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Angola – Pedro Sánchez visits "Dom Bosco" Center in "Lixeira"

15 hours 1 minute ago

(ANS - Luanda) - After the institutional and commercial meeting held in Angola on 8 April, the President of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, visited the "Dom Bosco" Center of the Luanda Salesians, located in the Lixeira district, one of the city's most disadvantaged districts, which is home to 250,000 inhabitants and whose name translates as “landfill”.

The Salesians arrived there in 1996, starting their educational work with small schools. It was 2003 when the current center was built, thanks to the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID, in Spanish) and its Portuguese counterpart.

A sign painted at the entrance to the Salesian school, which reads "Educating is a matter of the heart", welcomed Pedro Sánchez. About 1,500 students greeted the Spanish politician, who personally received the affection and sympathy of the students, whose smiles were evident even if hidden behind masks.

The President of the Spanish Government had time to visit the facilities of the Center, see firsthand the educational work that is carried out there, take an official photo with the authorities and school staff, and give a short speech to those present, in which he underlined the "commendable" educational work that the Salesians carry out in the country. Accompanying him were the Superior of the Vice Province of Angola, the Uruguayan Salesian Fr Martín Lasarte, and his provincial Vicar and Director of the Center, the Spanish Salesian missionary Fr Manuel Ordóñez.

On his official Twitter account, the President of the Spanish government expressed his satisfaction with the visit to the Salesian educational center, underlining the importance of education for the progress of society: “We are proud that Spanish citizens are working on this project and promoting the formation of Angolan children and adolescents. It symbolizes the great collaboration between Spain and Angola.”

About 6,000 students are educated in this educational center, including infant, primary, secondary education, bachelor's-level degrees and vocational school. Given the lack of classrooms to accommodate all students, the center has lessons in three shifts: already at 7:30 am the school opens its doors to younger students, then continues in the afternoon with primary and secondary school students, and finally, in the afternoon and evening, with the students of the bachelor's degree, until 10:30 pm.

Thanks to the work they carry out with the students of this center, the Salesians have received the National Literacy Prize for several years; and the “Don Bosco Method”, as it is called, has also served as a reference for the Angolan government in the process of literacy. Without forgetting that vocational training and attention to minors in situations of vulnerability are other characteristics of this Salesian educational center.

In a Country severely affected by the war (1975-2002), the Salesians have been present since 1981, and they arrived there in response to the missionary appeal made by the then Rector Major, Fr Egidio Viganó, through the "Africa Project". Currently, the Congregation animates 11 houses scattered throughout the country, with about 120 Salesians, more than half of whom are in the formation phase.

  • Angola
  • ANG ANGOLA
  • Personaggi illustri
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – #SYMPRAYSFORMYANMAR

    15 hours 1 minute ago
    RMG – #SYMPRAYSFORMYANMAR

    (ANS - Rome) - Young people who pray for young people. This initiative promoted by the Youth Ministry Department stimulated prayer for Myanmar from every continent yesterday, Sunday 11 April. The Department for Youth Ministry has also prepared a related video.

    Young people know that there is a promise in prayer, because whatever is asked of the Father in the name of Jesus, He will do it; they remember the summons to pray and keep watch, because the days are bad; and they undertake a direct channel to meet God: to pray at all times.

    The video is available on ANSChannel.

    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
    • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
    • Pastorale Giovanile
    • MYM MYANMAR
    • Myanmar
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Vatican – Pope calls two Salesians and a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians among Consultors of CIVCSVA

      15 hours 1 minute ago
      Vatican – Pope calls two Salesians and a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians among Consultors of CIVCSVA

      (ANS - Vatican City) - On Saturday 10 April, the Press Office of the Holy See announced the names of the new Consultors of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA) appointed by the Holy Father. Among the 19 chosen, three members of the Salesian Family. They are:

      • Fr David Ricardo Albornoz Pavisic, SDB, Judge of the National Ecclesiastical Court of Appeal of Santiago de Chile. Born in Punta Arenas on 4 November 1963, he has been a professed Salesian since 1989 and was ordained a priest in 1996. For the Chilean Province, he is currently also Provincial Vicar, Delegate for the Salesian Family and the Salesian Bulletin;
      • Fr Mario Oscar Llanos, SDB, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. Argentine, from Córdoba, he was born on 17 April 1959, and has been a professed Salesian since 1978 and a priest since 1987;
      • Sister Pina del Core, FMA, Director of the Institute of Psychological Research in the Educational Field of the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium in Rome and former Dean of the "Auxilium" for nine years. In 2016, she had already been appointed by Pope Francis as a Consultor of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

      The consultors are appointed by the Supreme Pontiff - for a five-year term - to collaborate with the members of the Congregation according to their specific competence and in relation to the objectives and commitments of the Dicastery. The consultors offer their contribution through consultations, studies or opinions on specific situations or questions concerning the life, mission and government of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Apostolic Societies.

      {gallery}Vaticano - Consultori{/gallery}

      • Vaticano
      • Vita Consacrata
      • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
      • Nomine
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Italy – US shopping vouchers for poor families in Sampierdarena, thanks to Salesian commitment

        15 hours 1 minute ago
        Italy – US shopping vouchers for poor families in Sampierdarena, thanks to Salesian commitment

        (ANS - Genoa) - Over 70 needy families in the Genoese district of Sampierdarena have received a shopping card that will allow them to shop for 35 euros a week for the next three months, for a total of 420 euros per family. This is a concrete measure to  help the many people in difficulty following the pandemic, deployed in the Salesian "Don Bosco" parish in Genoa thanks to a loan from "UsAid", the American international development agency, to “Salesiani per il Sociale APS” and to the Salesian NGO “International Volunteer Service for Development” (VIS).

        Wafa arrived in Italy from Tunisia 20 years ago with her husband. She has three children and her husband's bricklaying job had allowed them to get by until recently, but with the pandemic, the demand for labor has decreased and "keeping five people without even one salary is impossible," she testifies.

        Those who received the card are originally from Senegal, Tunisia, Ecuador, but also Eastern Europe and some from Italy; they have lived in Sampierdarena for years, and if before the pandemic they'd managed to keep a family, not without difficulty, they can no longer do so today. Overall for Sampierdarena, it is 30 thousand euros, an important breath of fresh air in a reality like the one that revolves around the “Don Bosco” parish.

        The choice of families to help with the "Money Cards" required much work. Fr Pierdante Giordano, parish priest of "Don Bosco", committed himself to this initiative with the volunteers of the parish Caritas group and the "Nodo sulle Ali del Mondo - Node on the Wings of the World", referent in Sampierdarena of "VIS" and "Salesians for Social APS". They started with families already assisted by Caritas itself and by "San Vincenzo"; scores were assigned based on the members of the family unit, the Equivalent Economic Situation Indicator (ISEE), the possible loss of work of one of the members, the age of the children ... and the work has also expanded beyond the parish.

        Caritas of Sampierdarena, through the Salesians of Don Bosco, has been helping various families in the area in conditions of poverty for years: “For now, we are following 180 and these 72 are the most needy among those to which the young people of 'Don Bosco' bring their food packages that they prepare by drawing on the food bank. This Card is a great help for these groups, which we will continue to help anyway,” he adds.

        The rechargeable card project, says Michela Vallarino, Vice President of VIS, “was born at the request of the Italian Salesians who asked themselves how to support families in this pandemic. This is a cooperation project made in collaboration with the United States and which was not limited only to the Cards, but which in Sampierdarena also saw the distribution of protective devices, when last year they were difficult to find, and of 470 tablets throughout Italy, to enable those who could not afford a device to access distance learning.”

        • Italia
        • Stati Uniti
        • ICC ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE CENTRALE
        • Solidarietà
        • Coronavirus
          Gian Francesco Romano

          RMG – Eighth video-seed: community mission accompaniment

          3 days 15 hours ago
          RMG – Eighth video-seed: community mission accompaniment

          (ANS - Rome) - In the process of disseminating the Salesian Formation document "Young Salesians and accompaniment - Orientations and Guidelines", the focus in this month of April is "Role of community and mission" (from n. 140 to 151 of the text).

          No. 141 reads: “There is a reciprocal relationship between spiritual accompaniment and community. We keep in mind that by community we mean not only the Salesian religious community but also the educative and pastoral community (EPC) – and this is especially significant in the phase of practical training. A good formation journey helps one become more open to others and more willing to make a gift of oneself in service. On the other hand, it is also true that the community ambient has a great impact on the journey of each one, and on his openness and ability to benefit from spiritual accompaniment.”

          The eighth video-seed is precisely an invitation to read and share this part of the document. It was made with the help of Christopher, Ignazio, Wellington, Enrico and Orazio, in the room, now a chapel, where Don Bosco wrote his Letter from Rome of 10 May 1884. It is from what he sees from this room in the courtyards of Valdocco and that makes him suffer, that the: “It is not enough to love! They must realize that they are loved”. The Salesian way of being among young people and with those who share the same mission forms and attunes the heart to what is dear to Don Bosco.

          This is also the strong message that Pope Francis addressed to the Salesians during the GC28:

          “We are formed not for the mission but in the mission, around which our whole life revolves, with its choices and priorities. Initial and ongoing formation cannot be considered as something prior, parallel to or separate from the disciple’s identity and sensibility. The mission inter gentes is our best school: it is where we learn to pray, reflect, study and rest.”

          The seed video ends with three questions to stimulate reflection and exchange within the communities:

          - How do relationships within the Salesian community, the educative pastoral community and in the open field where we interact with young people become my and our formation?

          - What and how significant is the interaction with the laity in the formation phase I am experiencing?

          - What value do we give to pastoral experiences and their accompaniment? Do they become "learning from experience," the heart of our ongoing formation?

          The video is available in English on the specific language channel of ANSChannel.

          To download the video and related animation materials, and to access material offered with the previous 7 video-seeds, click here.

          • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
          • Formazione
          • Accompagnamento
            Gian Francesco Romano

            RMG – April video of "CaglieroLIFE" series

            3 days 15 hours ago

            (ANS - Rome) - The videos of the series entitled “CaglieroLIFE”, conceived and created by the Missions Sector of the Salesian Congregation, continue. Every 11th of the month - monthly recurrence of missionary day - one-minute videos are published, which present a theme linked to the Salesian intention of the month, which can be used as a tool for animation, discussion and sharing within the various youth groups. The April video is about RESPECT: I am loved, therefore I respect.

            All the videos are published on the YouTube channel of the Salesian Missions Sector and, subsequently, also uploaded to the Facebook page.

            With the publication of the video in April, the Sector for the Missions also invites you to adhere to the proposal of the General Councilor for Youth Ministry, Fr Miguel Angel García Morcuende, and of the Salesian Youth Movement from all over the world, to pray for Myanmar on Sunday April 11th at 3 pm local time (10:30 am Italian time) and to share the moment on social networks using the hashtag #SYMPRAYSFORMYANMAR.

            A prayer composed by a citizen of Myanmar will be recited, a beautiful moment of spiritual union, precisely on the 11th day of the month in which the Salesian missions are remembered.

            The April video is available here

            • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
            • Missioni
            • Myanmar
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Myanmar – The country today: a report from a Burmese citizen

              3 days 15 hours ago
              Myanmar – The country today: a report from a Burmese citizen

              (ANS - Yangon) - In view of the prayer initiative promoted by the Salesian Youth Movement of the Youth Ministry Department of the Salesian Congregation in favor of Myanmar (Sunday 11 April, Myanmar 15:00), a Burmese citizen wanted to share with ANS a report on the current situation in the country.

              On 1st February 2021, the military of Myanmar staged a coup, arresting the President, the State Councillor and many other members of the government and civilians. It was the end of 5 years of an experiment in democracy in the country under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Myanmar has been under military dictatorship since 1962 with different names of the government. Only in 2015 was a democratically elected government installed.

              This time, instead, things are quite different. The people of Myanmar, especially the young did not bow to the junta. Tens of thousands of them protested daily in all parts of Myanmar. Civil Disobedient Movement (CDM) did a great impact to the junta that the military is not able to run the government until now. The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), which is made up of elected law-makers of the General Election of November 2020, is working hard in the field of diplomacy to reach out to the  international community and their work impose much pressure on the junta.

              After more than two months of the coup, the Young People, who call themselves Generation Z, keep demonstrating in so many places of the country. The military has no other way but to use violent means – shoot and arrest – to suppress the protests. So far, they have shot and killed about 600 people and many are wounded; 2751 people have been detained and most of them do not even know the reason of their arrest. The junta continues to shoot and kill. The worst action is night raids, in which the soldiers and police go around in the residential areas shooting recklessly; they break into houses in the middle of the night and shoot, beat and arrest people arbitrarily; they take away their money and valuable things in the house. The people have nowhere to turn to for security and justice.

              Most of the young people feel the need to take up arms for self-defense. They have formed Civil Defense Force (CDF) to protect the people. However, the people have no ammunition that can compete against the fully-armed soldiers. Many expected that the international community would intervene to stop the killing of unarmed people. The situation is as such that the people of Myanmar will have to be their own masters and fight back as much as they can. If things go on like this, a bloodbath is unavoidable in Myanmar. As usual, the young are the ones that suffer in all the social transformation.

              So, dear friends, please pray for Myanmar earnestly and please know that your solidarity is our strength to go through this difficult crisis.

              • Myanmar
              • Violenze
              • Giovani
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Chile – International formation meetings: the Preventive System in the 21st century

                3 days 15 hours ago
                Chile – International formation meetings: the Preventive System in the 21st century

                (ANS - Santiago) - The Salesian School of America (ESA), together with the Catholic University "Silva Henríquez" (UCSH) and the Salesian Province of Chile, has organized a series of formative meetings on the Preventive System for educators of the American continent.

                Accompanying educators and fostering the charism through its vital core, that is the Preventive System, is a constant challenge for all Salesian education, secondary school and university. For this reason, this cycle of distance learning was created, through the Zoom platform, for all those educators present in America who wish to strengthen their educational and charismatic vocation.

                About 170 people - including Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Directors and Rectors, teachers of schools and vocational training centers and universities, from the American continent – as well as the Provincial of the Salesians of Chile, Fr Carlo Lira - took part in the first meeting, held on April 7.

                Fr Claudio Cartes, Referent for the Salesian School of America of the Salesians of Don Bosco, greeted the participants and said that "Salesian environments have a great path, which is the Preventive System. We want to strengthen this charismatic identity in our educational and evangelizing mission.” 

                Sr. Ivone Goulart, Referent for the Salesian School of America of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, also greeted participants: “The challenge is to educate like Don Bosco. The preventive system in education is needed today more than ever," she said.

                The speaker of this first meeting was Fr Alejandro Rodríguez, Doctor of Education at the University of San Francisco, who discussed: "Salesian leadership, charism and education in a preventive key".

                The priest presented several elements that should be considered in educational spaces in the post-pandemic era, such as: planning in the face of economic volatility, building trust, greater systemic optimization, high expectations to deliver quick results, new skills , abilities and knowledge, increase personal and organizational adaptability, greater flexibility to work how and where one wishes to.

                And after having manifested: "The preventive system is a vocation of service to young people who are looking for answers", he concluded with some points that he wanted to emphasize clearly:

                -       Educating is an art that requires a familiar environment and a precise intentionality.

                -       The Salesian Preventive System is a relationship.

                -       The added value is its own prevention.

                -       Leadership is experience: of the spirit, of Don Bosco, of the Oratory as structure and criterion, of assistance as presence, of encounter in joy and solidarity.

                His presentation was completed by a question and answer session.

                The next appointment will be held on Wednesday 14 April at 10:00 (UTC-4) in Chile and the conference will be held by Fr Michael Vojtas, professor at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome. To register: www.salesianos.cl/sistemapreventivo 

                • Cile
                • CIL CILE
                • Scuole
                • Formazione
                • Sistema Preventivo
                • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Italy – Missionaries heralds of hope

                  4 days 15 hours ago
                  Italy – Missionaries heralds of hope

                  (ANS – Rome) – On 4 April  2021, at the end of Vespers of the Solemnity of Easter, the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, communicated to the Generalate Community the destination of the eight new FMA missionaries.

                  The new missionaries, from seven Provinces and three Continents, learned of their destination at the end of a time of discernment, prayer, and dialogue lived from 15 to 26 March 2021, with the accompaniment of the Councillor for the Missions, Sister Alaíde Deretti.

                  Mother Yvonne wished the new missionaries “to be like the first missionaries, whom Mother Mazzarello had the courage to send to America, and for this we are here. On this Easter day, the Angel sent Mary Magdalene to proclaim the Resurrection and you are called to proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus in the certainty that He accompanies you and that every difficulty is a participation in the Mystery of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. (…) Missionary is love in the heart that leads us to live and proclaim the Good News. The hope on this Easter evening is that you may be witnesses and heralds of the Resurrection”.

                  Sr. Alaíde Deretti, Councillor for the Missions, thanking each new missionary and their provinces of origin for their generous ‘yes’, took up the words of Pope Francis: ” ‘outgoing Church’… is the command of Jesus, who in Mark’s Gospel asks His followers to go all over the world and preach the Gospel ‘to every creature’. The Church is either outgoing or it is not the Church. Either it is in proclamation or it is not the Church. If the Church does not go out, it is corrupted, it is distorted. It becomes something else” (From the interview with Gianni Valente – Extraordinary Missionary October, 2019).

                  The Councillor wished them “to allow themselves to be led by faith and hope in this particular time when the world needs health, safety, and courageous heralds of the Gospel”.

                  The new missionaries will continue their formation journey in preparation for the mission ad gentes, intensifying the study of the language of the Founders, attending courses at the Pontifical Urbanianum University of Rome, participating in moments of encounter with the different Sectors, and sharing the experience of life in the international and multicultural community of the FMA Generalate.

                  The destinations of the new-missionaries:

                  • Czopur Anna (PLJ)
                    St. Mary D. Mazzarello Province (AEC) – Camerun, Guinea Equatorial, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville
                  • Nguyen thi Hong Anna (VTN)
                    St. Francis di Sales Province (ABA) – Patagonia
                  • Gonsalves Collette (INB)
                    Our Lady of Good Counsel Province (IMR) – Malta
                  • Do Carmo Albina (TIN)
                    Queen of Peace Preprovince (ANG) – Angola
                  • Coching Maria Alem (FIL)
                    Jesus Adolescent Province (MOR) – Egypt
                  • Pham thi Bich Thao Maria (VTN)
                    St.  Francis Xavier Province (ABB) – Patagonia
                  • Kim Min Seon Cristina (KOR)
                    Mary Our Help Province (CMY) – Cambodia, Myanmar
                  • Quintero Arévalo Emma Teresa (CMM)
                    St. Mary D. Mazzarello Province (AEC) – Camerun, Guinea Equatoriale, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville

                  Mother communicated the destination of Sr. Hwang Hye Soon Giuseppina, from Morning Star Province (KOR), formerly a missionary in China. Sister Giuseppina, after having participated in the discernment process together with the new missionaries, was assigned to Queen of Peace Preprovince (ANG) – Angola.

                  Source: CGFMA

                  • Italia
                  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                  • Yvonne Reungoat
                  • Missioni
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Mexico – Extraordinary Visitation of Fr Hugo Orozco Sánchez to "Our Lady of Guadalupe" Province (MEM) continues

                    4 days 15 hours ago

                    (ANS - Ciudad de México) - From 26 to 28 March, Fr Hugo Orozco Sánchez SDB, Regional Councilor for Interamerica, as part of his Extraordinary Visitation to the "Our Lady of Guadalupe" Province of Mexico-México (MEM), stopped in the social work “Artesanado Salesiano di Nazareth” in Mexico City, where he met and got to know the whole educative-pastoral community. Accompanying him in many moments of his visit were also Fr Ignacio Ocampo Uribe, MEM Provincial, and his Vicar, Fr Carlos Barbosa Castillo.

                    During the Eucharistic celebrations he presided over, the Regional Councilor highlighted the importance of the social work that takes place in this center and underlined the need to continue to support it, recalling that it offers many children, adolescents and young people access to formal and vocational education, and participates in the Salesian project of social promotion “Chavos de Don Bosco”.

                    On Good Friday, last April 2, Fr Orozco Sánchez presided over the celebration of the Lord's Passion in the Parish-Shrine of Mary Help of Christians. The assembly of the faithful gathered in the parish, even if small, in compliance with all health measures in force, was very significant; hundreds of other parishioners and faithful were also spiritually united in the celebration online via social networks.

                    To all the faithful, present and connected via the internet, the Regional Councilor reminded us that "God loves us immensely, does not abandon us and is always ready to forgive us, to the point of having given the life of His beloved Son to save us."

                    On Saturday 3 April 2021, during the solemn Easter Vigil, in the same church, Fr Orozco Sánchez said: "The Resurrection is an opportunity to start over from where it all began ... We who are witnesses of the Risen One, are people who give, we are joyful people, we are optimistic people, people who give comfort, people who smile despite the difficulties ... We are the people who believe in the Resurrection.”

                    Then he underlined the invitation that the angel made to women and disciples to "go to Galilee, to see Jesus", highlighting that Christ loves us so much that, even if we have abandoned Him, He allows us to start over from the place where it all began, the place of the first meeting and the "first love".

                    And, referring to what the Pope said about this image of Galilee, he added that it contains three beautiful Easter messages: “The love of Jesus has no limits; the love of Jesus confronts us with a better future; and for the love of Jesus there is not a single sin that leaves us excluded from His love for us. Three Easter messages that, if we make them our own, will really give us reason to celebrate this Easter!”

                    • Messico
                    • MEM MESSICO MÉXICO
                    • Hugo Orozco Sánchez
                    • Pasqua
                    • Visita Straordinaria
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Myanmar – Solidarity and prayer for Myanmar continue throughout East Asia-Oceania Region

                      5 days 15 hours ago
                      Myanmar – Solidarity and prayer for Myanmar continue throughout East Asia-Oceania Region

                      (ANS - Yangon) - After the violent clashes that broke out in Myanmar last Saturday 27 March, during which civilians, students and even children lost their lives, the Salesians and the Salesian Family of the East Asia-Oceania Region have intensified their movement of prayer and solidarity.

                      Many Asian local churches have also expressed their closeness to the suffering people of Myanmar, who have witnessed violence, killings and imprisonment since February. Korean Cardinal Andrew Yeom soo-jung (archbishop of Seoul, South Korea) also invited the entire Catholic community, made up of 1 million people, to a prayer novena in Myanmar, which ends today, April 7.

                      A day of prayer was also held last March 31 organized by the Interprovincial Conference of the FMA of East Asia (CIAO in English), which includes 8 Provinces and a total of 1,110 Sisters. On this occasion, the FMA Province of Philippines and Papua New Guinea (FIL) made its digital platform available to follow the event online.

                      The Salesian Provinces and the Association of Salesian Cooperators of many countries belonging to the East Asia-Oceania Region responded to the appeal for prayer and solidarity. In many places, then, the prayer activity was especially intensified during the days of Holy Week.

                      In these difficult months for Myanmar, through the Catholic media and social networks, there are many stories of hope that follow one another. The Burmese people are showing great courage and determination, showing themselves willing to suffer for freedom and for a better future for the country.

                      In recent weeks, citizens' responses to violence are becoming more and more creative: drums are beaten, rubbish is unloaded in public places, the United Nations is appealed to in the streets of Yangon. All this always through the civil disobedience movement.

                      A few days ago, Pope Francis also shared his solidarity with the suffering people of Myanmar, whom he personally visited a few years ago. "I kneel with you in the streets of Myanmar," said the Holy Father.

                      Thus, the prayer for peace in this country does not stop and appeals to world leaders are growing to respond to the cry of those who suffer.

                      • Myanmar
                      • MYM MYANMAR
                      • Asia EstOceania
                      • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                      • Salesiani Cooperatori
                      • Preghiera
                      • Violenze
                      • Famiglia Salesiana
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Italy – Alin, from pupil to entrepreneur thanks to Salesian Vocational Training

                        5 days 15 hours ago
                        Italy – Alin, from pupil to entrepreneur thanks to Salesian Vocational Training

                        (ANS - Serravalle Scrivia) - Alin Cazacu is a young past pupil of the Salesian Vocational Training Center (VTC) of Serravalle Scrivia in the province of Alessandria, Piedmont. Thanks to his determination, his commitment, and the teachings received during his years as a student of the Salesian course in the Salesian VTC, he was able to fulfill his dream of starting his own business: he opened a pizzeria.

                        A serious preparation towards the world of work and the possibility of an internship in a firm so as to immediately put into practice what he had learned 'at his desk' were the keys to entering the world of work as a protagonist.

                        Today Alin is 27 years old and lives in Sardigliano. Three years ago - with his business partner and best friend - he opened the pizzeria “Il Quadrifoglio” in Cassano Spinola. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, they are only engaged in take-away, but the hope is to re-open the dining room to full capacity, since it had become a point of reference for the neighboring townspeople.

                        Alin attended the VTC course in Serravalle Scrivia as a sales assistant: “A friend of mine recommended it to me. He told me about a beautiful environment, useful for learning and being inserted into the world of work,” he says.

                        The training course led him first to do an internship in a clothing store, then to start working in a pizzeria as an employee.

                        “In the store, I put into practice the notions learned above all on how to approach customers, be polite and how to understand the needs of those in front of you. The course was very useful because they also taught me English - essential these days - and I was able to take the HACCP qualification for preparing and serving food and drinks, which came in handy later, saving time and money. Finally, I have perfected the theoretical knowledge in internship: theory and practice for a complete formation.”

                        The vocational school staff explain: “The course, completely free, includes 300 hours of internship, in collaboration with the commercial activities of the area, especially the outlet (the largest in Italy) in the third year of attendance, after the first two in which supplementary vocational subjects are taught.”

                        Depending on the chosen address, the subjects taught change: "Sales techniques, cash management, organization of the point of sale ... in addition to English, Russian and business Chinese, languages required for dealing with customers who arrive in Serravalle.”

                        Thus, after a few years as an employee, Alin and his friend decided to go on their own. Now he bakes and serves pizzas and can't wait to go back to setting the tables for all the customers who have learned to know him, appreciate his professionalism and taste his pizzas.

                        • ICP ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE SPECIALE PIEMONTE E VALLE D'AOSTA
                        • Formazione Professionale
                        • CNOSFAP
                        • Italia
                        • Lavoro
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          East Timor – Flood victims needs shelter-food-medicines

                          6 days 15 hours ago
                          East Timor – Flood victims needs shelter-food-medicines

                          (ANS – Dili) – A flash flood caused by torrential rains crippled areas around the capital city of Dili, East Timor, as well as some nearby islands in Eastern Indonesia (NTT), including the island of Flores and the Western part of Timor Island, Indonesia, in the early morning hours (3-5 AM) of Easter Sunday (April 4). To date, reports claim there are some 160+ victims of landslides and houses buried under mud, kilometres of destroyed road, and thousands of displaced people. In Dili, the water in the rivers rise as much as 2-4 meter above the ordinary level.

                          Although the main rainfall stopped on Monday (April 5), the water-level was still high. Rescue work continues to search and discover missing people and restore the basic roads and streets in the affected area.

                          The Salesians of Don Bosco (Vice Province of St Callisto Caravario, East Timor - TLS) with the headquarters in Dili-Comoro, one of the centres of this natural disaster, is now sheltering some 3,000 people who fled from their homes due to this calamity in its “Comoro Don Bosco” compound. Some blankets, food and basic medicines were distributed. Also, the archbishop of Dili, Virgilio da Silva, SDB, was present with his words of consolation to the flood refugees.

                          At the same time, the whole Salesian Family, with the Comoro FMA communities, Salesian Cooperators, ADMA and Don Bosco Past Pupils extend their hands to the victims.

                          At present, the TLS Vice Province has 11 canonical communities in East Timor, with 3 of them located precisely in the capital of Dili-Comoro district, with the parish of Mary Help of Christians; “Don Bosco Technical Centre”, a TVET centre, with a large oratory; and a post-novitiate community with the Philosophy study centre. Also, the Provincial house is located in the Dili-Comoro venue.

                          On the other hand, the Salesians of Don Bosco are not yet present in the Eastern Indonesia provinces affected by the flash floods, especially in Flores Island. The only presence is the Don Bosco community of Sumba, apparently without any major damages.

                          Prayers and any meaningful sign of solidarity is highly appreciated. “We pray for the people of East Timor and Easter Indonesia!” the Salesians say.

                          {gallery}TLS - Inondazioni 2021{/gallery}

                          • Timor Est
                          • TLS TIMOR EST
                          • Indonesia
                          • INA INDONESIA
                          • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Mozambique – Solidarity, fundamental ingredient in "Don Bosco-Maputo" Social and Sports School of Real Madrid

                            6 days 15 hours ago

                            (ANS - Maputo) - The “Don Bosco-Maputo” Real Madrid Social-Sports School carries out its activities at the “San José de Lhanguene” Salesian Mission in Mozambique's capital. The Salesians have been working in the country for over a century to help the most disadvantaged children, offering them an integral education. Through the practice of football and basketball, more than 70 children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 17 learn values ​​and improve their academic performance in this sports and educational project that involves the Salesians and the Real Madrid Foundation. The current pandemic situation has affected the activities, but not the accompaniment of children and their families, which continues with solidarity and awareness-raising activities.

                            The Salesian Mission San José, in Maputo, is part of the collaboration project of the Socio-Sports Schools that the Real Madrid Foundation has launched with the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, "Misiones Salesianas" - a collaboration that has turned 10 in 2021 and which today is divided into 21 schools in 14 countries on three continents, benefiting almost 4,000 children every year.

                            For three days a week, the students of the "Don Bosco-Maputo" school participate in training sessions for an hour and a half. Sport and educational reinforcement complement each other so that through sport the project participants learn good habits for study, hygiene and nutrition.

                            Mandatory confinement during the last school year and the consequences of the pandemic forced a reduction in sports activities and the number of participants. However, the accompaniment of children and their families has translated into solidarity, through the distribution of food, masks and protective devices, as well as through awareness-raising speeches to avoid infections.

                            Source: Misiones Salesianas

                            Walter is 13 years old and one of the participants in the football school: “Here we have fun, we learn a lot and make friends. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher and I know that what I'm learning will help me achieve this goal," he says.

                            The school year in Mozambique begins in February. Last year, all activities were marked by the pandemic, but classroom activities were replaced by visits to children and their families to encourage and help them during the lockdown.

                            The limitations of participation and health measures to avoid contagion are still respected: the use of masks during school reinforcements, hand disinfection before entering the playground or in any activity organized by the school and measurement of the participants' temperature before entering the sports complex take place.

                            However, what never changes in the socio-sports schools of the Real Madrid Foundation is the joy of the students, a concrete expression of the motto that guides these activities which benefit thousands of vulnerable children all over the world: "They play, we educate".

                            • MOZ MOZAMBICO
                            • Mozambico
                            • Sport
                            • Coronavirus
                            • Educazione
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Spain – A digital and inclusive school for the disadvantaged: "Don Bosco F5"

                              6 days 15 hours ago

                              (ANS - Sevilla) - "Don Bosco F5" will be a digital, inclusive and supportive school, the first to be developed in Andalusia under the "Simplon.co" pedagogical model. It has already selected the first 25 participants who will be educated in the new technologies according to this model. This is a project born from the collaboration between the "Fundación Don Bosco" and the "Factoría F5", which will be financed by the "Endesa" energy company. It is part of the activities developed by the "Fundación Don Bosco" in the "Polígono Sur" area of ​​Seville, considered one of Spain's most vulnerable areas, where a large number of minors, young people and families are immersed in highly vulnerable situations, especially in terms of employment.

                              The "Don Bosco F5" school project was born as a response to the crisis generated by Covid-19 to seek a strategic alliance between three leading realities in educational and social intervention, technological training and entrepreneurial commitment; and without forgetting that currently in Spain there are 12.3 million people in a situation of social exclusion (data from the tenth report on the population at risk of poverty or exclusion - AROPE) while there are over 56,000 vacancies in the technology sector (data from “Fundación Telefónica”).

                              "Don Bosco F5", thus, wants to be a commitment to hidden talents, especially among women in precarious situations, unskilled young people, long-term unemployed, applicants for international protection, gypsies, excluded young people, immigrants and all those groups that start from a situation of fewer opportunities.

                              An innovative methodology will be used for the development of the project, focused on job placement, centered on an active, 100% practical pedagogy, which will combine classroom and online dynamics, deductive learning methods and a constant vocational orientation, with the creation of real projects for the organizations involved, lectures by industry professionals, meetings and hiring days with companies and at job fairs.

                              One of the most interesting aspects of this inclusive project is that it will be possible to access training in the most sought-after skills in the digital sector even without prior knowledge on the subject.

                              At the same time, this is not a leap in the dark: the experience of the already active F5 schools states that 76% of students in the months immediately following the training obtain a job, access further training courses or start an entrepreneurial project.

                              On a technical level, a 1,000-hour formation will be offered on Front-end design and development of websites and applications (HTML, CSS and JavaScript), Design and back-end development of websites and applications, User experience design and prototyping, Usage of agile methodologies, such as Kanban or Scrum.

                              After receiving over 150 applications, 25 people have been selected who, despite coming from unfavorable personal, economic and/or social circumstances, have shown that they possess the required qualities: personal autonomy, logic, great motivation and the ability to work as a team.

                              • Spagna
                              • Lavoro
                              • SMX SPAGNA MARIA AUSILIATRICE
                              • Scuole
                              • Giovani a Rischio
                              • Tecnologie
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Brazil - Easter Vigil in the Iauaretê mission

                                1 week 3 days ago
                                Brazil - Easter Vigil in the Iauaretê mission

                                (ANS - Iauaretê) - How is Easter lived and experienced in the missions? Salesians tell us how one prepares for the most important days of the year in the poorest lands in the world. In particular, Fr Roberto Cappelletti, a missionary in the Amazon, in Iauaretê, at the extreme western border of Brazil, right in front of the border with Colombia, wanted to share the solemn moment of the Easter Vigil in his mission.

                                The Easter Vigil in Iauaretê is extremely evocative and special. Iauaretê is a missionary district with 10 villages around the Salesian house and each village is consecrated to a Salesian Saint.

                                As Fr Cappelletti explains: “On the night of the Vigil, each village lights a large fire in the central and community part. Simultaneously communicating the beginning with the sound of the bells of the main church, the inhabitants of each village light their candle at the central fire and walk towards the parish. The inhabitants of the ten villages,” he continues, “arriving in front of the parish church, form a large circle in front of the pile of wood prepared by the liturgy team. Each village also brings with it the new Easter candle. During the song, everyone, each with their own candle, sets fire to the large pile of wood from which, during the liturgy, the 10 candles of the villages and the paschal candle of the main church will be lit. It is a time of great spirituality and very emotional. Children, adults and the elderly, as a sign of faith in the Risen Christ, bring their small contribution of light, as witnesses of the Resurrection. In 2017, I celebrated 37 baptisms during the Easter Vigil. Let's say that the celebration lasted a little longer than expected (3 hours), but it was really beautiful,” added the missionary.

                                Fr Cappelletti also wanted to share an anecdote, dating back to a few years ago, when he celebrated the Easter Vigil in the village of the Hupda ethnic group, Santa Cruz do Cabarí.

                                “In 2018 I celebrated the Easter Vigil in the village of the Hupda ethnic group, Santa Cruz do Cabarí. On Holy Thursday all the inhabitants of the other Hupda villages of the Japú river arrived. There were about 700 people. I spent Thursday night, all Friday, and all Saturday confessing these people; 95% confessed in their own language, which I did not know,” he explained. “I entrusted everything to the Mercy of God, who knows all and forgives all. I had brought a traditional Easter candle, but to my surprise they, amazing beekeepers, had made a huge one out of beeswax. I was moved. Due to its size, they transported it to the center of 'Our Church under the Stars' with a wooden cart. On that night, 85 baptisms were celebrated between children and adults. The most beautiful Easter Vigil I've ever experienced.”

                                Source: Missioni Don Bosco

                                • Brasile
                                • Pasqua
                                  Virginia Nitto

                                  Madagascar - Education and evangelization: Salesian missionary presence in country's south-west

                                  1 week 3 days ago
                                  Foto Facebook: don Giovanni Corselli e mons. Rosario Vella

                                  (ANS - Ankililoaka) - In Ankililoaka, in the south-western area of ​​Madagascar, the Salesian mission represents an important point of reference for the local population. The Salesians of Don Bosco are concerned with offering them hospitality, medical assistance, education, but - above all - help and hope. One of them, Fr Giovanni Corselli, a missionary in the country for almost 40 years, interviewed by the news agency Fides, describes how his life changed when, in September 2019, he arrived in the missionary district of Ankililoaka, where he had started the Salesian work with the current Bishop of Moramanga, Mons.Rosario Vella, SDB, back in September 1981.

                                  “After having always been in small villages, in the field,” writes Fr Corselli, “at the age of 76, they appointed me director here in Ankililoaka. It is important for us to be close to people. In our community we strive to carry out work of evangelization and human promotion by trying to educate young people and the population to work together, stimulating them to reflect and seek their own autonomy. The main problem,” continues the missionary, “is that of water, of which unfortunately we have seen a dramatic decrease in recent years. The rains have decreased and for an agricultural population that expects everything from the rains it becomes problematic to be able to make ends meet. This year it has rained almost nothing and people have collected little. In its social structure, the population retains many characteristics of village life. Most retain the traditions of the ancestors. The Coronavirus pandemic has also been added, which continues to rage and has increased the restrictions, which for the people who live day-by-day, become unbearable.”

                                  “Of course,” explains Fr Giovanni, “in this context, the last thing parents think about is the education of their children. Despite the presence and use of social media, the population is not very open to the outside world. This creates a lot of difficulties for education and evangelization, our main objectives. For this reason, we try to let the little ones study, to educate the parents and, indirectly, to direct them to profitable activities of various kinds in order to become autonomous. In Ankililoaka we have 14 elementary schools in the villages with a school population of 2,599 pupils, a large middle school and a high school with around 750 pupils. In addition, the Trinitarian Sisters of Valenza, who work with us, run a dispensary and an elementary and kindergarten school with about 700 students.”

                                  “Wherever I worked,” concludes the missionary, “both in Tulear in the context of parish activities and neighborhood animation, vocational school, women's promotion, elementary school for recovery, and in Benaneviky, a very extensive first evangelization missionary district, with connection difficulties, elementary schools in the villages, construction of wells, I was able to see that for the people we are a point of reference, and that they need to be helped, encouraged, animated and supported. We do not get discouraged and we entrust ourselves to the Lord and to the Virgin Mary Help of Christians and even if progress is very slow we continue to fight and encourage.”

                                  Source: Fides

                                  • MDG MADAGASCAR
                                    Virginia Nitto

                                    Senegal - Young people from Tambacounda engaged in agroecology

                                    1 week 3 days ago
                                    Senegal - Young people from Tambacounda engaged in agroecology

                                    (ANS - Tambacounda) - "Cultivating the skills of young people. Formation in agroecology in Tambacounda (Senegal)". This is the name of the project that the Salesian NGO Bosco Global has recently started with the support of the “Fons Menorquí de Cooperació Internacional”. The initiative is encouraging and was received with great enthusiasm by 10 young people, boys and girls, students of the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Tambacounda and their families, about 50 people.

                                    Thanks to this project, some of the young people are already thinking about the possibility of setting up a business, which could market the organic products of their crops. At the end of the strictly agroecological training, in fact, they will also be offered a course on how to obtain microcredits. The young people of the project are well aware that solidarity must be global, aimed in all directions.

                                    What gives greater hope for this project is the certainty that it will lead to the creation of a true and proper school.

                                    Young people are learning organic farming techniques, soil enrichment and the optimization of the most precious resource: water. The young people have already been assigned rural plots and some of them have already started working.

                                    Furthermore, the initiative was designed with a gender perspective, which seeks to reduce gender inequality by empowering women. It will also help curb desertification and enrich the soil that is now depleted due to a lack of nutrients and water and climate change, which is shortening the rainy season.

                                    In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, young people are fully aware that the relationship of human beings with our mother Earth must change radically.

                                    A short video is also available on the YouTube channel of the NGO Bosco Global, in which the young participants in the project tell their testimonies, explaining the value that this initiative has for them.

                                    • AFO AFRICA OCCIDENTALE FRANCOFONA
                                    • ONG
                                      Virginia Nitto

                                      Zambia - Rapid growth of Salesian lay vocation

                                      1 week 4 days ago
                                      Zambia - Rapid growth of Salesian lay vocation

                                      (ANS - Kabwe) - In Africa, the expansion of the Catholic Church and the Salesian Congregation is ever faster and the Association of Salesian Cooperators is no exception. In fact, there are already many well established local centers and, above all, an ever-increasing number of new members.

                                      Kabwe, which is part of the "Mary Help of Christians" Vice Province of Zambia-Malawi-Zimbabwe-Namibia (ZMB), is a city with two Salesian parishes, which are entrusted with many mission stations, primary and secondary schools, a home for street children, oratories and, recently, the Novitiate has returned to this city after nine years.

                                      The 25 members of the Association of Salesian Cooperators of the local center animated by the Salesian community "Blessed Artemide Zatti" come from both Salesian parishes. Most are women; then there is a good number of teachers and faithful, all deeply committed to the work of parish evangelization. Furthermore, on January 31, another group of 11 aspirants began the formative journey, which will last three years and which will be accompanied by the Formation Councilor and Delegate for Social Communication, Fr Ignatius Musenge.

                                      The Salesian Cooperators experience the joy and satisfaction of their apostolic commitment by directing the oratory, carrying out daily work, accompanying youth groups or even simply living their vocation as teachers in their respective schools. Belonging to both Salesian parishes in Kabwe, they also form a natural bridge between the two communities and hope to be able to open another center soon.

                                      During the Extraordinary Visitation, conducted on behalf of the Rector Major by Fr Václav Klement, Extraordinary Visitor "ad nutum" and "pro tempore", the Salesian Cooperators gave voice to their joys and their daily challenges. Some of the points highlighted were: how to effectively help the poor, how to “rejuvenate” their presence and how to get younger members.

                                      Those involved in the Oratory, on the other hand, highlighted how often they find themselves faced with the poor understanding of the parents as regards Don Bosco's educational system. The lack of training materials, such as a Don Bosco film, adequate literature on his educational system and the lack of materials relating to the Salesian Family, constitute a challenging problem.

                                      Despite the difficulties, the lay Salesian vocation continues to grow in this part of the Salesian world.

                                      • ZMB ZAMBIA MALAWI ZIMBABWE NAMIBIA
                                      • Salesiani
                                      • Salesiani Cooperatori
                                        Virginia Nitto

                                        Ecuador - Salesian missionary work continues even in midst of pandemic

                                        1 week 4 days ago
                                        Ecuador - Salesian missionary work continues even in midst of pandemic

                                        (ANS - Quito) - At the beginning of the pandemic, many of the parents of the children hosted at the Wasakentsa Mission called their children home for fear that they could be infected with Covid-19. To respect demands for social distancing, many young people thus returned to their respective homes.

                                        However, this situation turned out to be a little more complicated than expected, both for the young people and for the parents, as educating their children from home was not an easy task. This situation seriously jeopardized students' academic performance. Thus, at the request of the parents and with the consent of both the institutions and the Wasakentsa mission, all the students returned to class, receiving lessons from Monday to Friday and giving priority to teaching the most important subjects.

                                        The pandemic did not prevent the Salesian missionaries of Wasakentsa from traveling through the jungle to visit the various Achuar communities. One of them is Fr Agustín Togo, who says that during the pandemic, the NAE (Achuar Nationality of Ecuador) sent people trained in the communities of the Amazon to hold workshops on the preparation of natural medicines. “For the inhabitants of these communities,” explained Fr Togo, “it's very important to take advantage of the benefits of plants."

                                        Even when there are no protective devices such as masks or when it is difficult to find Western medicines, Fr Togo asks to be treated with the tools available to us, always relying on God. “Faith in God,” he says, “is very important to overcome the pandemic, as is helping each other.”

                                        In the Wasakentsa Mission, however, it is not just about medical treatment and the pandemic. Fr Togo himself is developing various projects, such as devoting himself to sports and writing a booklet on football. The booklet will highlight the human values of sport, which are often also linked to cultural and Christian values. It will therefore not just be a set of rules and description of the discipline, but a real guide for those responsible for the formation of students.

                                        The brochure will be written in Spanish, but the idea of translating it and adapting it to the Achuar language, to make it easier to understand in Amazonian communities, is being considered.

                                        • Ecuador
                                        • ECU ECUADOR
                                        • Missioni
                                        • Coronavirus
                                          Virginia Nitto
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