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Spain - Salesian Social Platforms propose measures for social reconstruction after Coronavirus

3 weeks ago
Spain - Salesian Social Platforms propose measures for social reconstruction after Coronavirus

(ANS - Madrid) - The Coordinator General of Pinardi, the Federation of Salesian Social Platforms in Madrid, Javier Doval, presented twenty proposals for the recovery and promotion of economic and social activities of the Madrid community, this during the Madrid Assembly on Friday 17 July. The proposals were submitted to the Study Commission.

The proposals are born from direct knowledge of local conditions and of the work done over the years with the most vulnerable groups. Among these, the request to review the increasingly complex administrative procedures, to offer complete answers and to put the person and families at the center of the intervention. It is "an axis that needs to be strengthened and needs very urgent responses," explained Doval.

The Pinardi Federation made its proposals, which are articulated around five points: social protection policies (such as the creation of an emergency aid fund); the regulation of the minimum income of inclusion or the creation of an instrument of dialogue and civil cooperation; the creation of alliances, such as the one between formal and non-formal education or the creation of a one-stop office for assistance to young people previously under protection; support for digital literacy and the supply of technological equipment; preferential attention to children and adolescents, with personalized courses in education and the development of a plan for emotional and psychological assistance; a plan for youth employment.

Doval said at the beginning of his presentation: "We are the social face of the Salesians of the Community of Madrid." He then presented some of the interventions carried out by the Salesians during the pandemic period, such as strengthening educational intermediation and psychological assistance for minors, young people and vulnerable families. Furthermore, among the many actions carried out, he presented the coordination that is conducted with the private firms that accompany and guide 1,500 young people.

For Doval, "this crisis is an opportunity to redesign, to look at our social policies in a different way, strengthening systems, exploiting strengths and working to overcome weaknesses."

Pinardi Federation

Pinardi started more than 25 years ago with projects in the Pan Bendito-Carabanchel, Alcalá de Henares and Fuenlabrada neighborhoods. Today it has 8 centers where more than 250 professionals work, assisting more than 10,000 people every year.

Salesian Social Platforms

Pinardi is also part of the Coordination of the Salesian Social Platforms, a network of Salesian social entities in Spain with almost 400 ongoing projects, 1,300 professionals involved to serve more than 50,000 people.

  • Spagna
  • Piattaforme Sociali Salesiane
  • Coronavirus
    Virginia Nitto

    Italy - International cooperation, scientific research and companies together to contrast spread of Covid-19 in countries of southern hemisphere

    3 weeks ago
    Italy - International cooperation, scientific research and companies together to contrast spread of Covid-19 in countries of southern hemisphere

    (ANS - Rome) - The world of international cooperation joins the world of scientific research and private companies to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in over 100 countries in the southern hemisphere across Africa, Latin America and Asia.

    The Salesian NGO VIS (Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo - International Volunteer for Development), Avsi Foundation, Cuamm Doctors with Africa, and the Politecnico University of Milan have started a new collaboration for the creation of information campaigns and the self-production of personal protective equipment with materials available on site and at low cost. Thanks to researchers from the Milan-based university, the 3 NGOs will disseminate tutorials and technical datasheets for the construction of protective devices in rural and periurban contexts in the countries where they are present to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The health emergency in developing countries needs support above all to strengthen the response and resilience capacities of and in the most critical contexts and the poorest sections of the population, where the health emergency is grafted into already especially critical economic and social conditions.

    This has prompted different subjects such as AVSI, Cuamm, and VIS with the Politecnico of Milan and ENI (Italian energy company) to start a new collaboration along three main lines: rapid response to the emergency, slowing down the spread, promoting resilience. The collaboration starts from the diffusion of tutorials and technical data sheets in different languages, prepared by the Politecnico di Milano, the technical partner, which will be made available to local subjects (cooperatives, small businesses, vocational training schools, hospitals) to contain the spread of the virus.

    At this link you can download the datasheets and access the videos.

    The strategies identified provide instructions and operating methods for:

    • autonomous construction and local distribution of devices aimed at mitigating the infection;

    • production and local distribution of easy-to-produce sanitizing solutions or gels in on-site facilities;

    • independent construction and local distribution of protective visors for staff in contact with the public;

    • training activities, with a focus on healthcare and auxiliary staff;

    • awareness campaigns aimed at the adoption of prevention measures for the reduction of the infection;

    • assistance and food safety interventions.

    Each of the actors involved, in addition to having specific experiences and skills, is included in networks that could prove useful both at a technical level and at the level of presence and knowledge of the areas of intervention (NGO Networks - FOCSIV, AOI, LINK 2007, University Coordination Cooperation and Development, CRUI).

    ENI is also involved in the partnership. The Covid-19 emergency response plan formulated by ENI, in fact, provides that some of the interventions already envisaged in terms of social support, water sanitization, health prevention and education, may also be implemented through collaboration with one or more partners, with which Eni already collaborates.

    This partnership, which is open and available as per country system, represents a concrete case of enhancing a multi-actor approach and interconnection between global needs and local skills.

    • VIS
    • Italia
    • Coronavirus
      Virginia Nitto

      South Korea - Significant homage to Fr John Lee, a Salesian missionary

      3 weeks 1 day ago
      South Korea - Significant homage to Fr John Lee, a Salesian missionary

      (ANS - Seoul) - A second film focusing on the life of Fr John Lee (1962-2010), a Korean Salesian missionary in South Sudan from 2001 to 2009, was released last January. It is a documentary directed by Ku Su Hwan, who ten years ago had already directed "Don't Cry Tonj". The film is produced by KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) in collaboration with the Salesian Province of Korea.

      The documentary is titled "The Resurrection." It features the testimony of about 70 Past Pupils and students of Fr John Lee, who died of cancer in 2010. Fr Lee was a missionary, a doctor, teacher and animator of the oratory in the city of Tonj in South Sudan during the difficult years of the civil war.

      The producer and director, from 2010 onwards, began to visit the city of Tonj annually and, through these visits, acquired the personal knowledge and trust of many Past Pupils, who narrated their stories in detail. They then shared their memories of Fr Lee, remembering him in the Oratory or in the school. Watching the documentary, anyone can perceive the joy and enthusiasm of Don Bosco's educational style, based on unconditional love for others.

      In December 2019, the Salesian Province of Korea presented the film at a press conference, informing journalists in advance that 2020 would be a significant and meaningful year for the memory of Fr John Lee. The Salesians of South Korea, in fact, are dedicating special attention to Fr Lee in this 2020 and, by the end of the year, another documentary on the missionary's life is also planned.

      Precisely on the tenth anniversary of his death, his life is therefore retraced, so that it becomes an inspiration for many young people to serve the most needy.

      The documentary will be available shortly, subtitled in English. For now, the trailer of the film is available on YouTube.

      Also, there is a presentation curated by the Korean Episcopal Conference.

      And an interview with the film's director.

      • Corea del Sud
      • KOR KOREA
      • Salesiani
        Virginia Nitto

        Italy - UPS academic community commemorates late Prof. Fr Carlo Nanni, professor and rector emeritus

        3 weeks 1 day ago
        Italy - UPS academic community commemorates late Prof. Fr Carlo Nanni, professor and rector emeritus

        (ANS - Rome) - On 19 July 2020 at 6:30 in the morning, prof. Fr Carlo Nanni, SDB, Magnificent Rector Emeritus of the UPS (2009-2015), passed away at the age of 75 due to a serious illness.

        The sad announcement was given by Fr Alvaro Forcellini, director of the Salesian community of the parish of Santa Maria della Speranza, adjacent to the UPS campus, where Fr Carlo had been transferred in September 2018. Here, Fr Carlo had primarily dedicated himself to the parish ministry while continuing to provide his service to the UPS until the start of the pandemic-related lockdown.

        Last May his health conditions, following the fracture of his femur and his subsequent hospitalization, began to raise serious concerns, highlighting the advanced state of a serious illness that led him to conclude his earthly journey.

        Fr Carlo Nanni, born in Ischia di Castro (Viterbo) on April 3, 1945, became Salesian in 1962 and was ordained a priest on 18 March 1975 in Castelgandolfo (Rome).

        Having graduated in Philosophy on 27 June 1968 at the Pontifical Salesian University, and in Theology (patristic specialization and history of dogma) at the Pontifical Gregorian University on 12 June 1975, Fr Carlo also obtained the Italian State Degree in Philosophy on 26 March  1973 at the University of Rome La Sapienza.

        He began his teaching activity in the Faculty of Educational Sciences starting from the 1976/1977 academic year with lessons relating to the philosophical part of the General Theory of Education course; from that moment his appreciated and passionate university teaching was constant until this academic year. Fr Pietro Braido (UPS Rector in the years 1974-1977) indicated Fr Carlo as his successor in the Chair of Philosophy of Education.

        In 1980 he took on the position of Co-director of the magazine "Orientamenti Pedagogici" and Pro-Director of the Institute of Pedagogical Methodology, the following year as Secretary of the Faculty. Appointed associate professor on 8 September 1984, he was promoted to Full Professor in the Faculty of Educational Sciences on 8 September 1989; for many years he was the youngest professor at the university. In 1992 he was appointed Vice-Dean of the Faculty, and on April 24, 1995, he began his first term as Dean, then reconfirmed for a second three-year period (1998-2001) on April 24, 1998. He was again appointed Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences during the summer of 2008, an assignment that lasted only for a year, until with the Decree of the Congregation for Catholic Education dated 5 June 2009, he was appointed Rector of the UPS from 1 July 2009 until 15 July 2015.

        In addition to the teachings of his professorship, Fr Carlo Nanni, much followed by students, and occupied with other teaching assignments outside the UPS at the Diocese of Rome and the University of Perugia, also worked on the curricular reform of the CNOS/FAP vocational training centers. From 1999 to 2012 he was also Central Ecclesiastical Consultant of UCIIM, the Association of Catholic teachers of middle and high school. He also offered a valuable and competent contribution for the elaboration of important documents, of the Italian Episcopate and of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

        On completing his double mandate as magnificent Rector of the UPS, and awarded by the Grand Chancellor of the UPS, on 20 October 2015, on reaching his 70th birthday, the title of Emeritus Professor of the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the UPS, Fr Nanni continued his service for the University through teaching, the Directorate of the UPS Historical Archive and the Co-direction of the magazine "Orientamenti Pedagogici".

        It is unanimously acknowledged that the six-year term of Fr Carlo Nanni's Rectorate was characterized by a truly Salesian style, made of attention to students, to the personal and professional life of colleagues, to the promotion of relational and procedural styles institutionally that were always proper, upright, animated by a true family spirit and his promoting co-responsibility at all levels.

        The funeral will take place on Tuesday 21 July at 11 am in the Church of Santa Maria della Speranza in Via Francesco Cocco Ortu, 19, Rome.

        • Italia
        • UPS UNIVERSITÀ PONTIFICIA SALESIANA
        • SDB
          Virginia Nitto

          Peru – Community kitchen: "We want to demonstrate that there is no authentic Christian life without social commitment"

          3 weeks 4 days ago

          (ANS - Lima) - "My mother always said to me: 'Son, hunger is the best engine for inventions ...' I think she was right. Every time our Country has gone through a crisis, people's inventiveness has refined itself. And in fact, in the midst of this pandemic, mothers are at the forefront to solve this fundamental problem. Because the question falls to them: 'Mom, do you have something to eat?'." Here is a touching testimony from the "Fundación Don Bosco" of Peru.

          Hunger is not a forgotten reality in the world, and even less in Peru. FAO says that "the number of hungry people in the world will reach a record high in 2020. The most affected will be children, especially in southern Africa." In Peru, out of 33 million people, "about 3.1 million suffer from hunger because they are undernourished, a figure that will grow considerably with the pandemic," the FAO report continues.

          So what to do? It is a question that Peruvians have asked themselves on more than one occasion in the last 50 years, and they came out with a successful answer: the community pots or kitchens.

          The community kitchens is one of those great inventions that go towards solving the hunger problem. In almost all of Lima's poor neighborhoods, in its peripheries and also in the city center, thousands of families organize themselves to eat, cook what is given to them, using some wood to light the fire and recycled materials. "We all remember the sad era of the 1980s, when the poorest of Peru used this method to survive. There were days when we had nothing to eat and we suffered more than anything else for our children …," recalls Fr Raúl Acuña, Director of the "Fundación Don Bosco".

          This has also been the experience of thousands of other Peruvians, Venezuelans and also many migrants in recent years.

          Today the number of unemployed only in Peru's capital, Lima, is 1.2 million people, according to data from the National Statistics Institute of Peru; and according to ESAN University, it will reach 4.2 million people by the end of the year.

          The Salesians of Peru, through the "Fundación Don Bosco", support organized groups of people. The Salesian response continues to be vigorous and tireless. The goal is to take the opportunity to "educate our young and old to citizenship and social commitment. We want to show Peruvian society that there is no authentic Christian life without social commitment, that is, without justice and charity, without service in favor of others," they say.

          "If maybe we thought we'd have to go look for where the most vulnerable were, the most needy, the most fragile, the voiceless, the unemployed, the hungry, the discarded ... Well, they found us ..."

          {gallery}PER - Ollas solidarias 2020{/gallery}

          Source: "Fundación Don Bosco" (Peru)  

          • Perù
          • PER PERÙ
          • Fame
          • Coronavirus
          • Solidarietà
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Papua New Guinea – 14 days quarantine to think: “No man is an island, let us reflect on the importance of life”

            3 weeks 4 days ago
            Papua New Guinea – 14 days quarantine to think: “No man is an island, let us reflect on the importance of life”

            (ANS – Port Moresby) – Conrad Vamilat is a young Salesian in formation, originally from Papua New Guinea. The Covid-19 pandemic surprised him while he was in the Philippines and it delayed and made his return home more complex. But even the 14 days of quarantine he had to observe once he did return to his native soil were not useless: they were rather a sort of forced withdrawal, to reflect and bear witness.

            Since the coronavirus pandemic caused the lockdown from March until the new normal in the Philippines we only stayed in the campus and the only assigned brothers were going out for community errands. It was quite depressing for me because the situation was unusual. Classes were suspended as expected, church services were prohibited together with other public gatherings. Amidst the pandemic Pio Ehava and I were able to leave the country on June 21 through the repatriation charter flight sent by the PNG/Marape government.

            All the passengers came from the Philippines underwent 14 days quarantine after our arrival at the Jackson’s International airport. Majority of the passengers had their quarantine at the Gateway hotel and few of us had ours at the Ela beach hotel. Everything was paid off by the government including the flight, hotel and food and lodging. There were not much to worry about but to monitor our body health for any covid19 symptoms like fever, dry cough, tiredness, difficulty breathing, chest pain, loss of speech or movement, sore throat and other official symptoms.

            No man can live as an island but in this situation of isolation we have to bear the pain of being lonely. However there were opportunities of making personal schedules to keep busy during the two weeks isolation. The schedule itself helped me overcome the boredom of being lonely. Boredom is common feeling which unsatisfied by an activity. It may occur when you feel energetic but have nowhere to direct it.

            As I was reflecting on the continuous lockdown and quarantines that we underwent, it dawn on me that life is so important. Human as we are we have three fundamental inalienable instincts which are life, love and power. We do stress more on life. Since there is no vaccine for the covid19, our natural instinct tells us to preserve lives. As human beings, we tend towards life and not decay, destruction or death. If we have the power, we would love life to continue unperturbed, desiring continuity rather than stoppage. This is the fundamental reason we or medical experts strive to invent medicines and conditions that make life suitable.

            It seemed, the world is working together to fight this pandemic. There is no vaccine and we are highly required to combat it through the safety measures given by the government and the United Nations consisting of washing hands regularly or sanitizing and social distancing and quarantine for those who have entered dangerous zones of covid19 or those who have travelled abroad.

            Therefore our quarantine was not a waste of time and money but it was for the common good and the safety of our people. I thank the Government for providing such tremendous support for the free flight and board and lodging at the designated hotel for quarantine. Most importantly to God who kept me safe from Covid-19. Tenkiu tru! (“Thank you very much” in Tok Pisin pidgin, Editor’s Note).

            • Papua Nuova Guinea
            • PGS PAPUA NUOVA GUINEA E ISOLE SALOMONE
            • Coronavirus
              Gian Francesco Romano

              El Salvador – In midst of pandemic crisis, "Universidad Don Bosco" offers scholarships for young students

              3 weeks 5 days ago

              (ANS - Soyapango) - El Salvador's "Universidad Don Bosco" continues to transform the lives of Salvadoran youth through education. On this occasion, a group of 33 students received an academic scholarship from the Salesian institution during an exciting virtual ceremony, scholarships which will allow them to continue their higher studies and fulfill their desires for improvement.

              This group of young students has shown an attitude of commitment and responsibility towards their environment, convinced that a constantly changing country requires professionals capable of contributing to its socio-economic and cultural development. In addition to the students and their parents, the scholarship sponsors, members of the Academic Council and the Educational Community also participated in the ceremony.

              The students belong to several engineering and technical university courses. The UDB, in fact, maintains its commitment to professional and vocational training to generate creative and strategic responses to face adverse situations, which strengthens the dynamism that has characterized the University for 36 years.

              According to the UDB Secretary General, Xiomara Martínez, these scholarships add to the efforts the university is making to provide financial support to students whose families have been affected by the current situation, one which risk having the students discontinue their university studies.

              During the online connection, the Secretary General said that "the assignment of 33 new scholarships on this day (in addition to the 459 already assigned) is an important milestone for the UDB. Even in the midst of this crisis, we have always tried to support our young people, and it is of great satisfaction for us since we know that in this year 2020 we have faced many adverse circumstances, but we must appreciate the effort, commitment and courage that each of us put to get through this moment," he said.

              “Dear students, this scholarship is an encouragement and recognition of your good academic performance and your desire to improve. We trust that you will continue to give your best to maintain it and to give life to the teachings of our beloved founder, Don Bosco, to be good Christians and upright citizens," he continued.

              For Josué Adolfo Ángel, one of the beneficiaries of the scholarship, a student of the three-year degree course in Communication Sciences, the lack of economic resources can be a difficulty, but not an obstacle to success. Ruth Escobar of the three-year degree course in Arts and Graphic Design expressed her "gratitude for the opportunity to have this privilege." Ricardo Mercado said that "with the support of God and the people at my side, despite the current situation, I will be able to move forward."

              The scholarships awarded come in part from the University's own funds and in part from external funds, thanks to the goodwill of altruistic people, private companies and institutions that support young people in the country, and the constant management of the UDB Social Action Department, guarantor of scholarship programs.

              The new lifestyle adopted for the global crisis due to Covid-19 prompts and encourages continuing to innovate educational processes.

              • El Salvador
              • Università
              • Solidarietà
              • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                Virginia Nitto

                India – One million meals in 100 days!

                3 weeks 5 days ago
                India – One million meals in 100 days!

                (ANS - Mumbai) - The Past Pupils of the Salesian Institute "St Domenico Savio" in Andheri, Mumbai, celebrated 100 days of beneficial and supportive activities in support of the population left without resources due to the pandemic, thus reaching a symbolic milestone of great meaning: the delivery of the millionth cooked meal.

                Working in 65 distribution points within the Indian megalopolis, as part of the "Feed My Mumbai" campaign, the pupils took turns in this humanitarian service, created with the intention of ensuring that no person went to sleep hungry in the evening.

                For 100 days, flanked by numerous volunteers and by the Salesians of Don Bosco, the past pupils of the center of Andheri, while respecting the regulations imposed, courageously left their homes in order to distribute nutritious meals, already cooked, to the needy and disadvantaged. And the millionth meal was delivered on Sunday, July 12, to a person in need by one of about 300 "Corona Warriors" as the group has renamed itself.

                Anthony Mascarenhas, President of the Association of Past Pupils of the "St Domenico Savio" Institute in Andheri, said: "Thanks to the Salesians who have been with us all, we have benefited many people in Mumbai alone, including migrant workers, slum dwellers, rags collectors, scavengers, daily wage workers, tribals, the elderly, people who ask for alms ... With 25 partner companies that supported our campaign, we started distributing food kits, hygiene kits, materials to organize a makeshift refuge ... in 65 locations in Mumbai, with over 300 people to collaborate."

                The past pupils worked in tandem with the Canossian Daughters of Charity-Servants of the Poor [FDCC-Canossian Nuns], other volunteers and many "good Samaritans", to help - with selfless dedication - all that large mass of people who in the major Indian city in these days of pandemic and social crisis has remained without sustenance. The million meals delivered represent, in this mission, only an example of the fact that with a well-coordinated plan and action, great works can be achieved together.

                Mr Mascarenhas concludes: “A big thank you to Father Brian Moras, Rector and Delegate, for his support along with the entire Salesian community, the Salesian Cooperators and well-wishers. We also owe a debt of gratitude to our Alma Mater, for making us what we are. We now look ahead, our aim is to reach out to more location/affected areas in Mumbai and rural belts in Maharashtra with the support of our CSR partners who are growing in number with each passing day.”

                {gallery}India - ExDB Andheri donano 1 mln pasti 2020{/gallery}

                • India
                • INB INDIA MUMBAY
                • Coronavirus
                • Exallievi
                • Solidarietà
                  Virginia Nitto

                  Spain – Distance teaching training exceeds all expectations: over 400 teachers trained in June

                  3 weeks 6 days ago
                  Spain – Distance teaching training exceeds all expectations: over 400 teachers trained in June

                  (ANS - Madrid) - The "Training Plan for the development of online skills" coordinated by the Salesian Province "Spain-St James Major" (SSM) turned out to be a very interesting offer for educational centers. In the months of confinement, it was seen how teachers multiplied their online work with the students. For this reason, the request for this training path has arisen from the same school environments as an opportunity to bring order between what has been learned in these past months and to strengthen and acquire better digital skills.

                  This training project was attended by 386 teachers who attended the "Basic Training" module and 58 who followed the workshop on school organization of digital education for management teams.

                  The students of the courses participated in the training synchronously, divided into 12 groups with 9 tutors. “There were morning and afternoon sessions. We all worked together in an online environment divided into 9 'classrooms'. From time to time, as a coordinator, I went around the classrooms online to make sure there were no problems. I have been working on digital skills training for many years, but this was the first time we had organized such a thing. It worked perfectly," explained Charo Fernández, of the SSM innovation team, coordinator of this initiative.

                  The training proposal for the development of distance teaching skills aims to support teachers and school management teams by strengthening their skills in achieving quality online education, keeping the teaching and learning processes as faithful as possible to the Salesian educational style, and embracing not only the technological aspects of the issue, but also those relating to communication, teaching, evaluation, accompaniment and collaborative work.

                  "The confinement was an opportunity to launch this proposal and the response of the teams, centers and teachers exceeded all expectations. We were thinking of giving training to 3 groups and in the end, we configured 12 of them. We have 9 expert tutors with digital competence and Salesian Preventive System,” added Fernández.

                  "TECH Don Bosco" offered organizational support and a relationship with the administration. For its part, the State Foundation for Employment Training (FUNDAE, in Spanish) has made available a space for virtual presence, a shared video conference room - a method developed due to the situation created following the pandemic.

                  The "Basic Training" module included 4 sessions of 90 minutes each, structured in a very pragmatic way and where learning through modeling was proposed in 4 specific themes: communication through the screen, security, digital teaching and the accompaniment. The groups consisted of teachers from all stages, from kindergarten to bachelor's degrees and higher vocational training.

                  • Spagna
                  • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
                  • Docenti
                  • Scuole
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Colombia – "Fundación Padre Jaime" celebrates priestly work of Msgr. Lorenzelli and Fr Da Silva

                    3 weeks 6 days ago

                    (ANS - Bogotà) - The award ceremony of the competition promoted by the "Fundación Padre Jaime" was held on Sunday 12 July, through Zoom, under the motto "Effective preaching" in homage to the Salesian priests involved in spreading the Gospel. In this event's fourth edition, with 40 votes each, Msgr. Alberto Lorenzelli, auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile, and Fr Silvio Cesar da Silva, parish priest of "Santa Teresita" in Sao Paulo, Brazil, were awarded.

                    The "Fundación Padre Jaime" is a foundation created in 2009 to remember the figure and carry on the mission of Fr Jaime Rodríguez Forero, SDB, who centered his entire priestly life on the Eucharist and pastoral action, and who was also a professor and researcher in fields such as theology, sociology, and bioethics. Taking this Salesian priest as a model, the foundation promotes and supports the Salesian religious who are preparing for the priesthood.

                    In order to offer Salesian clerics a good search for references, and to encourage them to preach with their hearts, in 2017 this competition was established, its aim to identify those religious who share the peculiar priestly characteristics of Fr Jaime Rodríguez Forero.

                    In 2017, Fr Tomás Jordán was awarded for his accompanying the sick; In 2018, Fr Jorge Atarama for his commitment to Salesian historical research in Peru; and in 2019, Fr Alejandro Moreno for his pastoral contribution.

                    During the ceremony on Sunday, Fr Martin Pongutá, Salesian priest of the "San Pietro Claver" Province of Bogota, underlined the significance of the prize awarded to Msgr. Lorenzelli, motivating it with the closeness he shows in sharing the Gospel. "Very pedagogically, he presents us with the method by which to prepare to preach having a lifestyle close to the mission entrusted to us by the Lord."

                    For his part, the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Santiago gave thanks for the invitation to the meeting, which he called "beautiful and meaningful" for the opportunity to "meet each other as a Salesian Family". The prelate also highlighted the harmony between the value of the prize and the Gospel of the day, which invited precisely to reflect on the message of God. “It is necessary to sow this Word and put the seed in good soil. The first good ground is made up of each of us. If that Word reaches us and arrives within us, then it can bear fruit, and the announcement is being able to make alive and communicate what the Lord tells us," he said.

                    Words of praise were also spent for Fr Silvio Cesar da Silva, who also won the prize awarded by the "Fundación Padre Jaime". Finally, the meeting ended with a serenade animated by local musicians and the presentation of a commemorative coin.

                    The closing words were spoken by Rosemary León Buitrago, founder of the organization, who asked "to take care of your priests."

                    • Colombia
                    • Alberto Lorenzelli
                    • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                    • Vescovi
                    • Salesiani Sacerdoti
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Mali – Handwashing devices installed in most vulnerable schools against spread of pandemic

                      3 weeks 6 days ago
                      Mali – Handwashing devices installed in most vulnerable schools against spread of pandemic

                      (ANS - Bamako) - Creating a culture of personal hygiene care, of careful handwashing is one of the ways to take care of yourself in this pandemic period. This is the point of view of Fr Romeo Salami, the referent in Mali of the Salesian Planning and Development Office of the Francophone West Africa Province (AFO), who also wishes to thank all the people who collaborate in the “Frente a la pandemia, Solidaridad Global” (Faced with the pandemic, Global Solidarity).

                      In recent weeks, the global focus of the pandemic has shifted from the heart of old Europe to Africa, Latin America, the United States, Russia, India ... The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the pandemic is accelerating and is very concerned about the health consequences and the extreme poverty it is generating in the most vulnerable groups.

                      The Salesians in Mali are well aware that Africa risks suffering the consequences of the pandemic in a very hard manner and, for this reason, they aim to support the young and the most vulnerable families with whom they work.

                      Thus, disinfection devices were also installed in the Salesian educational centers of Bamako, Sikasso and Touba, where activities have resumed.

                      "The installation of handwashing devices in our Vocational Training Centers in Bamako, Sikasso and Touba guarantees the education of the most vulnerable," explains Fr Salami.

                      The Salesian educational centers had closed for months, but recently the government has allowed the resumption of activities. "Thanks to the collaboration of 'Bosco Global' we have managed to comply with the safety measures required in most of our projects. We distributed masks to every student and to the whole educational community and disinfectants were made available," adds the Salesian.

                      It is true that it is very difficult to apply protection measures in an overcrowded context, but it is necessary to do so, and education to do so is urgently needed, as the virus can affect anyone. Furthermore, if it is true that those with a good economic and social position have less chance of being exposed to the infection, the question is: what happens in Mali where most of the population lives by the day, in overcrowded environments, without water and without toilets?

                      Fr Salami is confident that awareness campaigns to comply with security measures are essential to contain the pandemic.

                      “We are working very hard to sensitize the population about the risks of contagion and the necessary protective measures. It is not easy, in the context of poverty in which we work. But there is no choice, we must all be aware of our personal responsibility to stop the pandemic, "concluded Fr Salami.

                      Source: Boscoglobal

                      • Mali
                      • AFO AFRICA OCCIDENTALE FRANCOFONA
                      • Coronavirus
                      • Igiene
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Italy – Inter-university cooperation agreement signed between University of Turin, Polytechnic of Turin and Salesian Pontifical University

                        4 weeks ago
                        Italy – Inter-university cooperation agreement signed between University of Turin, Polytechnic of Turin and Salesian Pontifical University

                        (ANS - Turin) – On Friday 10 July 2020, in the Aula Magna of the University of Turin, the Rector of the University of Turin, Stefano Geuna, the Rector of the Polytechnic of Turin, Guido Saracco, and the Rector of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), Fr Mauro Mantovani, presented to the press the interuniversity cooperation agreement between the three universities for technical-scientific and training activities.

                        Aso speaking, Prof. Alessandro Zennaro, Director of the Department of Psychology and reference person of the University of Turin for the implementation of the agreement; Prof. Sebastiano Foti, Vice Rector for Didactics, referent of the Polytechnic of Turin for the implementation of the agreement; and Prof. Alessio Rocchi, General Manager of the Salesian University Institute Torino Rebaudengo (IUSTO) and UPS delegate for the execution of the agreement.

                        The agreement facilitates permanent forms of scientific collaboration, including via integrated research projects between teachers and researchers. From a didactic point of view, it offers the opportunity to the respective students to attend single teaching courses activated at other universities, take the related exams and obtain the recognition of credits consistent with the course of study. The universities also undertake, where curricula and related qualifications are present, to encourage mutual recognition.

                        The agreement also facilitates, according to ways and times to be established, the mutual access of students and teachers to the various teaching and support structures, such as libraries and laboratories. Finally, joint-degree curricula aimed at achieving academic degrees, interuniversity specialization courses, specialization courses and research doctorates may be activated.

                        Special attention is paid to the meeting and knowledge between their academic communities; the three universities will encourage joint initiatives for the well-being of the people involved and the civil communities in the territory.

                        "The signing of this cooperation agreement constitutes an important strengthening of the university and academic network in the scientific and educational field," said prof. Stefano Geuna, of the University of Turin. "In addition to this, however, it includes concrete actions and joint initiatives aimed at pursuing the well-being of people, enhancing the human capital operating in the respective university communities: a further demonstration of the vocation for social and civil development of our universities."

                        “Research is increasingly transversal and encompasses disciplines that were once quite distinct and separate, which are now integrated into complex projects. This convention goes precisely in this direction of collaboration at the city level, to the benefit of the students of the three universities and of all our research activities," added the Rector of the Polytechnic of Turin, Guido Saracco.

                        "The stipulation of this agreement assumes a particular meaning for our territory," commented prof. Alessio Rocchi, Director of IUSTO (UPS). "As universities, we have the concrete possibility of cooperating locally in order to compete better globally; in the face of present and future challenges, our universities can really make a difference in the production and enhancement of knowledge."

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

                          Uruguay – "Pecera de los lunes": proposal for formation and exchange in times of pandemic

                          4 weeks ago

                          (ANS - Melo) - The Past Pupils Center of the Salesian Institute "Monseñor Lasagna" (CML) of Melo Uruguay has organized the initiative called "Pecera de los lunes" (Fishbowl Monday) for several consecutive Mondays: a digital space exchange and reflection on the concerns that emerged among young people in times of pandemic, quarantine, social and economic crisis.

                          The first meeting, on the theme "Re-signification in the time of Covid-19", was accompanied by Javier Velázquez, Head of the Archdiocesan Institute of Formation (IAF). In that space they tried to build together a hopeful vision in the time of the pandemic. "How to live hope, albeit in isolation? How to give meaning and sense to the time of uncertainty? Where to place one's heart?" were the questions that offered inputs to read reality from a Christian perspective and with faith.

                          In the second meeting, entitled "Deconcentrate to connect", the animator and psychologist Florencia Nasif accompanied the work sessions by presenting different tools to return to the essence of oneself, to take advantage of time at home to become creative, and to find within oneself an infinite world to continue to learn. Faced with the excessive use of technology and information saturation, the fundamental proposal was to stop and reconnect with oneself and with others, to have a true connection and communication.

                          The third meeting, "How to be Church at home", was animated by Fr Pablo Bonavía, professor of Theology. The session discussed how to get closer to Jesus in the situation away from the churches, returning to the Gospel, to one's own prayer and personal encounter with Jesus. "We dream, as a community, where we would like to walk as a Church and what lessons this pandemic leaves us to start moving again," the meeting organizers said.

                          Finally, the last "bowl or tank": "Good Christians and upright citizens", animated by Fr Francisco Lezama. On this occasion they analyzed the different visions of reality, how the media are shaping the individual and collective perceptions of our society, the freedom and personal responsibility in the critical reading of reality, the ways in which individual action affects the construction of the world ...

                          "At CML we build the world together," shared Santiago Noboa, one of the participants. "This is one of the reasons that led me to participate in the meetings, the desire to bring my grain of sand to a center that gives me so much. Knowing that I would not only contribute, but also receive something. It was a great experience, from which I can take new steps and leave new footprints ..."

                          Source: Salesianos Uruguay

                          • URU URUGUAY
                          • Uruguay
                          • Coronavirus
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            RMG – Summer work of General Council concluded: demonstration of gratitude in times of humanitarian emergency

                            4 weeks 1 day ago
                            RMG – Summer work of General Council concluded: demonstration of gratitude in times of humanitarian emergency

                            (ANS - Rome) - The General Council elected by the 28th General Chapter completed its summer work session on Friday 10 July. “They were very special meetings: during this pandemic period from Covid-19 we organized the meetings in attendance with the Councilors in Rome and online with those in other parts of the world,” said the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in the “goodnight” offered to the Salesians of the Central Office.

                            Four of the new members of the General Council, due to the lockdown restrictions, were unable to reach Rome; for this reason, the gatherings were defined by the Rector Major as “special and also a little demanding.” Thus, to allow the digital participation of the Directors scattered in other parts of the world, the Board meetings began at noon and ended at 14:00 (UTC +1).

                            This meant that Fr Giuseppe Nguyen Thinh Phuoc, Councilor for the East Asia - Oceania Region, connected in the afternoon from Vietnam; this, while Fr Hugo Orozco Sanchéz, Councilor for Interamerica, from Mexico; Fr Gildásio Mendes dos Santos, Councilor for Social Communication, from Brazil; and Fr Gabriel Romero, Councilor for the America South Cone Region, from Argentina, were still in the early hours of the morning.

                            In any case, “they have been very fruitful meetings despite the distances and digital mediation,” said Fr Á.F. Artime.

                            During the “Good night”, the Rector Major presented some data on the meetings of the General Council held from March until 10 July. During these four months, 46 meetings were held and 12 Provincials/Superiors were appointed: North Argentina (ARN), Equatorial Tropical Africa (ATE), Brazil-Belo Horizonte (BBH), Bolivia (BOL), Italy-Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta (ICP), Madagascar (MDG), Mexico-Guadalajara (MEG), Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (PGS), Northern Poland (PLN), West United States (SUO), Ukraine (UKR), Salesian Pontifical University (UPS).

                            Also, 133 Provincial Councilors, 258 Directors and 19 Masters of Novices were appointed; 3 houses were canonically erected and 4 new presences approved; and four Provincial Chapters were studied: those relating to Southern Africa (AFM), China (CIN), Mexico-México (MEM) and Vietnam (VIE).

                            Among the other activities highlighted, on 27 June the 10th Successor of Don Bosco and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium” participated in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the canonical erection of that faculty, in the presence of the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, together with a representative of the academic community - always in compliance with anti-Covid-19 measures.

                            One of the watchwords of the “good night” thought was: “Thanks to every Salesian.”

                            “In fact, we thank the Councilors, the community and all those who made emergency services possible in many parts of the world in this moment of humanitarian emergency. In particular,” the Rector Major underlined, “I thank the Dicastery for the Missions for the concrete help to the projects to save human lives and to accompany the poorest in this crucial moment of history.”

                            {gallery}RMG - Fine Consiglio Estivo 2020{/gallery}

                            • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                            • Rettor Maggiore
                            • Ángel Fernández Artime
                            • Consiglio Generale
                            • Solidarietà
                            • Coronavirus
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Italy – "PC4U": a solidarity chain in Milan

                              4 weeks 1 day ago

                              (ANS - Milan) - Do you have a working computer or tablet that you no longer use? You can donate them to those who need such devices, perhaps for distance learning. On the initiative of four 18-year-olds, including two students from the Salesian schools in Milan, a solidarity chain was created, operating thanks to a special portal: www.pc4u.tech.

                              The team is made up of Matteo Mainetti, student of the "Leone XIII" institute, who deals with the project's logistical aspect; Emanuele Sacco who works on the programming of the site and Pietro Cappellini, who takes care of the graphics and design, both students of the Salesians in Milan; and Jacopo Rangone, who is dedicated to the administrative part and studies in England.

                              The idea was born during the general lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when it was understood that many students could not follow the lessons remotely because they did not have a PC or a tablet at home. The four friends began to collect devices from those who donated them spontaneously.

                              The first to take part in the initiative was a company manager who, by consigning his tablet, encouraged the initiative because "if we don't help each other, no one else will."

                              How can you participate? Through the online platform, with a few clicks, you have the opportunity to donate your unused, but functioning devices, or to request to receive one, if necessary. The initiative, which is totally free, is also aimed at companies that have obsolete devices that they can give away.

                              Each device is collected at the donor's home, reformatted by an expert in the sector, sanitized and, before it begins its new life, is loaded with a message from the donor to the recipient. "In the end, we are not donating an instrument, but a door to knowledge," says Pietro.

                              The numbers of those who are hungry for technology, even in Lombardy, remain high. "14% of students do not have a computer: this figure translates into approximately 2,600 children who have not been able to 'go to school' in recent months," comments Emanuele.

                              He then adds: “A recent ISTAT survey says that 33.8% of Italian families do not have a PC or tablet at home, and that 57% of the kids must share only one computer in the family. A problem that goes beyond the need highlighted by the period of Covid-19, because the school will be increasingly digital and we students will increasingly need technological supports to be able to study."

                              The solidarity project conceived and developed by young people has also received the full support of Microsoft, with which the boys collaborate to offer an additional activation service for "Office A1", that is, the edition of Office dedicated entirely to schools.

                              • Italia
                              • Solidarietà
                              • Coronavirus
                              • ILE ITALIA LOMBARDO EMILIANA
                              • Ragazzi
                              • Studenti
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Argentina – Basket of solidarity: "To the measure that we help, we enrich ourselves and put into practice the value of solidarity"

                                1 month ago

                                (ANS - Santa Fe) - The students of the last year of the "Don Bosco" Institute in Santa Fe organized a "solidarity basket" to share with more than 200 people. As usual, big ideas come from small things. Given the closure of schools, the school proposed to continue to keep in contact with all the students and they started on a project that nobody imagined.

                                The 2020 graduates make up a very special group. Many did not have the year they dreamed of, but found examples of improvement, unity and attention.

                                When the lessons were suspended, in March, the 5th-year manager, Victoria Cantero, suggested to a student to create an Instagram profile to support communication between students and the educational center. The proposal was sent by WhatsApp and was accepted by eight young people who took responsibility for animating it.

                                "The main objective was to strengthen the bond between the students and the Institute," explained Leticia, the first to accept the challenge. "The proposals can be of various types: entertainment, information, interviews, games, lotteries and which have to do with the people of the Salesian Educational Community." Many of the young people took on these tasks and even thought of "giving this initiative a solidarity purpose," she explained.

                                With their minds and hearts ready to help, the youths presented the idea to Fr José Lara (Fuyi) and Fr Adrián Botta, the Director, who supported them and committed themselves to providing the physical space and necessary elements.

                                Leticia says that at the beginning they were not very confident, "but as days went by it was a success, we managed to collect a lot of warm clothes, shoes and blankets."

                                The work was divided into phases: first the collection and storage, then the cleaning and rearrangement of the most neglected items, also thanks to the collaboration of their families. "This experience left us so happy and gratified that we decided to face the next, the most difficult challenge, in which we would need the help of an adult: the food basket of solidarity."

                                In fact, Letizia stresses that greater collaboration was needed to achieve this new challenge. Seventeen young people joined the new proposal. They began to collect food, and found the collaboration of many people. So many kilos of rice arrived that the youths now intend to carry out the initiative both in July and in August.

                                "This initiative is very important and will leave its mark on our lives. To the measure that we help, we enrich ourselves and put into practice values ​​such as solidarity, generosity, humility and friendship, thus alleviating this sad situation in times of pandemic," concludes Leticia.

                                • Argentina
                                • ARN ARGENTINA NORD
                                • Giovani
                                • Giovani Leader
                                • Solidarietà
                                • Fame
                                • Coronavirus
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Kenya – "Don Bosco Tech Africa" strengthens International Cooperation and Networking

                                  1 month ago

                                  (ANS - Nairobi) - "Don Bosco Tech Africa" ​​(DBTA), the coordinating body of all the Salesian Technical Schools in Africa and Madagascar, is taking the next step in international cooperation and networking. The Office shared its experiences and product - the 'Job-Service Quality Manual' with the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITCILO).

                                  This manual was summarized in a video highlighting the background and its implementation in various countries in the Sub-Sahara Africa. ITCILO incorporated the product and experiences of the Salesian Job Service Officers in their trainings as a best practice for the Job Service Office all over the world.

                                  The video embraces the 7 missions that DBTA pursues in order to obtain decent work for young people at risk of social exclusion:

                                  -      Promote TVET as a career choice towards employment as well as equitable training opportunities for all;

                                  -      Guide youth and lead them to design monitor and evaluate a personal and vocational life project including relevant training pathways;

                                  -      Ensure that the skills taught in the TVET centers are relevant to labour market demand;

                                  -      Prepare the trainees for labour market;

                                  -      Facilitate cooperation and partnerships with the public and private sectors for job placement;

                                  -      Improve Internal and external networking;

                                  -      Evaluate external efficiencies of TVET centres

                                  -      The video is available online in English and French.

                                  These are some of the experiences of the video users of ITCILO's distance learning platform:

                                  "Excellent! Don Bosco Tech Africa is known in Kenya as one of the organizations that deals with the development of professional skills and abilities. At NITA, the National Authority of Kenya for Industrial Training, we believe that the Salesian institutions are the best in terms of structures and programs that meet the needs of businesses. Their industrial training is among the best."

                                  “The video is well packaged, very informative and detailed on the DBTA's mission and activities. It is very educational and opens our eyes to Salesian activities in various African countries."

                                  “The testimonies of past students have been very motivating. It shows that the transition process from school to work is really systematic and very practical, it is possible and exists also in Africa. It is truly an initiative to be implemented in all African countries!"

                                  DBTA, based in Nairobi, Kenya, coordinates about 102 VTCs distributed in 35 countries in Africa and Madagascar, attended by over 30,000 boys and girls.

                                  • Don Bosco Tech Africa
                                  • Africa
                                  • Formazione Professionale
                                  • Lavoro
                                  • Kenya
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    RMG – New issue and new guise for "Ricerche Storiche Salesiane - Salesian Historical Research"

                                    1 month ago

                                    (ANS - Rome) - Issue 74 (January-June 2020) of "Ricerche Storiche Salesiane" (RSS), the bimonthly magazine of religious and civil history, published by the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS) has been published. The magazine now boasts a new, more modern and appealing graphic layout. This issue features two important figures for the Salesian Congregation: Fr Aldo Giraudo, associate member of the Salesian Historical Institute, on the occasion of his 70 years of life, in recognition of his collaboration in Salesian history; and Rector Major Fr Egidio Viganò, founder of the Research and Study institution, in view of the centenary of his birth (July 26, 1920).

                                    The magazine includes three essays in the STUDI sector:

                                    ANCHUKANDAM Thomas, Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore: The History and Significance of the Opening of the First Salesian Institution in the Archdiocese of Bangalore – the fourth and final part presents Kristu Jyoti College as an institution that offers a significant contribution to both the local Church and the wider civil society.

                                    The second essay is by KIVUNGILA Germain: Le contexte politico-ecclésial du Congo-Belge et la naissance des vocations salésiennes Africaines (1919-1959). Colonial as well as ecclesiastical politics are presented, showing a certain reluctance to the progressive Africanization of institutions. Even among the Salesians it was so and until 1957 there was not a single indigenous vocation. However, the riots of January 4, 1959 give a strong blow towards the change of mentality and indeed, then, thanks to the initiatives of Fr René-Marie Picron, there will be a strong development and promotion of African Salesian vocations.

                                    The third study is by WIELGOß Johannes: Kardinal August Hlond und Josef Heeb – zwei Menschen unter dem dunklen Schatten des Nationalsozialismus - "Cardinal Hlond and Josef Heeb - two people in the shadow of National Socialism" is the title of this study of great historiographic interest. The author managed to reconstruct a totally unknown story of a Salesian pupil, Josep Heeb (1892-1942), who lost his parents at an early age and who got to know the future cardinal August Hlond at the Salesian institute in Vienna. Mr. Heeb, a soldier and disabled during World War I, then maintained an epistolary relationship with the Polish prelate, informing him about the rise of Nazism in Germany - which will ultimately cost him his life.

                                    In the FONTI - SOURCES sector an original text is presented:

                                    Il “sogno” delle due colonne e altre buone notti di don Bosco nella Cronaca di Cesare Chiala (1862) - The "dream" of the two columns and other good nights of Don Bosco in the Chronicle of Cesare Chiala (1862). This is the critical edition edited by Aldo Giraudo, preceded by the historical contextualization and by the profile of the author, Cesare Chiala, who at that time was not yet a Salesian, but employed in the Royal Posts and collaborator of Don Bosco in the drafting of Letture cattoliche and in the catechesis to the oratorians.

                                    In the PROFILI – PROFILES sector an essay by Stanisław ZIMNIAK: Mario Marega – Salesiano missionario in Giappone. Studioso della cultura e dei martiri cristiani nel Paese del Sol Levante - Mario Marega - Salesian missionary in Japan. Scholar of Christian culture and martyrs in the Land of the Rising Sun.

                                    As usual, the issue is completed by the contributions accepted in the Notes, Reviews and Reports sections.

                                    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                    • Ricerche Storiche Salesiane
                                    • Storia
                                    • Augusto Hlond
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Syria – The lives of Samar, Rashad ... And millions of Syrians are still in danger

                                      1 month ago
                                      Syria – The lives of Samar, Rashad ... And millions of Syrians are still in danger

                                      (ANS - Damascus) - In Syria, after the first recorded case of contagion from Covid-19, the confirmed cases are 372 and the victims 14; but, as in other countries, the data are not completely transparent and the contagion has been increasing in recent weeks. According to the World Health Organization, a large-scale outbreak could be catastrophic for the population: half of the hospitals were destroyed by the war and more than 50% of medical personnel were killed during the conflict or have left the country.

                                      If the virus were to spread to refugee camps it would be impossible to contain it, because physical distancing is unattainable. For this reason, over 200,000 people are leaving the camps to look for other temporary shelters or to return to their old houses, almost completely destroyed by the bombings.

                                      The increasingly drastic economic deterioration has not stopped. The main concern for the whole population is economic instability and the lack of basic necessities.

                                      Samar's story is a cross-section of Syrian reality: a 51-year-old woman, she lives in the Alidan area in Aleppo with three children aged 20, 18 and 15 years. Her husband passed away in 2016. She doesn't work, and the family's only source of income is the work of the three boys. All three were working in a restaurant, which was closed at the beginning of the containment measures; thus, all three lost their jobs, a job that allowed them to have a small daily source of income, enough to survive.

                                      Since the beginning of June the government has allowed the reopening of activities, but the country is now collapsing. The devaluation of the currency has caused a dizzying rise in the prices of all goods and this concretely influences the lives of numerous Syrian families, such as Samar's - especially after having lost the only source of income - or like Rashads, who owns a small dairy products distribution shop.

                                      Rashad is a beneficiary of the youth entrepreneurship support project created by the Salesians in Aleppo and Damascus; a pupil of the Don Bosco Center in Damascus, he is married and has two children. Thanks to his entrepreneurial career, he had managed to start his small business, which unexpectedly – and happily - yielded fair earnings until, due to the epidemic, all shops have had to close.

                                      The closure of his business was a serious blow, but recovery has also not been easy. The drastic change in prices has become a huge problem, because it means that customers ultimately have low purchasing power. He himself cannot keep prices constant, because with a day's earnings he cannot buy products from suppliers for the next day.

                                      Thousands of Syrian families are on the verge of financial ruin, also due to the drying up of foreign remittances and the renewal of anti-Syrian economic sanctions.

                                      Further information is available on: www.missionidonbosco.org 

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

                                        Hong Kong – Cardinal Bo: "Let us pray for Hong Kong"

                                        1 month ago

                                        (ANS - Hong Kong) - "On behalf of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, I call on Christians of all traditions and people of all faiths, throughout Asia and the world, to pray for Hong Kong, indeed for China and all her people, with great insistence." Thus began the heartfelt invitation to prayer of Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Salesian, archbishop of Yangon and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC).

                                        The invitation to prayer comes a few days after the approval by the People's Republic of China of the new national security law, which was followed by demonstrations and arrests. The new law was approved, as Cardinal Bo himself explains, without any public discussion and actually goes beyond the principle of "one country, two systems". The situation in Hong Kong, after months of protests, therefore remains very tense.

                                        "I am concerned that the law poses a threat to fundamental freedoms and human rights in Hong Kong," says the cardinal. "This legislation potentially undermines freedom of expression and assembly, media freedom and academic freedom. Arguably, freedom of religion or belief is put at risk ... ", he continues.

                                        Freedom of worship, according to the new provisions, is not directly affected. However, Card. Bo is concerned about the side effects that these can bring. The restrictions on the freedoms of assembly, in fact, "could result, for example, in the monitoring of religious preaching, the criminalization of candlelit prayer vigils, and the harassment of places of worship that offer sanctuary or sustenance to protesters. It is my prayer that this law will not give the government license to interfere in the internal affairs of religious organizations and the services they provide to the general public."

                                        It is in light of all this, therefore, that the Salesian cardinal makes a strong appeal for prayer, with the hope that significant reforms and compromises will be achieved in the meantime.

                                        "For these reasons and in the spirit of the prophets, martyrs and saints of our faith, I urge people to pray for Hong Kong today," he said. "Pray for the leaders of China and Hong Kong that they respect the promises made in Hong Kong, the promise to protect basic liberties and rights. May I urge all to pray for peace."

                                        Source: UcaNews

                                        • Hong Kong
                                        • Cina
                                        • Violenze
                                        • Diritti
                                        • Cardinali
                                        • Charles Maung Bo
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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