ARGENTINA: Salesian missionaries develop collaborative project to assist and support local efforts for poor youth and their families
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Córdoba, Argentina offer assistance to thousands of children and older youth living in vulnerable circumstances. In 2011, missionaries launched the Amarrando Redes de Solidaridad (Connecting Networks of Solidarity) project, which aims to develop a new culture of solidarity while moving past society’s often individualistic culture. The project fosters support among several of the local Salesian programs in the region.
The initiative is the result of the work carried out by the local Salesian Planning and Development office. The goal is to create a climate of fraternity that St. John (Don) Bosco always promoted among Salesians. The project started with presentations to Salesian centers that offer services to vulnerable children. The presentation highlights the benefits of working together to tackle the many societal issues that children’s face.
Thanks to the generous dedication of many, the necessary help is brought together to strengthen the educational-pastoral proposals of the various Salesian centers throughout the year. For instance, in 2018, the Salesian center Oratorio Domingo y Laura of Corrientes was chosen. The goal was to help this Salesian center create a proposal for support so it could continue its programming educating children, older youth and adults.
“The stand out of our center is our vocational training program, which offers youth four-month courses that provide them the opportunity to learn a useful trade for their life,” says Dario A., director of Oratorio Domingo y Laura of Corrientes. “The center offers courses for hairdressers, cooks, tailors, carpenters, furniture manufacturers, electricians, air conditioning systems repairers as well as scholastic support. The desire is to train these young people so they can work.”
“Sometimes looking at the young, there are those who say that there are no solutions, that they are all delinquents. But at the oratory we have shown the opposite, that it is possible to change,” says one of the teachers are the program.
Through this project, Salesian missionaries from various Salesian programs across the region are coming together to learn from one another and offer each other support on how to improve the quality of education and social development services offered to poor youth and their families.
Salesian programs in Argentina are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in Argentina helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Programs also help to support poor youth and their families meet basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care in order for students to engage in their education and have hope for the future.
More than a quarter of the people in Argentina live in conditions of poverty with no formal employment and poor-quality education, according to the World Bank. The country’s high school dropout rate is close to 37 percent and youth account for a third of those unemployed. Almost 12 percent of children aged 5 to 17 are working instead of in school and 20 percent need government assistance. Many face malnutrition, a lack of clean water and sewage, and inadequate housing.
World Bank – Argentina