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COLOMBIA: Tree planting marks alliance

Tree planting kicks off alliance between Blessed Filippo Rinaldi and local community


(MissionNewswire) Salesian post-novitiate Blessed Filippo Rinaldi, located in Copacabana, Colombia, planted 23 trees to mark the alliance between the Salesian Province of Medellín and the metropolitan area of Valle de Aburrá. The tree planting is part of the project “Promotion and development of environmental culture in the social works and educational services of the Salesian Province San Luis Beltrán of Medellín,” which has been sponsored by Don Bosco Mondo in Germany.

The project will continue to develop alliances with entities promoting sustainability and good practices in the environment, such as tree planting. Salesians worked to develop the alliance with Valle de Aburrá for more than a year in order to use the land for tree planting.

After several inspections to analyze the land and the feasibility of planting, it was found that 3,800 trees could be planted in an area of about 24,045 square meters. The goal is not only to beautify the area but also improve water infiltration processes, take care of water sources, promote the ecological connectivity of the area, and provide shade and food for people and animals.

“These initiatives are among many Salesians have launched around the globe with a focus on greener practices,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Not only do greener practices help the environment and ensure a better life for the youth we serve, but they also help Salesians save energy costs, which is then used to aid programming.”

Just over 34 percent of Colombians are living below the poverty line. Although Colombia is among the world’s emerging economies, more than three out of 10 Colombians still live in poor conditions. Colombia is also the world’s seventh most inequitable country.

One in five children in the country has no access to education. Many orphaned youth live in poverty and have lost their parents to natural disasters, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and other diseases, war or domestic issues. Some children remain living with a single parent, struggling to survive, and are often pulled out of school to earn income for the remaining family. Other youth live in shelters or on the streets.

By providing education, workforce development services and social programs across Colombia, Salesian missionaries help to give poor youth hope for a better life.



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

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