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GLOBAL DAY OF PARENTS: Salesian Missions highlights support for parents

Programs provide care for youth and whole family

(MissionNewswireSalesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and the international community in celebrating Global Day of Parents, which was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. The day, celebrated each year on June 1, honors parents throughout the world and provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents for their commitment to children.

The United Nations has noted, “Emphasizing the critical role of parents in the rearing of children, Global Day of Parents recognizes that the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children. For the full and harmonious development of their personality, children should grow up in a family environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.”

In their work in more than 130 countries around the globe, Salesian missionaries provide support to the parents of the children in their programs. Father Michael Conway, director of Salesian Missions, said, “Salesians want to ensure that youth have a stable environment and that their needs are met. We do this in our schools, centers and by helping their parents succeed. Whether it’s providing education so young single mothers can learn a skill for employment, providing feeding programs to ensure children have at least one meal a day at school or even providing health clinics, Salesians are not only taking care of youth but the whole family.”

In honor of the Global Day of Parents, Salesian Missions is proud to share Salesian programs around the globe that provide support for parents.


Salesians support remote villages in the Yanomami community in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil.

Salesian missionaries in the Maturacá mission in Alto Rio Negro, the Brazilian part of Amazon rainforest, provided support for the Yanomami Indigenous community thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions. Salesians have been in the region for more than 40 years and have a school, center and parish.

Salesians visited four villages and provided recreational and sporting activities for 646 children. In addition, Salesians provided religious sacraments and made home visits for health and education support. Funding also provided for a range of support including gasoline for motorboats, a 4×4 car rental, diesel for a power generator, educational materials and meals for students, batteries for solar energy, and personnel costs.

One of the biggest challenges is accessing the community given the distance and terrain to reach the mission. Salesians take many journeys between the Maturacá base and smaller Yanomami communities. Fuel for boats and a car to travel over the gravel roads are important for their work.

Salesians work against illiteracy and poverty while cultivating and preserving traditional culture. Education also includes information about healthy living and protecting the environment. More than 500 people are involved in the education.


Young mothers are empowered through a farming course in the Kigali province of Rwanda.

Don Bosco Muhazi Technical-Vocational School, in the Gasabo district in the Kigali province of Rwanda, is offering a new agricultural course for young single mothers living with their parents. The goal is to empower women and help provide support for the most vulnerable. The project also aims to strengthen gender equality in education and in the agriculture business.

There are 25 students enrolled in the initial phase of the course, which will last an estimated six months. Most are from the Gasabo and Gicumbi districts. Students will receive a kit to attend the course, which contains overalls, shoes, hoes, rakes, spades, sprayers, soaps and seeds for cultivation.

The students will learn how to prepare the fields for planting bananas, tomatoes, peppers and onions. They will also learn about animal husbandry.


Don Bosco Fambul in Sierra Leone is changing the lives of at-risk youth and vulnerable young women, some of whom are mothers.

Don Bosco Fambul in Freetown, one of Sierra Leone’s leading child-welfare organizations, has added staffing support thanks to a grant from the Flora Family Foundation secured by Salesian Missions. The Flora Family Foundation was established in 1998 by the family of William R. Hewlett (co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company) and his wife Flora Lamson Hewlett to support social progress, environmental well-being and cultural vibrancy.

Don Bosco Fambul provides a range of programs to help support youth who are living on the streets, girls who have faced sexual abuse, young women who have forced into prostitution and youth in trouble with the law. With the funding, Don Bosco Fambul was able to add a program manager, advocacy officer and communications officer.

Thanks to the staffing support, Don Bosco Fambul raised public awareness about child sexual exploitation and promoted its Child Line 525 for reporting child abuse and crimes committed against children. Through an advocacy campaign, Don Bosco Fambul staff educated the public about sex offenses, child rights, sexual exploitation and the consequences when these laws are broken. They also provided information on the channels by which the public can access justice in such cases.

Don Bosco Fambul celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2023. It is operating a shelter for young girls who have faced sexual abuse and are in need of support and education. Recognizing the specific need for girls who had been forced into prostitution, Father Jorge Crisafulli, former director of Don Bosco Fambul, created the Girls OS+ (Hope Plus) program inside a therapeutic center. Since the program launched six years ago, it has changed the lives of more than 600 young women, some of whom are mothers.


Patients received surgery and necessary medical care in Syria through support provided by Salesian Missions.

Close to 220 people in Aleppo, Syria,* were provided critical cardiovascular medical care thanks to support provided by Salesian Missions. These patients were impacted by the February 2023 earthquake in Syria and Turkey.

The patients who were supported needed life-saving surgeries and medical care. This project enabled 20 patients to access the surgery they needed. Other patients were able to access follow-up medical appointments, testing and medications.

Edwar Nakouz, the father of two children, received surgery and necessary medical care. He was in desperate need of surgery and was dealing with pain and illness every day, which impacted his quality of life. The financial cost of those surgeries was prohibitive. He said, “Since the onset of the illness I dealt with immense physical and psychological pain. I found myself trapped between the walls of the disease and a constant state of disability. I drew strength from within to face challenges and move forward steadfastly, I always lived in pain and hardship, but I never lost hope.”



BRAZIL: Salesians support Yanomami community/Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)

RWANDA: Farming course empowers young mothers/ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

Salesian Missions

SIERRA LEONE: Don Bosco Fambul expands child-welfare work with grant secured by Salesian Missions/ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

SYRIA: Critical cardiovascular care made possible by Salesian Missions/Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)

UN Global Parents Day

*Any goods, services or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.

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