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BRAZIL: Youth find opportunities in new oratory

Salesian missionaries open new Saint Frances de Sales Oratory in Porto Velho


(MissionNewswire) With the support of the local community, two Salesian priests launched the new Salesian Saint Frances de Sales Oratory in Porto Velho, Brazil, in the Salesian Center for Minors building, which closed at the end of 2019. The Salesian Center had once trained hundreds of youth in vocational courses. Now the building has new life supporting at-risk youth and those living in conditions of poverty.

From March to June, 20 youth came together to clean the rooms, paint the volleyball and soccer fields, and prepare the arcades, games, meeting rooms and kitchen. The oratory brings together more than 300 youth on Saturday afternoons and Wednesday evenings after school. The majority of youth come from poor families. They have little opportunity for recreation activities or connection with peers and supportive adults in a safe and positive atmosphere. Thanks to many Italian and local benefactors, Salesian missionaries have also been able to provide youth with snacks and juice.

The largest event held at the oratory to date has been a gathering of more than 500 people for National Day of the Child on Oct. 20. The event provided an opportunity for parents and guardians to come together to see everything that the oratory has to offer youth and the community.

“Salesian youth centers offer a safe place for youth to engage in constructive activities during leisure time—such as sports, art and music. Youth learn teamwork and social skills, which provide opportunities for growth and maturity,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

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.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Brazil – New oratory “St Frances de Sales” in Porto Velho

Salesian Missions – Brazil

World Bank – Brazil