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INDIA: Youth connect with nature

Salesian Project Development Office (SURABI) of Chennai Province

Salesians hold environmental education initiative in Yercaud


(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Project Development Office (SURABI) of Chennai Province, India, launched the “Green Hands” environmental education initiative. The project included a trip to a nature camp in the hills of Yercaud, Tamil Nadu. The immersive experience, held at the end of February, took place at the Yercaud Retreat Center and cultivated a deeper connection between youth and nature.

There were 64 youth, ages 6-8, who participated in the camp, along with 15 teachers and eight volunteers. The group attended lectures and workshops in addition to an excursion into the nearby forest.

The project opened with a welcome speech by Father Joseph Leo, director of SURABI. One workshop featured Father John Christy Irudayam, provincial delegate for youth ministry, who explained the teachings of Pope Francis on climate change. Another was led by Father John Wilson, who provided information on the unique landscape of Yercaud. At the end of the initiative, youth received a certificate.

A Salesian said, “The goal was to expand children’s understanding of nature and their role in the protecting the environment. They enjoyed the workshops and getting out into the nearby forest. They were able to have fun while learning.”

India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44% of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10% of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market. Salesians provide a range of education and social programs to help support youth and their families.



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ANS – India – The “Green Hands” initiative inspires children to cultivate a deeper connection with nature

Salesian Missions – India

World Bank – India

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