BRAZIL: Students plant trees to promote environmental awareness
Students from Salesian Mons. Luiz Lasagna Institute and the Salesian University UniSALESIANO planted 100 ipê trees
(MissionNewswire) Students, parents and staff of the Salesian Mons. Luiz Lasagna Institute and the Salesian University UniSALESIANO, both based in Araçatuba, Brazil, planted 100 ipê, which is a flowering plant of the Bignoniaceae family. Liliana Aparecida Cora, academic coordinator of the Salesian Institute, along with Father Erondi Tamandaré, director general of UniSALESIANO, gathered with the students and their families on planting day.
Each student chose a name for the tree they planted. The goal of the initiative was to promote integration, education and environmental awareness on the campus to highlight the relationship between humans and the environment.
Many Salesian institutions around the globe have taken part in tree planting and other environmental awareness projects and education since Pope Francis’ 2020 Laudato Si’, which has as its theme “Good Christians and Upright Citizens.” Pope Francis underlined the importance of education and training that will help youth shape a lifestyle and foster environmental responsibility. Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime noted the importance of concrete initiatives in the care of the environment. The first objective is encouraging the environmental commitment of youth.
Leading many of environmental initiatives is the Don Bosco Green Alliance, an international collective of youth from Salesian institutions and organizations that contribute to global environmental action, thought and policy. Membership is open to all Salesian institutions and organizations worldwide.
“The Don Bosco Green Alliance is helping Salesian organizations in more than 130 countries have a focus on the environment,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Don Bosco Green Alliance members work to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders.”
Brazil has one of the strongest economies in Latin America and is an important agricultural and industrial power in the region. Just over 15 percent of Brazilians live in poverty, with the majority living in the rural northeast of the country, according to the World Bank. While Brazil is making positive changes, there are still large gaps between the poor and the rich, and issues of income inequality and social exclusion remain at the root of poverty.
Inequalities also exist in access to education and educational efficiency. These inequalities are greatest for children and youth who are poor, live in rural areas or who have an incomplete compulsory education. Salesian missionaries working with poor youth and their families in Brazil develop programs and provide youth opportunities for furthering their education and skills.
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Salesian Missions – Brazil
World Bank – Brazil