ARGENTINA: Salesian Youth Movement in Rosario creates new activities for youth during the coronavirus pandemic
(MissionNewswire) Normal activities facilitated by the Salesian Youth Movement in Argentina have been canceled over the last several months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Salesian Youth Movement could not hold its regular camps, oratories, meetings, rallies and retreats. In response, a group of boys and girls from the Salesian Youth Movement in Rosario decided to use humor to address the situation and bring joy to one another and young children.
The idea emerged as a way to support one another during isolation. In full compliance with the health regulations on social distancing, various audiovisual productions were made in an attempt to make quarantine more enjoyable. The first video produced, which featured the “Don Boscosas” Kit, made everyone laugh.
“It all started with the idea of making a video for all children, who due to the pandemic, could not go to their oratories or groups,” explained Franco, from the Virgen de Caacupé oratory. “The idea of the video was to show everything we lack in those places and to trigger an identification mechanism. I also believe that humor and joy are the most subtle and effective way to give a message and make the development of any project much more fun and bearable.”
Ezequiel, another animator said, “It all started with the need to bring the playground to children in these times of isolation; to encourage them and accompany them with a little humor.”
Martín added, “I think we can say that we have achieved this objective.”
What began as a form of support for youth in Rosario ended up inspiring youth in other parts of the country. Gastón noted, “It helped us to understand that we can increase the confidence and self-esteem of each other and learn how to be more responsible with the commitment of the project undertaken. It allowed us to explore new ways to express ourselves, since the children not only had to plan and write the videos but also act them, sing and improvise. I think it helped me to bond with others and learn to work as a team with the kids.”
Salesian programs across Argentina are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country prepares youth for technical, vocational or university studies. Other programs help meet the basic needs of poor youth and their families by providing shelter, proper nutrition and medical care, helping youth 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 being in school and 20 percent need government assistance. Many face malnutrition, a lack of clean water and sewage, and inadequate housing.
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Salesian Missions – Argentina
World Bank – Argentina