer, visited the community and learned about the work done by the Salesians of Minga Guazú.

        {gallery}PAR Minga Guazu - 2020{/gallery}

        • PAR PARAGUAY
        • Paraguay
        • Coronavirus
        • Solidarietà
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Syria – Country needs help enormously. "Waiting for good news to start over again"

          2 days 9 hours ago

          (ANS - Damascus) - Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Syria was announced on 22 March, major military operations in the country have been frozen, local clashes mostly ceased and large-scale population movements - including returns and transfers - have halted. Syria’s economic deterioration, however, has not abated.

          Lockdown restrictions have brought vulnerable Syrian households closer to the brink of financial ruin. Severe contraction of the national economy has eliminated tens of thousands of jobs. Meanwhile, the foreign remittances that have sustained many Syrian households amidst a sharp decline in real purchasing power are also drying up as the Syrian diaspora weathers the global impact of the pandemic.

          That said, COVID-19 itself has not significantly changed Syria. Rather, Syria’s pandemic response has accelerated the economic deterioration that was already in motion long before the virus reached the country.

          Alongside significant wage loss, currency devaluation, rising unemployment, and a permissive environment for cross-border smuggling, these conditions are likely to amplify livelihoods needs and place Syrian households under greater economic stress, as costs of goods continue to outstrip purchasing power.

          Some 10 million individuals, when dependents are counted — are at risk of losing income due to the pandemic.

          For Syrian workers, depressed economic conditions could not arrive at a worse time.

          In this tragic scenario, the Salesians continue to do what they have always done, even during the war: they stand alongside the locals and suffer with the population, making available what they have.

          Johnny Azar, from the Salesian oratory in Aleppo, is 28 years old, loves theater and dance and has always dreamed of having an art space of his own, where he can transmit his passion and art to young people. For this reason, he applied for a Don Bosco of Syria project to support youth entrepreneurship. He won the grant and had already identified the right space to cultivate his dream, developed the initiative's marketing plan ... But Covid-19 arrived.

          "The financing of the project by the Salesians was the light at the end of the tunnel for me and I followed it with passion ... Unfortunately, we had to pause everything for two months and wait until the situation improves," he says.

          With the help of some friends - given that the current condition does not allow him to hire skilled labor - he started some small jobs, such as repainting the premises. But considering that his dream is about shows, with the presence of many people for rehearsals and performances, Johnny knows that the restart is not around the corner.

          "We have stopped, now we cannot do much ... We are waiting for some good news to be able to start all over again," he concludes.

          • Siria
          • MOR MEDIO ORIENTE
          • Solidarietà
          • Coronavirus
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Italy – Renewal of UPS Statutes and Regulations and new guidelines for next academic year

            5 days 9 hours ago
            Italy – Renewal of UPS Statutes and Regulations and new guidelines for next academic year

            (ANS - Rome) - Last 24 May, Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, in memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians, the Grand Chancellor of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, promulgated the General and Faculty Statutes and Regulations of the renewed Studies of the UPS. And the novelties do not end here, because these days the University Council has also approved some guidelines for the 2020/2021 academic year.

            These are important milestones for the entire academic community: on a feast day - the celebration of Mary Help of Christians, co-patron of the Salesian Congregation - and on the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the institution, the new UPS statutes and regulations are thus presented.

            The Rector of the University, Prof. Fr Mauro Mantovani, explained the value and meaning of this passage: "The first Statutes of the then Salesian Pontifical Athenaeum were approved on June 12, 1940; as a Pontifical University they were then renewed and promulgated in 1986 and 2000. Twenty years later, they are an expression of the updating and development of the formative and cultural service offered by our University, increasingly international, to offer an increasingly adequate response to the new challenges, to make Don Bosco's charism become culture, and pastoral and educational proposal, and thus make it a gift to the Salesian Family, to the Church and to all society, starting from the young, especially the poorest and most needy."

            The new guidelines for the next academic year were approved on Wednesday 20 May, and ensure the smooth running of the academic activity during the 2020/2021 year. The methods of conducting (in person or as distance learning) the lessons, thesis discussions, registration procedures and admission tests, will depend on the provisions of the government and health authorities.

            To facilitate study and research, the UPS undertakes to ensure a more continuous operation of its Centers, Offices and Services with the presence of their representatives, and for the accessibility of resources and the opening of the Don Bosco Library.

            The UPS, through the Student Aid Commission and the "Pro Universitate Don Bosco Onlus Association", will also seek to increase, for the 2020/2021 academic year, the sum made available to respond to requests for reduction of academic fees and study support.

            Source: Unisal

            • Italia
            • UPS UNIVERSITÀ PONTIFICIA SALESIANA
            • IUS
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Vatican – Salesian oratory in St. Peter's shadow: for the first time a Summer Youth Camp in Vatican

              5 days 9 hours ago
              Vatican – Salesian oratory in St. Peter's shadow: for the first time a Summer Youth Camp in Vatican

              (ANS - Vatican City) - After the long period of confinement in their homes, during which the only certainty was that the Church would not leave young people alone in the summer, Italian families have become aware that they will, again this summer, be able to take advantage of that formidable educational environment that is the summer oratory. But for the families of the employees of the Holy See, the news is even more wonderful: for the first time, the Summer Camp, or Estate Ragazzi, will be held in Vatican City, coordinated by professionals of the sector: the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco.

              “The Estate Ragazzi project was born as an initiative of the Governorate of Vatican City to meet the needs of the dads and mothers who work here,” explains Salesian Fr Franco Fontana, Rector of the Salesian community of the Vatican and chaplain of the Gendarmerie and the Vatican Museums. “Never like this year, after months in which families have been forced to stay at home, parents will have the need to entrust their children to trusted people who can restore hope, enthusiasm, and safely educate their children.”

              Due to Covid-19, the number will be more limited compared to the initial project. However, up to 100 children and young people can be registered, divided by age group (from 5 to 7 years, from 8 to 10 and from 11 to 14). The summer oratory will begin on July 6 and lasts until July 31, weekdays from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm; Fridays, until 2:00 pm. And as in thousands of other oratories around the world, there is already a detailed program that will mark the day of the children and teens, divided between moments of socializing, swimming in the pool, games of tennis, soccer and basketball, sliding on the inflatables, ping-pong challenges inside the Paul VI Hall, but also guided visits to the Vatican Gardens and moments of prayer.

              The theme chosen for this year will be "Happiness and Beatitudes", a theme that will be articulated as an educational-pedagogical path through a compelling story set in the world of sport: in this way it will be possible to talk about the importance of true happiness as an objective and style of life of each and every age.

              The Salesians will be organizing the summer oratory with the association "Tutti in una festa." A lot of attention will obviously be dedicated to the safety measures for the Covid-19 emergency: the Summer Camp will take place, “in dedicated and equipped spaces. Different areas have been identified where children can socialize, play outdoor sports, play without renouncing the educational activities typical of an oratory,” explains Fr Fontana. The kids of the Vatican summer oratory will also "occupy" the large audience hall, still unused in those weeks, which will become a place for meeting, prayer, and socializing.

              “We are sure that this initiative,” conclude Fr Fontana and Pasquale Acunzo, member of the association 'Tutti in una festa', “can give children a splendid opportunity to live together and rediscover the beauty of community life, which is the experience of being Church.”

              • Vaticano
              • Oratorio
              • Estate Ragazzi
                Gian Francesco Romano

                South Africa – "Thank you, on behalf of the poorest of the poor!" Salesian generosity changes people's lives

                5 days 9 hours ago

                (ANS - Cape Town) - Even in South Africa, as in the rest of the world, COVID-19 has shocked everything. Salesian organizations have adhered to the state of emergency decreed by President Ramaphosa and have started working in different ways to help people in need. The following is an account of the activities and services they have provided in the past few weeks to help people left without support.

                The areas of action have been many: through social networks, as well as over the phone, an extensive awareness-raising campaign has been carried out on the virus and ways to prevent infections. The people at the "Salesian Life Choices - SLC" program, active in Cape Town, alone telephoned about 900 people, sent messages to another 800, and reached over 50,000 users via Facebook.

                The distance support activity also included psychological counseling sessions for adults and young people, professional orientation sessions for teenagers, job search advice for their parents. And the operators of the SLC program also delivered 220 vouchers for the purchase of food goods to needy families, each worth 800 Rand (about 41 Euros).

                For their part, the Salesian Cooperators of the local center have worked hard to accompany the Salesian religious in feeding the poor in the Hanover Park area.

                Leaders of the Salesian Youth Institute Projects (SYIP) in Lansdowne, Cape Town, thanks to the support provided by several NGOs, were able to benefit 171 beneficiaries identified in 27 different communities around the city with weekly packs of food, thanks to 16 SIYP volunteers who personally made sure that the food parcels reached the right families.

                Also, the Salesian Institute in Cape Town is preparing to restart some of its programs, in accordance with the announcement by the Minister of Fundamental Education that students will return to school, with a gradual approach starting from June 1, 2020. To meet the requirements of the law and public health measures, SIYP is currently engaged in a thorough cleaning of the environments.

                Finally, from Ennerdale, a suburb of Johannesburg, the Salesian coadjutor brother Clarence Watts speaks of the joy of needy families when, a few days ago, they received the new load of food supplies: “The families were contacted to inform them to come to the school with their children who attend Laura Vicuna, to collect a parcel of food. By the time we arrived at the school, the large crowd of people were standing in lines on the open land, across from Don Bosco Educational Projects. They had arrived early in the morning and were anxious to receive help. The necessary screening was done as they entered the Centre and they were divided into the classes of the children. When they arrived at the classroom and saw what they were going to receive, they were amazed. There were tears of joy in their eyes and their faces sparkled with relief.  They could not thank us enough for the food supplies. They even danced with joy.

                They have sent messages to say how much they appreciate this tremendous help and that they could now feed their families for a while. Their gratitude was great. Some came with a pram and some with a wheelbarrow.  Others carried the parcels, on their heads or by hand.  The children from the Sancta Maria Pre School received something when we celebrated the feast of Mary Help of Christians.  We have been promised more help for food parcels, that will be distributed at a later stage. We thank God for the great response we received and pray for the generous donors who have given so much to touch the hearts of the most vulnerable. What a joy it is for them to now have a meal, due to the kindness of those who have made it possible. There are no words to express our gratitude, on behalf of the poorest of the poor!

                • Sudafrica
                • AFM AFRICA MERIDIONALE
                • Coronavirus
                • Solidarietà
                • Salesiani Cooperatori
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  India – Salesians give internal migrants the only food they will have for their long journeys

                  6 days 9 hours ago
                  India – Salesians give internal migrants the only food they will have for their long journeys

                  (ANS - Mumbai) - The situation generated by Covid-19 in India remains worrying. The country is currently in tenth place worldwide for infections, with over 158,000 cases recorded, but there are fears that it can quickly climb this sad ranking to second place, after the United States. Many internal Indian migrant citizens are still looking to return to their home states. Numerous special convoys have been organized, but social distancing measures and the large number of people involved make everything slow, complicated and painful. Fr Barnabe D’Souza, Director of the Salesian center of Nerul, in Navi Mumbai, with his team, is helping those seeking to get out of the Indian megacity.

                  There is a long wait for those waiting their turn to leave Mumbai on the trains and buses made available by the authorities. People checked in 3 or 4 weeks ago. Then their names had to climb the boundless computer-generated list. They were then called by the police to the local police station to verify their identity 4-5 hours in advance. There they are then taken on a municipal bus that takes them to the railway station. There, too, their temperature is checked, and they stand in line waiting for their seat to be assigned. The whole process takes about 6-8 hours, if all goes well, and eventually, their train leaves the station.

                  But sometimes the train is 4 or 6 hours late, or canceled. It is a nightmare for them, because they are not people used to living on the street at night.

                  The Salesians in the center of Nerul provide internal migrants returning home with a package of nutritious food for the trip and a bottle of water. Many of them, arriving at their destination, call to thank the Salesians. “There was no canteen on the train, no stalls opened for even a cup of tea in the stations we stopped ... Your food packet was what kept us going,” said one of them.

                  “Thank your Father, your food packet was the only food we received for our entire 3-day trip. God will surely bless you and all those that helped us,” added another who made it home.

                  For his part, Fr D'Souza says: “Every time we give food to migrants on the road, we accompany it with a word of encouragement: 'God be with you on your journey, pray for us and for those who have helped give you these packages'. And while I give him the blessing, they answer me in chorus: Bhagwan apka bala kare, that is, 'God bless you all', they reciprocate the blessing. One feels the deep sense of gratitude for a small packet of food and water, as if it were their most valuable gift received for their journey.”

                  {gallery}India - partenza migranti interni COVID-19 - 2020{/gallery}

                  • India
                  • INB INDIA MUMBAY
                  • Migranti
                  • Solidarietà
                  • Coronavirus
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Spain – Return to school in compliance with health measures in Basque Salesian Centers

                    6 days 9 hours ago
                    Spain – Return to school in compliance with health measures in Basque Salesian Centers

                    (ANS - Bilbao) - Several television news and photos in the press have shown teachers teaching with masks and taking temperatures at the entrance to the Centers. This week, some vocational training and B.A. courses have started again to close the year with face-to-face lessons. "Certainly, participation in these conditions was better than we expected. We are all eager to recover our habits," says Josean Prol, Director of the Salesian center in Deusto, Bilbao.

                    For the reopening of the Centers, the indications of the health authorities have always been followed, applying social distancing in classrooms and laboratories, the mandatory use of masks, temperature control at the entrances, and a significant reinforcement of cleaning activities. All this conforms to the protocol defined by each center.

                    "There was an intense work of preparation by the management team, but with an important contribution from the teaching staff, to whom the pilot experience was proposed these days, and we are putting it into practice with the subjects of mathematics and language of the 4th year of secondary school," says Prol.

                    The director of the Salesian center in Urnieta, José Luis Pinedo, reports that this restart has not been easy: "We did it in a staggered way." Entry is scheduled at specific times for each group, only those in need of school reinforcement enter the class, while the rest of the lessons are still held online.

                    "The safety measures are exhaustive," comments Asier Irastuza, of the management team. "We also have the unconditional collaboration of the Parents Association which, among other things, has provided each student, in addition to protective masks, also with sanitizing gels."

                    The center of Urnieta has gone even further; between Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 May, they organized the Open Door Days: "With an appointment set previously, specific times for each stage, with all health measures ... But it is important for our Center that they know us in person," concludes the Director, José Luis Pinedo.

                    All principals are now already thinking about how to get organized for September. While responding daily to all the indications that come from the educational and health authorities, the reflection is towards planning lessons for the beginning of the next school year, offering  50% of the lessons online and 50% live, and looking for systems and models to replicate.

                    The Government of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country has educational centers with the decision to open or not; as is, only 20% of the centers of the Autonomous Community have reopened.

                    • Spagna
                    • Scuole
                    • Educazione
                    • Coronavirus
                    • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Spain – Unprecedented opportunity to promote global solidarity: "Bosco Global", Salesian NGO

                      1 week ago
                      Ethiopia

                      (ANS - Madrid) - Millions of people around the world are affected by an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis, which challenges us to do our best and to work together to face and deal with this situation. The confinement measures that have been adopted and that remain in place in many countries of the world, necessary to guarantee the health of the population, imply extreme difficulties for the most vulnerable population. For those who have less, having to stay at home causes many difficulties – food, for one. Millions of people in many parts of the world have to set off on their daily trek, even in times of quarantine, because they have to look for and earn their day's meal.

                      The Bosco Global NGO works in coordination with the Salesian Family around the world in the global campaign for the Covid-19 emergency to respond to various difficult situations.

                      The main objective of the Salesians in Ethiopia is to contribute to efforts to save lives, offer livelihoods and mitigate the effects of Covid-19 in the Country, especially on the children and young people to whom they dedicate themselves. The intervention consists of providing health prevention tools and awareness-raising programs for a total of 24,000 children and young people in the 14 formal and non-formal education centers where the spiritual children of Don Bosco are present in various educational and health projects. The aid that can be collected will go to basic foodstuffs, medicines, cleaning and disinfection products and, in some cases, to awareness campaigns on Covid-19.

                      For the Salesian nuns of Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast, the lockdown entails the interruption of all activities in the educational centers and a lack of economic resources to help the most vulnerable groups. For this reason, the shelter for street girls in Abidjan, "Foyer of the Village Marie Dominique", which welcomes about thirty minors, urgently needs: basic food, medicines, wage coverage for the center's teachers.

                      Even for the Salesians in Lomé, Togo, the confinement means the paralysis of all the activities of the educational centers and parishes and the lack of economic resources to address the most vulnerable groups. Thus, the “Foyer Maman Marguerite”, the home for street children in Lomé, managed by the Salesian Cooperators, which welcomes 11 minors and an educator, is in difficulty.

                      For its part, the "Proyecto Salesiano Ecuador" Foundation launched the "For daily bread" campaign which urgently supports 1,058 families in the cities of Ambato, Cuenca, Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, San Lorenzo, Quito and Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas. The help consists in the delivery of baskets with basic necessities and medicines, only for the first month of confinement.

                      The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented opportunity to promote global solidarity.

                      • Spagna
                      • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
                      • ONG
                      • Solidarietà
                      • Africa
                      • Coronavirus
                      • Bosco Global
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Australia – Bishops entrust entire nation to Mary Help of Christians

                        1 week ago
                        Australia – Bishops entrust entire nation to Mary Help of Christians

                        (ANS - Melbourne) - While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the lives of Australians, Catholic bishops have decided to entrust the entire Nation of Australia to the care of Mary Help of Christians. The act, through a prayer specially composed for the occasion, was carried out in many parishes and communities throughout the country, both on Sunday 24, in the traditional anniversary of the feast day, and on Monday, for those who postponed celebrations because of its concurrence with the solemnity of the Ascension.

                        Mary Help of Christians has been the official patroness of Australia since 1844 and the decision to entrust the country to Mary Help of Christians arose during the plenary meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference held in videoconference mode in the first half of May.

                        "The Australian bishops - reads the closing motion of the meeting - entrust Australia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary under the title of Our Lady Help of Christians, seeking her intercession for the safety of all our people, especially in this period of the Covid-19 pandemic."

                        In the message released a few days ago, the prelates also acknowledged that the country "certainly suffered from the pandemic, but not as badly as others in the world ... For this we thank God and congratulate the authorities and governments of public health for the 'quick and prudent responses'."

                        In the same message, the bishops also noted "anxiety about the virus and closures", and emphasized "a real hunger" for the sacraments by the faithful. At the same time, they urged them to continue adhering to government and health indications and said they are working with authorities on when and how to reopen churches.

                        In the Salesian community of Brunswick, near Melbourne, State of Victoria, the prayer of entrustment was recited at the end of the Mass on Sunday 24th, also broadcast in streaming, as only a maximum of 10 people can participate in the celebration. Once the celebration was over, Fr Anthony Nguyen, SDB, parish priest of the "St Margaret Mary" church, led the prayer, symbolically accompanied by a family, a nun, and several children.

                        To date, Covid-19 has caused 7,133 infections and 102 victims in Australia. The country has been in lockdown since late March, although some measures to ease restrictions were envisaged early May.

                        In the Brunswick community, the church and youth center are still closed, while the hostel is open and hosts internist students, who follow the lessons online like all their colleagues. "We pray forcefully and entrust ourselves to the love and protection of the Lord, Mary Help of Christians and St. John Bosco," concludes Fr Nguyen.

                        • AUL AUSTRALIA PACIFICO
                        • Australia
                        • Maria Ausiliatrice
                        • Chiesa
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Chile – Called to form a great chain of salvation

                          1 week ago
                          Chile – Called to form a great chain of salvation

                          (ANS - Santiago) - In the last five months humanity has experienced a period of uncertainty due to the spread of Covid-19. Millions of people have been infected and thousands have lost their lives due to the pandemic. These are difficult times when the faith of millions of believers has been tried and tested. In response, the Church has firmly set foot into the digital courtyards, so as not to lose communion with the people of God who were forced to stay in their homes for security reasons.

                          The Salesian Province of Chile (CIL) has broadcast the celebrations of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter through social networks and continues to accompany the Salesian Family. Last Sunday, May 24, it celebrated once again, online, the Feast of Mary Help of Christians, broadcast simultaneously through Facebook and Youtube. It enjoyed the digital participation of over 1,400 people, who connected to invoke the intercession of the Holy Virgin together.

                          The Eucharist was presided over in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Santiago by Fr Victor Mora, Director of the Salesian center in Alameda, and was concelebrated by the Salesians of the local religious community.

                          In his homily, the Provincial of the Salesians in Chile, Fr Carlo Lira, broadcast by the community of the Theologate of Lo Cañas, focused his message on the connection between God, His mother, and us. “In short, God is our Help, everyone's Savior. He helped Mary so that she could be our Help of Christians. Therefore, we too can help others. Consequently, between God, Our Lady, and us, an immense and formidable chain of help, of Salvation, is formed: our Help (God), the Help of Christians (Mary), and the helpers (us) ... When we approach Mary Help of Christians, she welcomes us as a mother, but also encourages us to help others."

                          The quarantine and social distances did not prevent the groups of the Salesian Family from being present online at this celebration: Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Volunteers of Don Bosco, Salesian Cooperators, Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and Past Pupils of Don Bosco, members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), of the Community of the Don Bosco Mission, of Cançao Nova, of the groups Meeting of the Fathers in the Spirit (EPE) and Meeting of the Mothers in the Spirit (EME) and of the "Hogares Don Bosco" retreats gave life to the Liturgy of the Word, to the Eucharist, and to universal prayer, demonstrating once again the great diversity of talents and the communion of spirit that exists within the Salesian Family in Chile.

                          The Eucharist ended with an invitation to participate in the 2020 online collection of the Don Bosco Foundation of Chile, which will be held in June to help children, young people and adults in the city streets.

                          The recording and broadcast of the Mass was carried out thanks to the joint effort of the Salesian Family, the communication area and the "Caeteratolle" multimedia center.

                          • Cile
                          • CIL CILE
                          • Maria Ausiliatrice
                          • Comunicazione Sociale
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Poland – Missionaries supported in the fight against Covid-19

                            1 week 1 day ago
                            Poland – Missionaries supported in the fight against Covid-19

                            (ANS - Warsaw) - "COVID - POMOC. Nie zostawmy ich samotnie" (Covid - Help. Let's not leave them alone) is the name of the campaign carried out by the Salesian Mission Office in Warsaw to support the commitment of the Salesian missionaries in favor of those who are suffering most from the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. As of 21 May, 199,555 zlotys (circa 45,000 Euros) were collected, most of which has already been sent to the missionaries, who then use it mainly for the purchase of food for people left without resources. So far, 18 missionary presences have already been helped.

                            COVID-19 has reached every latitude and missionaries worldwide are reporting on how devastating it has been - especially in the poorest and most abandoned areas - the reach of the virus and the restrictions imposed.

                            Salesian Fr Michał Wziętek works in Zambia, Makululu. "Here there are more and more street children: people lose their jobs, have no money and therefore do not shop as before ... So what is the way out? Since the children do not go to school, they are sent by their parents to the streets to beg or make small sales, hoping that their vision will arouse the pity of passersby. If a child does not bring anything home, there will be no dinner, and they will all go to bed hungry."

                            The help of the Polish benefactors has also arrived in India, Bangladesh, Zambia, Madagascar, Cameroon, Argentina, Liberia, Mexico …

                            Fr Paweł Kociołek works in Bangladesh. To date, in Joypurhat, he has distributed 320 kilos of rice, 160 kilos of dal and 80 liters of oil to 80 families living in the slums. He also provided milk for the children and helped the villagers.

                            In Liberia, food was distributed to the population of the Matami slum. Fr Krzysztof Niżniak says: "Three Salesians are active here, who distributed food to the poorest. The situation in Liberia is difficult. They introduced a rigid lockdown, from 3 pm you can no longer go anywhere. Even the Salesians must be careful. Prices are constantly rising."

                            Salesian help has also reached Mexico, where Salesian Coadjutor Bro. Sebastian Marcisz operates: "We mainly buy rice, beans and corn, to be delivered to those who need it most. The situation is very difficult, especially in the state of Oaxaca. Locals, indigenous people who live in the high mountains, now face the problem of absolute food shortages. The help that we can offer to these people thanks to you is inestimable for them."

                            Sister Teresa, who works in Sudan, reported on the worsening situation in Khartoum and refugee camps. "The big problem is bread: either it is missing or it is very expensive. The conditions in the camps are catastrophic in all respects, people are dying of hunger."

                            The fight against the virus and the consequences of restrictions continues. For more information visit the website: https://misjesalezjanie.pl

                            {gallery}PLE - Foto della procura COVID-19 - 2020{/gallery}

                            • Polonia
                            • Procura Missionaria Salesiana Varsavia
                            • Procure Missionarie
                            • Missioni
                            • Solidarietà
                            • Coronavirus
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Mexico – Fr Filiberto González installed as MEG Provincial

                              1 week 1 day ago
                              Mexico – Fr Filiberto González installed as MEG Provincial

                              (ANS - Guadalajara) - Yesterday, Monday 25 May, Fr Filiberto González began his service as Provincial of the Mexico-Guadalajara Province (MEG) during a Eucharistic celebration in which only a few people could physically participate, given the current scenario due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

                              In the homily of the Mass, Fr González mentioned that he began his service in an unprecedented historical context. Then pleading for Mary's intercession to end this emergency, the new MEG provincial said, "that it's not about ending this pandemic to continue as before," and suggested various changes and actions to take after this period.

                              The celebration was initially chaired by Fr Hugo Orozco, Fr González's predecessor as MEG Provincial; having been elected by the 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation as Councilor for the Interamerica Region, he was also the one who read the letter in which the Rector Major announced the name of the new Provincial of Mexico-Guadalajara, and represented the same Successor of Don Bosco at the inauguration ceremony of Fr González.

                              Fr González's service of animation and government began formally once the Profession of Faith was pronounced, manifesting his adhesion to the faith of the Church and his willingness to serve his brothers and young people. As a manifest gesture of the handover, Fr Orozco handed the chasuble to Fr González, who from that moment presided over the celebration.

                              In the homily of the Mass, because of the Feast Day of Mary Help of Christians and with reference to the passage of the Gospel proclaimed during the celebration, Fr González reminded his Salesian confreres that they are all called, like Peter, to answer Jesus' question "do you love me?", and to do so in front of young people. "It's a specific question that," insisted Fr González, "does not allow for silence and awaits an answer."

                              At the end of the homily, the new Provincial recalled the end of the formula of the religious profession of the Salesians, making it his own prayer: "Your grace, Father, the intercession of Mary Help of Christians, of Saint Joseph, of Saint Francis of Sales and of Saint Giovanni Bosco, and of my Salesian brothers, assist me every day and help me to be faithful."

                              The celebration was broadcast live on Facebook so that all the communities of the Province, members of the Salesian Family, the family and friends of Fr González could participate remotely.

                              Fr González received this office having recently completed 12 years of service as a member of the General Council of the Salesian Congregation, as General Councilor for Social Communication, elected at the 26th General Chapter (2008) and re-elected to the GC27 (2014). Before this service, he had already held the position of MEG Provincial in the period from 2006 to 2008.

                              The video of the celebration is available here

                              • Messico
                              • MEG MESSICO GUADALAJARA
                              • Filiberto González
                              • Hugo Orozco Sánchez
                              • Insediamenti
                              • Ispettori
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Argentina – "Educational ECC", Educating is a Thing of the Heart. Maira and Nicolás' project: "Salesianity crosses our being"

                                1 week 1 day ago

                                (ANS - Córdoba) - Maira Castillo and Nicolás Pared are a “courtyard” couple. The educational project they developed together bears the mark of a Salesian charism impregnated to the core. "Educational" is a project that bets on learning as a space of joy. Multiple games and creative teaching materials make up the initiative that emerged from a special education teacher and a graphic designer. The project was nominated for the “Teaching Job Award” of the “Educating Association for Human Development”, and was selected among the ten best in Latin America.

                                The original name of the proposal is “Educativi ECC” (Educating is a thing of the heart), inspired by the well-known phrase of the Father, Master and Friend of the young, Don Bosco. However, the initiative is part of a larger plan: the life of Maira and Nicolás itself. They met at the rallies of the Salesian Youth Movement and on 12 January 2018 they got married.

                                The ECC Educational project started in 2016. While they were with their nephews, the two had the idea of a game. They understood that the children they worked with needed “something more”, and that play is the most effective way to learn. They understood the need to implement other thought processes in the game and not just mechanical and repetitive games.

                                During the first stage, they started a volunteer program in Buenos Aires where “we had the great grace and the beautiful providence of meeting truly wonderful people with unforgettable paths,” explain Maira and Nico. “And we got to know other beautiful landscapes of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile in the journey.”

                                The country's economic situation was not conducive to marketing the games, although some orders were still arriving. The latest work have been sent to Cordoba.

                                “We dream of being able to digitize them, and that in addition to promoting contact between people during the game, these games reach more children through an app, a program or a platform,” they report.

                                It happens to many educators not to find the resources that speak of the Country and that resemble the daily circumstances and settings that students live. These games give an opportunity to make such a setting and environment known to others.

                                Maira and Nicolás met in the Salesian circles and thanks to the Salesian Youth Movement. “Salesianity runs through our whole being,” they say. “Although there are times when we have difficulty disposing ourselves to joy, as soon as we notice it, we change our attitude. This charism has invaded us since we met it and since then we cannot move away from this way of being, of walking, of loving.”

                                Maira and Nicolás conclude by saying: “In marriage we try to be better spouses, trying to live that love that St. Paul speaks to the Corinthians; in work, trying to give encouragement, giving good things, small details, as Don Bosco did with families, with the most disadvantaged ... ”

                                by Luciana Caprini

                                Source: Don Bosco Norte

                                • Argentina
                                • ARN ARGENTINA NORD
                                • Educazione
                                • Laici
                                • Famiglia
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  RMG – Feast Day of Mary Help of Christians worldwide in year of coronavirus

                                  1 week 2 days ago
                                  San Gregorio, Italia

                                  (ANS - Rome) - Devotion to Mary Help of Christians, prior to Don Bosco, has become a distinctive feature of the Salesian charism. Yesterday, May 24, Pope Francis also sent a message of greeting and thanks to the Salesian Family for the feast day of Mary Help of Christians, aware of how important it is for those inspired by the Turin-born saint. Despite the limitations due to the pandemic, the "Our Lady of Don Bosco" was widely celebrated all over the world.

                                  "Although virtually, I want to be near you and, above all, bring you the greetings and blessings of Holy Father Francis," so begins the message that the Vatican Secretary of State, card. Pietro Parolin, sent the academic community of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) of Rome, which celebrated the feast day of Mary Help of Christians - normally an occasion for a full cultural festival - with a program transmitted online on Zoom, on Friday 22 May.

                                  In San Gregorio, Catania, Italy, the memory of Mary Help of Christians, in the vespers of the Solemnity of the Ascension, on May 23, coincided with the first Eucharistic celebration in the presence of the faithful after the pandemic. Before the celebration began, the Director of the "Sacred Heart" Institute commemorated people who died during the quarantine. The climate, however, was of great joy, also thanks to the liturgical animation of the young people.

                                  The Don Bosco Technical School (DBTS) in Gabutu, Papua New Guinea, found creative ways to celebrate the feast day so dear to its Educational-Pastoral Community. "Marian Grottoes or Caves" were built on the institute's campus; colored banners were created representing Mary with the characteristics of inculturation; and an intense program of Masses was planned for the various course years of students, so as not to create gatherings, but giving everyone the opportunity to celebrate the Help of Christians.

                                  Things were simpler in Vietnam, where the blockade of coronavirus activities and social distancing have been suspended by the government for weeks already. For this reason the faithful of the Salesian parish "Don Bosco" Xuan Hiep were able to participate in person in numerous celebrations, which included a procession of the statue of Mary Help of Christians, a floral offering, Mass and a bonfire with the letters offered to Mary by her devotees.

                                  To conclude our overview, in Bolivia, at the Salesian work of Muyurina, Santa Cruz, the homage to Mary Help of Christians was not stopped even by the restrictions for the lockdown: escorted by a police van, the truck with the statue of the Madonna on board paraded through the streets of the neighborhood, accompanied by prayer, songs and tributes from a few people on the side of the streets - but many more in prayer in their respective houses.

                                  Although it was not possible to do everything that is usually done to truly express the Salesian love and devotion to Mary Help of Christians, religious, lay people and young people have managed with their affection, prayer and creativity to participate and live special moments of thanksgiving and entrustment to Mary.

                                  {gallery}RMG - Potpourri MA 2020{/gallery}

                                  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                  • Festa di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  • VIE VIETNAM
                                  • BOL BOLIVIA
                                  • PGS PAPUA NUOVA GUINEA E ISOLE SALOMONE
                                  • ISI ITALIA SICILIA
                                  • UPS UNIVERSITÀ PONTIFICIA SALESIANA
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Rwanda – Gatenga Youth Center: amid coronavirus lockdown on activities, young people not discouraged

                                    1 week 2 days ago
                                    Rwanda – Gatenga Youth Center: amid coronavirus lockdown on activities, young people not discouraged

                                    (ANS - Kigali) - Among the hardest hit by the lockdown on activities, in different ways and at different times, practically globally, are young people: young people who inevitably have dreams, plans, expectations ... All things that have been stopped or at least suspended at this stage. At the "Don Bosco" Youth Center in Gatenga, in Kigali, the Director and several young people met to elaborate past problems with awareness and identify prospects of hope in and for the future.

                                    “I'm a student from Gatenga; I'm attending the five-year courses, the hotel sector. The pandemic has affected us in various ways. We were on the verge of completing our secondary education courses, but this was not possible because of coronavirus. We felt discouraged, but we could not remain in this state. So we started to review the materials of the lessons on our own,” said a young female student from the Salesian center.

                                    The same spirit of resilience in the face of difficulties belongs to Fr Innocent Gatete, SDB, Director of the Gatenga center, who broadcast a message and made it rekindle among his young people, too, this last Monday 11 May, as part of the Salesian solidarity activities to help those affected by the blockage of activities that take place near the Salesian work.

                                    Addressing the young, Fr Gatete assured them that the coronavirus pandemic is under control and encouraged them to make good use of time at home. “Do not be afraid. The epidemic will pass and we'll soon return to school, and our activities at the oratory will resume. While at home, review the lessons you have done; follow the programs of the Ministry of Education on radio and television.”

                                    The spread of COVID-19 in the world has deprived young people of the moments of joy and sociability they previously experienced and lived by participating in the oratorian activities.

                                    Niyitegeka Moses, a young sports coach at the Gatenga Youth Center, explains what the problem was from his point of view: “The great challenge that we young people are facing is that the epidemic has slowed down our 'cruising speed'. This prevents us from completing some of the projects we had planned, while others are at a standstill.”

                                    He then continued: “Some government youth programs have been postponed due to the freeze on activities. In fact, many things have not been done as expected and this will likely have a negative impact on development.”

                                    However, this young coach believes that with concrete measures, taken locally, there is still hope for a better future.

                                    “Being young, we will have to be active and inventive so as to be sure that once we start again we won't be starting from scratch, but rather that when the time comes, we can soon catch up,” he observed.

                                    • AGL AFRICA GRANDI LAGHI
                                    • Rwanda
                                    • Coronavirus
                                    • Giovani
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Italy – On 23 May, 100 years ago, monument to Don Bosco inaugurated in Turin

                                      1 week 5 days ago
                                      Italy – On 23 May, 100 years ago, monument to Don Bosco inaugurated in Turin

                                      (ANS - Turin) – On 1 September 1911, at the International Congress of Past Pupils, attended by people from 22 countries, the idea of ​​erecting a Monument to Don Bosco as a solemn expression of gratitude to the great educator from those who had benefited by his charisma, came about. The idea was to inaugurate it in 1915, in memory of the centenary of his birth, but the First World War delayed the inauguration, which took place on May 23, 1920, on the eve of the feast day of Mary Help of Christians and the solemnity of Pentecost. From tomorrow, it will be 100 years that it welcomes faithful and members of the Salesian Family when they come on pilgrimage to the Salesian Mother House.

                                      The monument consists of a truncated pyramid and two lateral wings that form a sort of altar. At the top and in the center of the pyramid there is the main group consisting of the figure of the saint, surrounded by 4 children; at the base of the staircase is the group of “Humanity bowed to the kiss of the Cross” in the guise of a veiled woman who offers a man the crucifix to kiss.

                                      The lateral wings are used to represent Don Bosco's greatest devotions: on the right, there is the “devotion to the Holy Eucharist” represented by a robust worker in adoration, before whom a woman prays and a mother expresses the tenderness of Christian motherhood; on the left the “devotion to the Virgin Help of Christians” where a proud Indios prostrates himself to Mary Help of Christians, to whom two devoted virgins bear flowers.

                                      All around the pyramid runs a festoon with an ornamental motif of exotic fruit, which recalls the theme of the three high reliefs located on the back and which show some of the main areas of action of the spiritual sons of Don Bosco at the time of the monument: “The Salesian missionaries among Italian emigrants” at the center; on the right “the Salesian trade schools”, and on the left “the Salesian agricultural schools”.

                                      A fundraiser was launched to build the monument, which was very successful. The estimated sum was £ 200,000 (Italian Lira), soon reached with donations, and with the City of Turin which alone contributed £ 20,000.

                                      The international competition for the choice of the project was then started. Among 59 candidates, after several rounds, Gaetano Cellini of Ravenna won; better than the other competitors he had been able to capture the spirit of charity that had permeated the Saint's activity.

                                      The inauguration was majestic: a large audience, lively and sincere enthusiasm from all present. For the occasion, the event's organizing committee also had a scenographic lighting system installed which involved the monument, the church of Mary Help of Christians and the adjacent oratory.

                                      On the monument to Don Bosco located in Piazza Maria Ausiliatrice, Fr Bruno Ferrero, Director of the Italian Salesian Bulletin, made an evocative presentation that illustrates the inherent messages and the Salesian values ​​that it manages to convey.

                                      {gallery}Piazza-MariaAusiliatrice{/gallery}

                                      • Italia
                                      • ICP ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE SPECIALE PIEMONTE E VALLE D'AOSTA
                                      • Arte e Cultura
                                      • Don Bosco
                                      • Exallievi
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Venezuela – Coronavirus is now the least of problems for Venezuelan families

                                        1 week 5 days ago
                                        Venezuela – Coronavirus is now the least of problems for Venezuelan families

                                        (ANS - Caracas) - Without food, without water, without electricity, nor medicines, nor fuel ... The situation in Venezuela is so critical that the COVID-19 pandemic is the last concern for families. The Salesians continue to work alongside the population and to distribute food, water and hygiene products to the most vulnerable, especially to the children of the "Red de Casas Don Bosco", to prevent malnutrition.

                                        The South American country is now suffering more than ever: it faces the biggest fuel shortage crisis in its history due to falling oil prices. “Right now people have to wait up to three days in a row to get 20 or 30 liters of gasoline. All this is not only serious for the mobility of people, but also for the shipment of food and medicine. The country is paralyzed,” say the Salesians, who do everything to help the population to ensure that every day is a little better than the previous one.

                                        To get food you have to stand in long lines and it is impossible to keep the social distance. “The health emergency for COVID-19 has only aggravated a major humanitarian crisis that began in 2016 and from which no way out is foreseen. At the moment, coronavirus is the least of our concerns, even if infections and deaths increase without knowing the real numbers,” add the Salesians.

                                        In the face of this tragic scenario, the Salesian missionaries have sided with the population and offer all kinds of support to children and their families. Thus, the civil association "Red de Casas Don Bosco", through its seven centers, offers more than 700 breakfasts and meals a day to children in vulnerable situations, along with hygiene kits. “If it weren't for this support, they would have nothing to eat. We have more and more cases of malnutrition among those who come to the centers to ask for help,” continue the spiritual sons of Don Bosco.

                                        Leonardo Rodríguez, Director of "Red de Casas Don Bosco", explains: “Some children live in our homes because they are subjected to protective measures. Others, who live in very difficult conditions or are orphans, or whose parents have had to emigrate and have left them alone, participate in the programs we call the Open Courtyard.”

                                        “Malnutrition in children under five causes irreversible problems in cognitive development.” For this, the "Red de Casas Don Bosco" has set up seven programs for the protection of children and adolescents in as many States in the Country.

                                        The Salesians clearly perceive that many people “in addition to facing difficulties in accessing basic services, are experiencing profound despair.” And faced with this critical situation, they have no choice but to flee: all this allows us to imagine a new wave of migration.

                                        Source: Misiones Salesianas

                                        • Venezuela
                                        • VEN VENEZUELA
                                        • Coronavirus
                                        • Fame
                                        • Povertà
                                        • Solidarietà
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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