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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Program to train environmental leaders

Salesian missionaries launch EcoBosco, a Salesian Environmental Training Center


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in the Dominican Republic have launched the Salesian Environmental Training Center, known as EcoBosco, which is a space built to promote the environmental care and defense of natural resources. EcoBosco is located in Arroyones de Básima in the province of Villa Altagracia and is 45 minutes from the city of Santo Domingo.

EcoBosco was built with the support of the Swiss Salesian organization Jugendhilfe Weltweit through the Salesian Don Bosco Foundation. It also received funding from the Office for the Promotion of Nonprofit Associations granted by the Department of Community Participation of the Ministry of Education.

The goal is to train future leaders in the management and care of natural resources, as well as promote and develop sustainable actions for care, reforestation, and agriculture in the area. The center’s training programs will encourage youth to be more environmentally focused. EcoBosco has a multi-purpose hall with a capacity for 250 people, camping areas, two houses, a kitchen and dining hall, paths for access to a forest, a lagoon, a parking lot and other common areas.

This project was developed as a response to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ to raise awareness and increase action on the values ​​of integral ecology. This is one among many ecological projects Salesian missionaries have launched around the globe.

“Salesians are focusing on creating training programs and other initiatives to focus on environmental sustainability,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesians are working 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.”

The center’s inauguration was attended by authorities from the province, environmentalists, Salesians, and youth from the Salesian ecological movement, who were able to learn first-hand about all the projects that will be developed there.

Nearly half of youth under the age of 18 live in poverty in the Dominican Republic, according to UNICEF. Although the country’s economy has been steadily improving, the country’s poor still struggle to get enough food to eat and to access safe drinking water and adequate housing. Only 30 percent of youth finish primary school and only 18 percent finish secondary school on time. Schools are in poor shape with nearly half having no access to safe drinking water and more than 60 percent lacking adequate bathroom facilities.



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

ANS – Dominican Republic – Salesians inaugurate environmental training center “ECOBOSCO”

Salesian Missions

UNICEF – Democratic Republic of the Congo

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