FRANCE: Salesian students launch project to raise money and support French organization Clowns of Hope
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Institute of the Immaculate Conception of Bailleul, France launched a new project during this school year in support of initiatives by the French organization Les Clowns de L’espoir (Clowns of Hope). Th organization is committed to bringing a smile to sick children. The 780 Salesian students attending the institute have not only pledged to raise funds but also bring joy.
“The project would not have made sense if the young people had not been able to give joy,” says Professor Isabelle Marcant, dean of the Salesian Institute of the Immaculate Conception. “This year for the competition of the Citizen Challenge, a pastoral operation involving the Salesian centers of the entire France-Belgium South Province, we did not want to start a new project. We preferred to provide support to an existing effort in our communities and chose Clowns of Hope.”
Representatives from Clowns of Hope visited the Salesian Institute, and the students immediately started to organize a charity event. They realized, however, that they wanted to do more than just raise money. They wanted to also be able to share their joy and smiles, so new activities were launched.
Students mobilized to plan and coordinate activities. The school started the sale of the classic red clown noses during recess. Students then shared photos and set up meetings with parents for their engagement. During the Christmas holiday, the Salesian Institute decorated the Christmas tree with garlands of red noses.
At the start of 2018, the Salesian Institute held an open house and set a circus theme. Tents were put up in the courtyard and fun activities for parents and youth were held. For the feast of Don Bosco, a billboard with photos of the children and teachers wearing the red noses was brought to the altar during the mass.
In April, students and adults competed in a race and were sponsored, raising funding for Clowns of Hope. The Salesian Institute is continuing to raise money and will present Clowns of Hope with a check in June 2018.
Through this project and other projects, Salesian students are learning the importance of giving back to their communities. Students have taken all that they have learned during their Salesian education and are working to pay it forward to other members of their community who are in need.
Salesian programs around the globe are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Programs also help to support poor youth and their families meet basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care in order for students to engage in their education and have hope for the future.
Photo source: ANS