ECUADOR: Salesian publishing house Don Bosco Editorial celebrates its 100th anniversary
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian publishing house, Don Bosco Editorial (Edibosoc), is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its education service. Events to celebrate this milestone are being held in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, as well as other cities in the country through April 17. Directors of the program, along with members of the house council and collaborators working in various cities, are all taking part in the celebrations.
Events kicked off on Mar. 19 with an initial meeting at the Edibosoc offices with Dr. Marcelo Mejía, delegate for Social Communications and director of Edibosco, greeting all those present. The purpose of this kick-off meeting was to gather the staff and learn more about their work. Salesian missionaries in Ecuador operate parishes, schools and other social welfare programs and Edibosoc helps to support all of this work.
To highlight the history of the publishing house, Marcia Peña, staff member at Edibosoc, highlighted the work of Father Natale Strazzieri, an Italian missionary residing in Guayaquil who wrote, “Manual of History of Ecuador,” for children. The book was initially published on Mar. 19, 1920 and espouses that “children and young people need to read in order to learn to think, speak, write and be free.” The publishing of this book marked the beginning of Edibosoc providing school textbooks.
The first day of the meeting concluded with an evening party in which the employees of the publishing house shared testimonies of their work. The next day, two lectures were presented that addressed some of the challenges the publishing house has faced from an educational and market point of view.
“Salesian missionaries in Ecuador focus on providing education, social programming and workforce development to help the country’s most vulnerable citizens,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Technical and vocational education is also provided to help youth gain the skills needed to find and retain long-term stable employment. Edibosoc and its social communication initiatives help to support the work of Salesian missionaries across Ecuador.”
Ecuador’s poverty rate was 36.7 percent in 2007 and dropped to 22.9 percent in 2016. These results show that 1.4 million Ecuadorians escaped poverty within nine years. However, many Ecuadorians still live in impoverished conditions. Ecuador is one of the most inequitable societies in the world, according to UNICEF. The richest 20 percent of the population receives almost 50 percent of the national income, while the poorest 20 percent receives only 5 percent.
According to the World Food Program, almost 26 percent of all children under age 5 have stunted growth, increasing to 31 percent in rural areas and 47 percent in indigenous communities.
Close to 20 percent of Ecuador’s population are people of indigenous heritage. For poor, rural and indigenous youth, education provides the best opportunity for finding employment, reducing inequities and breaking the cycle of poverty. Salesian missionaries have been providing education and other social programs for disadvantaged youth across Ecuador for more than 125 years.
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UNICEF – Ecuador