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

1 day 12 hours 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

    1 day 12 hours 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"

      4 days 12 hours 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

        4 days 12 hours 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"

          4 days 12 hours 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

            5 days 12 hours 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"

              5 days 12 hours 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

                South Sudan – Gumbo IDP camp facing Covid-19 hazards

                5 days 12 hours ago
                South Sudan – Gumbo IDP camp facing Covid-19 hazards

                (ANS - Gumbo) - According to the most updated official data, out of a total population of over 11 million people, over 10 thousand have undergone medical checks to detect the presence of Covid-19: 2,021 were positive; 38 died; 333 have healed; 1650 cases are still active. The challenge for the country is to avoid the ignition of outbreaks, which could have devastating consequences for the fragile local health system. A challenge that also involves the Salesian Family.

                The presence of the Salesians in the youngest African state, South Sudan, is part of the Provincial Delegation of Sudan, which in turn belongs to the East Africa Province (AFE). There are five Salesian presences in the country - a sixth community has been suspended since 2016 after the civil unrest - for a total of 25 religious.

                In Gumbo, the Salesians animate a parish, a technical-vocational training center, elementary and middle schools, a women's promotion center, a youth center, as well as a camp for internally displaced persons directly managed by the spiritual sons of Don Bosco, which welcomes 9,800 people (not counting very young children), who fled the violence of the 2013-2016 civil war.

                “The biggest fear we have is that of a possible epidemic in the camp. As you can see in the photos, the tents are close: there is no room for social distancing,” report the Salesians active in Gumbo.

                The level of education of the people welcomed in the camp is also on average low and this is another problem as it is difficult to convince them of the need for precautions.

                “Controlling the masses for any type of distribution is very difficult,” continue the Salesians. “The camp is adjacent to several crowded local communities. And it is impossible to prevent the flow of people between the camp and these communities because there is no separation wall around the camp.”

                Several years ago, the Sisters of Charity of Jesus opened a small medical dispensary inside the camp. It has ten beds, but no possibility of residential assistance, nor a test facility or respirators or other specialized equipment. "It seems that there are only four respirators in the whole country," added the Salesians.

                In recent days, the archbishop of Juba, Msgr. Stephen Ameyu made an informal visit to the Salesian camp. Finally, the religious say: “He appreciated our awareness-raising efforts and our preventive measures, and encouraged people to follow our advice; then he blessed us and entrusted us to the protection of God. We need it!”

                {gallery}SSudan - Campo Gumbo - 2020{/gallery}

                • Sudan del Sud
                • Coronavirus
                • Migranti
                • Rifugiati
                • AFE AFRICA EST
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Chile – "Key of Faith": new online program launched

                  5 days 12 hours ago

                  (ANS - Santiago) - The first chapter of the series of mini-concerts and conversations program with Catholic musicians, "Llave de Fe" (Key of Faith), was broadcast yesterday, July 8, at 7pm on the Facebook page and the YouTube channel of the Salesians of Chile. This is a new proposal for millions of Catholics and, in a special way, for young people who want to listen to the voice of the singers and learn about their experiences of faith.

                  Fernando Leiva, Pablo Cifuentes, Fer Toledo, the "Servicentro" group and Sister Susana Díaz (FMA), are just some of the Catholic musicians who will participate in this program. "Llave de Fe" will offer a mini-concert, performed by Catholic artists from their homes, and will be interspersed with a conversation with the musicians.

                  The aim of the program is to promote the music and career of the main Chilean and international Catholic artists and groups, and to generate a space for reflection and meeting with the Lord.

                  The program will be held online every Wednesday starting at 7pm local time (UTC-4).

                  Alejandro Manríquez, journalist, program animator and member of "Cancão Nova", a group of the Salesian Family, expressed: "We know that music is a key that opens the door of the heart to get closer to God. And, above all, at this stage of confinement that we are experiencing, we hope to contribute with a message of hope and faith through songs and testimonies of life."

                  The first episode was a success and was seen by thousands of people. To intervene, sing and speak with the public was Fer Toledo. Born in Havana, Cuba, from an early age he became interested in visual arts and music as a universal means of expression, then combining all this with his faith, after a gradual conversion derived from experiences lived in adolescence. He trained in the Salesian community dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, attracted by the youthful style and the depth of the Christian message brought into daily life and is a Salesian Cooperator.

                  Answering questions, he said he currently lives in the city of Concepción, Chile, with his wife and two children and belongs to the Latin American network of Catholic artists "ARCA". He directs the multimedia production company: "El Gris producciones" and continues to work on projects that blend evangelization, music and the visual arts.

                  The "Llave de Fe" project is a proposal that sees the Salesian Province of Chile as the promoter of the initiative, with Felipe Valdes as a member of the General Management and Vicente Fritz, Director of the Chilean Salesian Bulletin, as Content Director. It certainly represents a very valid initiative in times when the digital world is the only means in which people meet, relate to each other and tell stories that can become life models.

                  • Cile
                  • CIL CILE
                  • Musica
                  • Fede
                  • Comunicazione Sociale
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Nicaragua – Salesians create interactive blogs to offer quality education and care of young people

                    6 days 12 hours ago
                    Nicaragua – Salesians create interactive blogs to offer quality education and care of young people

                    (ANS - Granada) - Covid-19 and the forced isolation of millions of people have transformed society in many ways, and the world of education has been no exception. “The pandemic has had a direct impact on the education systems of all the countries in the region, involving students, families, ministries, secretariats, schools, teachers and principals. The closure of schools in the context of actions to contain the spread of the virus has brought more than 165 million students out of school, from kindergarten to higher education,” explains a group of scholars from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

                    In this situation, education and educators have had to reinvent themselves in order not to fail to convey their value and importance for the growth of society.

                    And in Countries where there are no large budgets for education, the post-pandemic situation will be even more complicated, with repercussions especially for children and poor young people.

                    Although many countries had not had a consolidated national strategy for distance education, and even less in the event of an emergency, they have made significant efforts according to their capabilities. Thus many Salesian works throughout the world have also reacted.

                    The "San Juan Bosco" Salesian Institute of Granada, like other institutions across the world, has sought a number of alternatives to continue providing quality education to its students. Following Don Bosco the dreamer and looking upwards, aiming high, they have launched themselves courageously into the technological world, but before that they worked on training in everything that was necessary to provide an effective response to the emergency.

                    After a long time spent with manuals and paper guides, with the desire to protect the recipients, especially the youngest ones, the use of "interactive blogs" was started using the Google for Education G-Suite tools, thus responding to the needs expressed by parents, offering young people an enriching experience, and finally reaching, with fluid but sure steps, the hoped for success.

                    And what do these blogs contain? A wealth of audiovisual resources to make the teaching/learning process more dynamic and interactive. Many teachers, initially fearful, began recording their lessons, thus making an important qualitative leap, which reproduced the dynamics of the classroom, although, certainly, not in a perfectly corresponding form. The process was complex, because it required the education of the student and also of the parents, who now accompany and collaborate more closely in the learning process of their children.

                    The Salesian Institute of Granada, committed as an educational community to accompanying young people in an integral form, works constantly to update itself and to provide the necessary tools for the service of educational quality, following Don Bosco's desire to educate humanly and spiritually as “good Christians and upright citizens” to build a fairer and more just society.

                    • Nicaragua
                    • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                    • Educazione
                    • Coronavirus
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Italy – "Friends of Don Bosco Committee" in support of Salesian oratory of Caserta

                      6 days 12 hours ago

                      (ANS - Caserta) - Creativity, co-responsibility between religious and lay people, solidarity between different generations: often in imagining an "outgoing Church", that knows how to turn authoritatively to the individuals of the 21st century, an appeal is made to foster these characteristics. In Caserta it seems that these appeals have not fallen on deaf ears: a clear example took place on the evening of Sunday 5 July, when the press conference to present the nascent "Friends of Don Bosco Committee" was held in the amphitheater of the Salesian Institute "Sacred Heart of Mary".

                      The Committee was born not on the initiative of the Salesians, but of the laity, especially of the parents of the children who attend the Salesian center. The aim of the committee is to find new ways, new spaces and collaborations with local bodies to ensure that the Salesian charism, present in the Caserta for over 120 years, can continue to operate its educational, pastoral and social mission.

                      The press conference event showed already at first glance exemplary coordination and a significant family spirit, with the adults gathered in the Amphitheater and the youngest ones in the courtyard next door, engaged in the activities of the Children's Summer Camp 2020, Estate Ragazzi. Many people were present, all wearing anti-Covid-19 masks.

                      Among the prominent figures attending were the mayor of Caserta Carlo Marino, a former Oratorian; the local representatives of the "Italian Red Cross", in addition to the representatives of the various sectors of the Salesian Family, including the Director of the Institute, Fr Gino Martucci; the Director of the oratory, Fr Giancarlo D'Ercole; the local coordinator of the Salesian Cooperators, Federica Liguori; and the President of the Past Pupils Union of Don Bosco, Alfonso Voccia.

                      "The Committee must be a transversal structure so that the oratory remains the centerpiece of a Salesian house and everyone, in our different roles, must marry this cause!", said the President of the Friends of Don Bosco Committee, Mauro Giaquinto.

                      “The Salesian community is a piece of our city, of the history and culture of our city. Many young people, including me, have had the opportunity to build their own life path in this house which must continue to be the home of children, education, sociability, creativity and skills," said the Mayor of Caserta.

                      For his part, Fr Martucci, who wished to send a message to all citizens of Caserta, said: “The world of young people is the present and at the same time the future. We cannot miss the appointment with History ... We have a history of more than one hundred years on our shoulders that forces us to continue dreaming as Don Bosco and his successors did. This History empowers us and projects us forward in order to respond to the educational needs of the city."

                      • Italia
                      • IME ITALIA MERIDIONALE
                      • Oratorio
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        RMG – The Poster of 2020 Salesian Family Holiness

                        1 week ago
                        RMG – The Poster of 2020 Salesian Family Holiness

                        (ANS - Rome) - The Salesian Postulation concerns 173 saints (9), blessed (118), venerable (17), servants of God (29). The causes followed directly by the Postulation are 55. Furthermore, the Postulation also accompanies the Causes of the Venerable Camillo Costa de Beauregard, priest of the diocese of Chambery (France); Casimiro Barello Morello, Franciscan tertiary, pilgrim between Italy and Spain; Augusto Bertazzoni, archbishop of Potenza; and the Servant of God Felice Canelli, priest of the diocese of San Severo and Salesian Cooperator.

                        “It is necessary to express deep gratitude and praise to God for the holiness already recognized in the Salesian Family of Don Bosco and for the one being recognized. The outcome of a Cause for Beatification and Canonization is an event of extraordinary ecclesial relevance and value. In fact, it is a matter of discerning the reputation of holiness of a baptized person, who lived the evangelical beatitudes in a heroic degree, or who gave his life for Christ. From Don Bosco up to the present day we recognize a tradition of holiness that deserves attention, because it is the embodiment of the charism that originated from him and which expressed itself in a plurality of states of life. These are men and women, youths and adults, consecrated and lay people, bishops and missionaries who in historical, cultural, social contexts different in time and space have made the Salesian charism shine with singular light, representing a heritage that plays an effective role in the life and in the community of believers and for men of goodwill,” says Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General.

                        The Causes launched in 2019 and 2020 concerning the Servants of God deserve to be mentioned: Fr Luigi Bolla (1932-2013) a Salesian missionary among the indigenous peoples of Ecuador and Peru; Fr Silvio Galli (1927-2012), Salesian priest witness of Christ's compassion for the marginalized, the poor; Vera Grita (1923-1969) Salesian Cooperator, recipient of the Work of Living Tabernacles; Mother Rosetta Marchese (1922-1984) Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, superior general, witness of fertile motherhood in the mysterious dynamism of suffering; Msgr Giuseppe Cognata (1885-1972), Salesian bishop of Bova and founder of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart, generous companion of Christ the Redeemer in trial and humiliation.

                        They highlight what the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes when speaking of Christian holiness: "Spiritual progress tends towards ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called 'mystic', because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments - 'the holy mysteries' - and, in Him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls everyone to this intimate union with Him, even if only a few are granted special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life, in order to make manifest the free gift made to all"(n. 2014).

                        Special thanks to Mr. Andrea Cugini of the Salesian Graphic School in Milan, for having conceived and created the poster.

                        You can download the poster in .jpg and .pdf format simply by clicking on the corresponding entries at the bottom of the page.

                        Jesus Jurado

                        Spain – Virtual awarding of diplomas closes atypical school year for hundreds of students

                        1 week ago
                        Spain – Virtual awarding of diplomas closes atypical school year for hundreds of students

                        (ANS - Zaragoza) - “A stage that ends with a historic event. It will be a different generation, it is already a different generation: daring, ingenious, ... But above all courageous, you are making Don Bosco's motto your own: 'Forward, always forward'." Thus began the greeting video that the Salesian Institute of Zaragoza gave to the pupils who reached the end of their secondary school education.

                        The video: "Donde el corazón te lleve" (Where your heart brings you) directly appeals to that need to be close even at a distance, expresses that wanting to keep connections, even online, and sharing resources between teachers and students even in a cloistered condition.

                        In June tradition normally calls for the theaters and courtyards of the Salesian schools to be full of celebrations for awarding diplomas to thousands of students graduating from secondary school. In their best clothes they would have attended an event especially prepared for them and the occasion. And they would have said goodbye, in person, to a unique stage in their life with recognition, with affection, with a "see you soon", because "this will continue to be your home."

                        This June 2020, however, tor the thousands of students in the educative cycles who said goodbye to their classrooms there were, instead, numerous videos and messages going online, filling the net.

                        “The diploma does not have much to do with a banquet or a formal act: it is the sign that this Salesian house has left on each of you, that is the real diploma. Graduates in human values, for believers in Christian values, and for all, without exception, graduates in Salesian style, that unique and unmistakable style that focuses on sympathy, familiarity, closeness ... ", thus they state in the video of the Salesian institute "Lora Tamayo" of Jérez de la Frontera.

                        In La Almunia, the graduation ceremony was due to take place on 22 May. While in Algeciras, it was April 24th, the date of the Eucharist of thanksgiving. “You have made a treasure of the past three months with the best teachings. Many of you have shown that you are strong, able to face any difficulty and above all to adapt. It is you who have given us a masterful lesson this year during all this time," they were told in return.

                        "Un camino inolvidable" (An unforgottable journey) - tells the year of the students of the Salesians of Villena. Ten minutes of images to condense a fundamental part of their life: the message is a message of gratitude, but also of nostalgia for everything that has been lost in recent months.

                        Yet, not even Covid-19 has managed to dampen the enthusiasm of teachers and students who today close a fundamental stage in their lives via videos and messages published on social networks, but who are only waiting for a new moment in which they can meet again.

                        • Spagna
                        • Diplomi
                        • Studenti
                        • Coronavirus
                          Jesus Jurado

                          RMG – The ministry of the Salesian Rector: a compass for the community

                          1 week 1 day ago
                          RMG – The ministry of the Salesian Rector: a compass for the community

                          (ANS - Rome) – "Animating and governing the community - The ministry of the Salesian Rector" as a compass for the communities. Thus Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, defines the new document, which, with the additions received during the GC28, has reached its definitive edition, 34 years after the previous Salesian Rector's Manual.

                          The video interview conducted by the young post-novice Ignazio Coniglio with the Rector Major and Fr Ivo Coelho, Councilor for Formation, helps us to better understand this gift, which Fr Á.F. Artime has promised to offer to every Salesian.

                          It is, in fact, the process of ongoing formation to which all communities are invited, especially in this first year after the Chapter.

                          Among the questions that Ignatius asks, there is also this: "Can we offer an instrument that is good for everyone, considering the variety and diversity present in our Congregation?"

                          The Rector Major replies:

                          "I say yes. Not to do the same, all the same things at the same times in our complex and very large Salesian world. But yes, to know what is the direction to follow. At the center are the Constitutions and Regulations. As for this instrument, it seems to me like a compass. The compass in the sea – and I'm saying so as a son of a sailor – the compass is the instrument that tells you what is the good direction to follow in order to reach back home to enter the safe harbour.

                          It is different from a GPS. The GPS, as Pope Francis says, is an instrument that does not serve as a reference for life. In life, we ​​did not know what we will find before us day after day, moment by moment.

                          And it is the reason why as a community, rector and confreres, we must first of all live with a deep sense of faith; then seek a great communion among ourselves; at the same time, accept that there is always a brother among the brothers in the community who does the service of guidance, of mediation, who accompanies us in discerning."

                          In addition to the introductory video, available on YouTube in the Italian original version and in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese versions, other materials have been sent to all communities to facilitate its reading and sharing among the confreres.

                          Subsequent videos and materials will be sent again at an interval of about 3 months, to gradually introduce the reading and analysis of each of the three parts of the text:

                          1. The Salesian consecrated identity.

                          2. The director in the Salesian religious community.

                          3. The director and the shared Salesian mission.

                          HYPERLINK to the package of links to: [1] video interview with the Rector Major and Don Ivo Coelho, [2] text of the video, [3] power point  presentation of the document, [4] handout  for community sharing and other animation materials related to the presentation of " Animating and governing the community The ministry of the Salesian Rector".

                          • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                          • Formazione
                          • Rettor Maggiore
                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                          • Direttori
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            India – Don Bosco Network-South Asia COVID-19 Solidarity Relief Sustains 1.59 million people

                            1 week 1 day ago
                            India – Don Bosco Network-South Asia COVID-19 Solidarity Relief Sustains 1.59 million people

                            (ANS – New Delhi) – India has 220,114 active cases of COVID-19 and 17,400 deaths as of 1 July 2020 (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI). News flashes and ambulance sirens cause stress levels to rise. Few states in the country continue to impose lockdowns to control the escalating cases of infection, while most others have lifted restrictions.

                            Though people can now come out into public and are free to move around, things are no longer the same. Livelihoods have vanished for a huge population of daily wagers across the country, affecting their very survival. For most middle-class people, incomes have been affected. Regular commodities are more expensive and petrol prices soaring.

                            In the midst of this very volatile situation, the Don Bosco Network through its 11 Don Bosco planning and development partners (PDOs) across various states, geographies, cultures and economies, is keeping its ear to the ground, listening carefully to conversations for indications coming from the people. To be effectively helpful in the current context, we require to understand and formulate responses to various situations. The Don Bosco Network across India is doing just that.

                            The Don Bosco response to COVID-19 has been coordinated from the beginning, with regular meetings and updates. According to the situation, the team is still reaching out in some states with emergency relief (as of 29 June), relieving more than 1.59 million people from hunger through the distribution of grocery kits, cooked food, and other eatables. It has helped 595,243 people with face masks and other sanitary and protective items and has supported 1,969 families through cash for work or cash transfers.

                            In view of the facing the challenges in the new normal life with COVID-19, the Don Bosco Network held an online meeting on 29 June 2020.  The following are the possible identified strategies:

                            •        Immediate support for staff salaries in Don Bosco schools, technical training centres and other institutions to compensate for the continued loss of income of student fees. A possible workaround is student scholarships enabling them to pay fees where governments allow fee collection. The PDOs are on the job of collecting data for Bosconet to ascertain the school fee support required for rural schools across provinces.

                            •        Develop networks for new unemployed graduates and involve them in tuitions or neighbourhood classes for students in their localities so that they can earn some income.

                            •        Initiate cash-for-work concepts in the various provinces as has been successfully piloted in Chennai and Trichy provinces.

                            •        Develop agro-based projects for local community or neighbourhood development as they are highly useful especially during lockdowns. Help people access agricultural supplies such as seeds and manure, as well as procure soft loans to encourage initiative.

                            •        Survey the situation of migrants returning to cities despite rising COVID-19 infections because of joblessness in their native places. Identify whether they need job placements or skill training to be reemployed in the new COVID-19 situation.

                            •        Lobby with governments on implementing the Interstate Migrant Workmen Act in every state to ensure the full-fledged function of migrant desks in every state.

                            •        Strategic Planning and capacity building of PDOs as per guidelines given the PDO document published in April 2018 at Nairobi.

                            The Don Bosco Network is initiating these strategies to begin the rehabilitative process for marginalised people across the country, while it continues to explore appropriate and viable solutions to the complicated COVID-19 situation, especially in areas of education, healthcare and livelihoods.

                            Cheryl Bartholomeusz

                            Bosconet – DB Network – South Asia

                            • India
                            • Coronavirus
                            • Solidarietà
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              India – Radio Salesian Darjeeling to Partner UNICEF Sponsored 'Mission Corona' in Nepali

                              1 week 1 day ago
                              India – Radio Salesian Darjeeling to Partner UNICEF Sponsored 'Mission Corona' in Nepali

                              (ANS – Darjeeling) – Darjeeling Radio Salesian (90.8) - The Voice of the Hills - based out of Salesian College Sonada, has been selected as a partner in raising awareness about COVID-19 in a national project sponsored by UNICEF.

                              Titled “Mission Corona”, the five-month initiative will feature a 25-minute weekly programme in Nepali language that will focus on issues related to the usage of masks, home quarantine, physical distancing, building the immune system, and elderly care, among others.

                              “During this unprecedented public health emergency, as community radio, we can inform and educate people on the impending danger of the pandemic through ‘Mission Corona,’” says station director, Father C.M. Paul.

                              With a transmitter that caters to a radius of over 15 kilometers across tea plantations around the college, the listeners are mostly based in Kurseong, Sonada, entire Balasun Valley, and bordering towns of Nepal like Pashupati, Illam, Kakrabitta and Birtamore.

                              Radio Salesian is also available 24/7 on web radio worldwide through the App “Listen2MyRadio”.

                              Radio Salesian, established in 2016, broadcasts 12 hours daily (8 am to 8 pm) and was named as a partner in Mission Corona by the Community Radio Association, New Delhi.

                              Radio Salesian is the first college-based community radio in North Bengal and the entire northeast India. It is also the only Nepali language broadcasting community radio in India.

                              UNICEF has been reaching out to public service broadcasters globally, through community radio stations, with each partner allowed to tailor the topics according to local requirements, on COVID-19 prevention.

                              Five local radio journalists are part of the production team, led by Program Coordinator RJ Samir.

                              “Besides the scheduled Covid-19 programs, from 1st of July we are hosting four hours of live show to reach out to local people in real time and educate them on scientific viewpoints on myths about diseases, and also create awareness on preventive measures,” says RJ Samir.

                              Radio Salesian programming will also look at nutrition and hygiene aspects as well as a poster campaign through social media.

                              RJ Smriti

                              Source: Don Bosco India

                              • India
                              • INC INDIA CALCUTTA
                              • Radio
                              • Coronavirus
                              • Solidarietà
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                El Salvador – "Fundación Salvador del Mundo" (FUSALMO) committed to digital educational innovation of children and young people

                                1 week 1 day ago

                                (ANS - Soyapango) - The "Fundación Salvador del Mundo" (FUSALMO) launched its educational platform "TRANSFORMA" as homage to the great work of the teachers of El Salvador. FUSALMO is a Salvadoran organization founded in 2001 that, through integral educational processes, develops flexible programs and projects that meet the needs of children, adolescents and young people through the Salesian youth centers in San Miguel, Santa Ana and Soyapango.

                                Precisely because FUSALMO works with active groups of children and young people, it has proposed the educational platform "TRANSFORMA", which is available to both students and teachers. "'TRANSFORMA' is a meeting place for the educational community, where coexistence and education go hand in hand, together with technological and emotional experiences, accessible and innovative," say its directors.

                                Through the online platform "Transforma" it is possible to find different experiences to learn in a dynamic and fun way.

                                It should be noted that this digital experience - https://transforma.fusalmo.org/ - is placed in a web 2.0 where interaction with the participants is fundamental and where the contribution of each is a starting point for development and growth. One of the fundamental pages of this network is the "Virtual Courtyard" where the participant has Don Bosco's phrase as their starting point: "Joy, study and piety: it is the best program to make you happy and that will benefit your soul." This page offers participants many resources, such as games, educational advice, assignments and tasks to be done ... But this section also opens up an interesting panorama of formation and virtual learning in the field of graphics, cooking, music, creative recycling ...

                                The platform, fully adaptable to mobile devices, was born thanks to "FUSALMO Virtual", the initiative created to meet the educational needs of Salvadoran children and young people, a place where innovative quality technological experiences are created, attentive to the needs of today's young people.

                                The proposal of "FUSALMO Virtual" is to offer focused courses for Salvadoran children and young people with components of: Technology, Art, Sport, Youth Protagonism and Accompaniment. Within the platform, users can also find courses for "Bank Teller, and English for Call Centers" in the context of Social and Work Management.

                                And work is still being done to open new spaces for educational institutions that require a virtual space and an academic reinforcement and tutoring program for their students.

                                Access to the "TRANSFORMA" courses is completely free and is available to all users who wish to become part of it, regardless of the study center of origin, be it private or public.

                                It is expected that around 3,000 children, adolescents and young people in their educational development will benefit, in a virtual way, from this service: https://transforma.fusalmo.org/ 

                                • El Salvador
                                • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                                • Educazione
                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Papua New Guinea – 40 years of Salesian mission: "Honoring the past, celebrating the present, imagining the future"

                                  1 week 4 days ago

                                  (ANS - Port Moresby) - In June 1980 the first Salesian missionaries landed in Papua New Guinea. To celebrate this event's 40th anniversary, several celebrations were held last month throughout the territory of the "Blessed Philip Rinaldi" Vice Province of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

                                  On 13 June, animated by the motto "Honoring the past, celebrating the present, imagining the future", a solemn Eucharist was presided over by the Bishop of Kerema, the Salesian Msgr. Peter Baquero. During the homily, the prelate urged the Salesians "to recognize the presence of God in Araimiri and, above all, to follow Don Bosco's teachings in all pastoral, social and educational activities."

                                  The Covid-19 pandemic limited the preparations and the number of participants in the celebration, but "we wanted to give thanks to the Lord, with joy and gratitude, for the gift, dedication and commitment of these four decades of Salesian presence to Araimiri," explained Fr Dominic Kachira, SDB, Vicar of the Vice Province.

                                  Among those present were several Salesians, from the Philippines also, from where the first missionaries came; also present, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, members of other Congregations, lay people of the Salesian Family, Past Pupils, students and friends of the Salesian work.

                                  The first "missionary pioneers" 40 years ago were Fr Valeriano Barbero, Fr Rolando Fernández and coadjutor brother Joseph Kramar. In a recorded message sent for the occasion, Fr Barbero wished to recall that "each Salesian must not feel foreign but 'one' with the people," that is, he must cultivate a unity of human, cultural, spiritual and pastoral intent.

                                  The community of the "Don Bosco" secondary school in Kokopo also celebrated the anniversary: ​​on June 5, the entire student body attended a commemoration of the first arrival of the Salesians in the country. A song was sung, then passages from Fr Barbero's diary were read, while vintage photos were projected on screen: the malaria, the place of mission, the struggles and the difficulties encountered by the first Salesians were narrated and exhibited to the students. The celebration also provided an opportunity to celebrate the institute's 30th anniversary, the teachers with the most seniority of service and the students who won the school competitions.

                                  The PGS Vice Province officially began just 4 years ago, on July 7, 2016. With less than 50 Salesians, from 16 countries, it is among the youngest, but also most flourishing, realities of the Congregation.

                                  "Patience and zeal" were, in short, the secret of the Salesian flowering in Melanesia. "As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the first Salesians, we remember with gratitude all the Salesians who came from different parts of the world to work with us," says today the Salesian Sylvester Kuli, a young vocation from Papua New Guinea, currently in formation in Jerusalem.

                                  {gallery}Papua NG - 40 anni 2020{/gallery}

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

                                    RMG – Proposals for the study of “Animating and governing the community - The ministry of the Salesian Rector”

                                    1 week 4 days ago
                                    RMG – Proposals for the study of “Animating and governing the community - The ministry of the Salesian Rector”

                                    (ANS – Rome) – Fr. Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation presents in a short 3-minute video the animation material offered to the Salesian communities and all confreres, to accompany the reading and community sharing on the "Animating and governing of the community - The ministry of the Salesian Rector”.

                                    The text is now available in the 6 main languages used in the Congregation. As Fr. Ivo says in the video, "It is the fruit of the journey together of the 7 regions, of the many groups of rectors and confreres, of the two international seminars and of a patient and shared birthing of the final text."

                                    Approved by the Rector Major and his Council in April 2019, the document was presented to the members of General Chapter 28 in the various languages and already in its final typographical form. Some modifications and additions done during the work of the Chapter have been integrated in the final edition.

                                    Meanwhile, the printing of the text has started according to the number of copies requested by the provincials even though there is a slowing down due to the pandemic. Online subsidies are offered to facilitate the use of this new tool for the ongoing formation of communities during this first year after the Chapter.

                                    Fr. Ivo continues: "There will be a video interview with the Rector Major presenting the whole process of coming up with the text. And then three introductory videos for each of the three parts of the text, together with PowerPoint presentations, notes and other materials. We will have four units of material that can help in the reading and sharing in the community. We will send the materials slowly, each unit at an interval of about three months apart from each other".

                                    Referring to what the Rector Major says in the introduction, Fr. Ivo insists that it is a gift and at the same time a proposal of a path for every confrere, and not just for the rectors.

                                    "This text is just the starting point. What matters, dear confreres, is what happens from here on, house by house, for everyone, for each confrere in the Congregation. ... It is the path of growth that we want to make together, thanks to this instrument."

                                    The third part above all, entitled "The Rector and the Shared Salesian Mission", concerns the entire educative pastoral community, where the Rector and the confreres are at the side of the members of other groups of the Salesian Family and many other people who share in the mission of Don Bosco in different ways.

                                    This text opens on a very wide horizon; it encourages and directs orients our presence in the Church, in the locality, among the people of so many different cultures and also religious traditions, where the Salesian communities in the world are present today.

                                    At the following link, you can access the video in English version: https://youtu.be/ddMcQC0UnZ8 

                                    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                    • Formazione
                                    • Video
                                    • Ivo Coelho
                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                    • Direttori
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Sierra Leone – Salesian work in prisons: a new beginning amid Coronavirus and after a revolt

                                      1 week 5 days ago
                                      Sierra Leone – Salesian work in prisons: a new beginning amid Coronavirus and after a revolt

                                      (ANS - Freetown) - Pademba Prison in Freetown was built in 1937 to house 300 prisoners. Since then, nothing has changed in its facilities, except for the fact that it now hosts 2,000 prisoners crammed into unhygienic cells. The Salesians are the only institution that works with detainees, even today, when fear for Covid-19 led to a riot that ended in unrest, fires, and deaths among the detainees.

                                      On 29 April, 237 prisoners were scheduled for release for minor offenses. A few days before that, however, the first case of coronavirus inside the prison had been confirmed and visits thus prohibited. Prisoners were also forbidden to leave the cells as a preventive measure, but they interpreted it as another humiliation.

                                      Pademba prison, without security cameras and with a fivefold number of prisoners compared to its capacity, experienced a bloody revolt that day. In the morning several inmates reached the internal clinic and set fire to it. They then circumvented the guards, opened all sections and burned the kitchen, pharmacy, document registry, and all the workshops.

                                      "In the chapel, there was some damage and in the Don Bosco room, where 225 of them receive an extra meal every week and there is a computer room and a library, everything was destroyed," said Salesian missionary Fr Jorge Crisafulli. Huge material damage, fires, many injuries and deaths were the toll of the revolt.

                                      Some of the beneficiaries of the Salesian initiatives helped the guards to climb the walls to save their lives. The police and army opened fire indiscriminately. The revolt was suppressed within four hours and the prisoners locked up in their cells. For three days they received no food or water and were tortured to locate the fomenters. Some, without medical treatment, died in the following days.

                                      The Salesian team working in the prison managed to enter to assess the damage and the situation of the prisoners the next day. The Salesians' commitment to the authorities was to start feeding all the prisoners - currently 1,421 - to carry out medical visits and take care of them.

                                      Meanwhile, Coronavirus has progressed in prison, reaching 19 positive cases. Fifteen of them have already recovered and four are still confined. "We brought beds and rehabilitated an area to isolate it as a hospital," assures Fr Crisafulli.

                                      The Salesians give each prisoner a bag containing a paste called gari, powdered milk, vegetables, fruit, sugar and water. "Gradually they let them out of the cells and they also bought buckets of water for their cleaning," said the Salesian.

                                      Fr Crisafulli, together with the whole team of Don Bosco Fambul, concludes by stating that "the prisoners trust Don Bosco."

                                      {gallery}Sierra Leone - Incendio carcere 2020{/gallery}

                                      • Sierra Leone
                                      • Don Bosco Fambul
                                      • Carceri
                                      • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
                                        Gian Francesco Romano
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