INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HAPPINESS: Salesian Missions is proud to highlight Salesian programs that empower youth, bringing them a sense of well-being and happiness
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions joins with the United Nations and organizations around the globe in celebrating International Day of Happiness. In 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all people.”
In 2012, the first ever UN Conference on Happiness took place. The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281PDF document of July 12, 2012, proclaimed March 20 the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. The day was celebrated for the first time in 2013.
The day was founded as a way to inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement. In 2015, the UN launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that seek to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect the planet—three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness.
Each year, International Day of Happiness focuses on a particular theme. This year the theme, “Share Happiness,” is focusing on the importance of relationships, kindness and helping each other.
“For youth to be happy and have a sense of well-being, they must have access to education and other basic human services that allow them to feel valued and that their voices will be heard,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian missionaries meet the basic needs of disadvantaged youth who often have nowhere else to turn. They also provide education and social and workforce development services to ensure a positive transition into adulthood.”
In honor and celebration of International Day of Happiness 2018, Salesian Missions is proud to highlight Salesian programs that educate and empower youth.
El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in Central America, along with Honduras and Guatemala. FUSALMO, a Salesian-run organization, offers traditional and non-traditional educational opportunities for at-risk youth in the communities within San Salvador. Through recreational programs, enrichment opportunities in the arts and music, vocational training and more, youth are able to stay off the streets, learn to cooperate and co-exist, and gain the skills they need to become productive, contributing members of a more peaceful society. Founded in 2001, the organization has positively impacted the lives of more than 265,000 children and their families.
FUSALMO works to address the root causes of poverty, inequality and violence and give youth a chance for a better life in their own communities. Through the organization’s Don Bosco Youth Integral Program, three sports centers were developed in Soyapango, San Miguel and Santa Ana, allowing more than 55,000 youth to benefit from this program. The sports centers offer youth a safe space to connect with their peers and supportive adults while accessing training on creating a culture of peace, vocational guidance, adapted physical education, sports, technology, labor, culture and other topics.
Salesian missionaries with the National School of Arts and Crafts (ENAM) have partnered with Les Cereales d’Haiti, S.A., a mid-sized organization in the grain industry in Port-au-Prince, to develop a 10-month training course for young bakers. This partnership brings the first vocational training school for bakers to Haiti and will allow participants to acquire skills needed for their future employment.
Twenty students, including nine young women, are the first to start the program and performed an exhibition promoting the value of baking at the opening ceremony. During the presentation of the course, it was also noted that the bread industry is a very important sector in the country, enabling intense economic activities at different levels of society and in various areas of the country, both urban and rural.
The goal is to provide this training so that students will be able to find and retain employment in a high-need sector. This also provides Haiti with advanced professionals in the industry. Everything has been taken into consideration including the development of appropriate, industry-standard spaces. Salesian missionaries will work to recruit new students and provide the educational supplies while professionals from the Grand Moulin des Antilles of Guadeloupe will train the students.
Don Bosco Skill Mission is an advanced vocational training initiative for the southern regions of India. The goal of the initiative is to provide skills training to poor youth and connect 100 percent of graduates to employment. It targets students who have already completed their first year of skills training. Currently, 120 students are allowed in the program each cycle. The course is residential, lasts two months and is offered free of charge. Instructors are specialized in mechanical skills training and prepare for their role as educators through a month of teacher training and Salesian formation.
In addition to skills training, Salesian educators teach respect for ethnic and religious differences, as well as English language lessons and life skills to improve one’s character. The Salesian program also offers a guidance service that follows up with the graduates for three years following the program. The program has been successful at reaching its 100 percent employment placement rate.
Don Bosco Youth Center in Lilongwe has become a symbol of youth empowerment through sporting activities as well as vocational and technical education. The center conducts motivational evening talks for spiritual and moral growth. The center also provides leadership training for youth with the aim of equipping them with skills in leading and motivating other youth toward positive behavior and social change in their respective communities.
Don Bosco Youth Center hosts more than 600 youth each day from the surrounding townships of Areas 23, 24, 44, Kawale and Chilinde, among others. The center offers facilities for youth development in sporting disciplines including a football pitch and courts for basketball, netball and volleyball games. The campus also hosts Don Bosco Youth Technical Institute, which offers commercial and technical courses such as fashion arts and beauty, accounting, bricklaying, motor vehicle mechanics, hospitality and information and communications technology.