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ITALY: Initiative to provide home for youth in need

Salesian missionaries in Foggia launch a new ‘Family Community’ initiative to support youth in need


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Foggia, Italy, have launched a new “Family Community” initiative to provide a home structure where youth in need can live and access education and support. The inauguration of the home is scheduled for the end of May, and project activities will start over the summer. The work will be carried out thanks to the help of the General House of the Salesians, Don Bosco Mondo and donor support from people in the Puglia region of Italy.

The Candelaro district of Foggia has few opportunities for poor youth. Salesians operate a parish, oratory and the Sacred Heart Association, which just unveiled an artistic mural representing Don Bosco as a symbol of hope and redemption for the entire district.

“In a neighborhood lacking in educational opportunities, we will try to give more to those who have had less from life. Our future home will be a small village in solidarity where education, love and sharing will be the pillars that help support youth,” explained Father Antonio Carbone, director of the Salesian community in Torre Annunziata and president of the Salesian organization Small Steps, Big Dreams.

Small Steps, Big Dreams will be in charge of managing the new home. The organization already manages other similar homes including two in Torre Annunziata, one in Caserta, one in Naples and three in Puglia. Father Luigi Cella, another Salesian in the region noted, “We take care of youth who are in situations that require greater educational attention.”

Salesian programs across Italy help youth who are unable to attend school and others who drop out to work at the few jobs available to them. A growing number of children work as laborers on farms and others have turned to the sex trade to help support their families. Those in poverty often live without adequate shelter, hot water, regular meals and health care.

Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy, has close to 2 million children living in poverty, according to UNICEF. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis. Unemployment is at its highest level since the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41 percent.

According to UNICEF, a growing number of youth are living away from their families in temporary shelters and within government and charity programs because of inadequate support from or neglect by their families. Salesian programs work to combat these challenges by providing shelter, nutrition, education and workforce development services for youth in need.



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ANS – Italy – Foggia Salesians relaunch mission for young people with “Family Community”

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Salesian Missions – Italy

UNICEF – Italy Poverty