ITALY: New housing community opens to welcome youth
Sacred Heart of Jesus Salesian House in Foggia opens new community house for minors
(MissionNewswire) The Sacred Heart of Jesus Salesian House in Foggia, Italy, inaugurated Casa Gio, a new housing community for minors. The house was blessed during an inauguration ceremony by the Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime. The event was attended by 40 youth and social workers from seven family homes in Puglia and Campania, which are managed by the Italian Salesian association, Piccoli Passi Grandi Sogni (Small Steps, Big Dreams).
Father Antonio Carbone, president of Small Steps, Big Dreams, said, “In each structure about eight minors from different backgrounds are welcomed. From 2007 to today, we have taken care of about 500 minors entrusted by the Territorial Education Services and Juvenile Justice Centers. We are happy to inaugurate a new community, even if as Salesians we would like every child to be able to experience the warmth of his own family in his home of origin.”
Ms. Patrizia, a social worker from the Salesian association who worked with youth through the pandemic, said, “What we’ve received, what we are donating, and what the Salesians in the oratory have taught us has become for us a vocation, a profession.”
Fr. Artime concluded the event speaking directly to youth. “We cannot fail to imagine the Salesian presence in the world without a Pinardi House like in Valdocco, to be close to young people who have no one and are without any possibilities. For each of you, the most difficult situation has passed. It’s time to write a new beautiful page in your life,” he said.
In Italy, young people who are unemployed and not in school or training programs represent 20 percent of the population. Vocational training is an educational path that serves as a highly effective bridge between school and work.
Italy has close to 1.2 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.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
Salesian Missions – Italy
UNICEF – Italy Poverty