ITALY: Projects fight educational poverty
Salesians for Social APS facilitates projects across the country in support of poor and marginalized youth and refugees
(MissionNewswire) Salesians for Social APS fights against educational poverty and inequality for poor youth and their families through educational and social programs in Italy. These programs are possible with the support of donors and volunteers and with the collaboration of local businesses and institutions.
In a statement to supporters, Father Francesco Preite, president of Salesians for Social APS, said, “Without your help, we could not do anything. Yet, together, what has been done is really a lot, especially for the lives of those who have been welcomed, accompanied, transformed by the Salesian presence in the country.”
Salesian centers in Macerata, Prato, Frascati and Turin have taken in Afghan refugees who fled war and prosecution. Salesians have provided support for those in Ukraine while also providing homes and support in Italy for Ukrainians who have fled. This is particularly true in Gorizia, on Italy’s northeastern border, where the Salesian community has seen an increase in the flow of minors crossing the border seeking safety and shelter. They have found support through Salesian missionaries and educators who are able and willing to support them.
Salesians for Social APS has also engaged in projects across the country. In Livorno, Salesians renovated rooms at a daycare center to improve the educational setting. In Santa Severa, on the Lazio coast, and Sassari in Sardegna, Salesians launched important maintenance and redevelopment projects that are still underway.
In Turin, initiatives have been launched to support working-class people in the district of San Salvario. In Foggia, in the Candelaro neighborhood, the Sacro Cuore oratory continues to offer educational support to youth who have been oppressed by organized crime.
In Corigliano d’Otranto, in the province of Lecce, the “Aloe for future” project was started by a local company. Youth from the Salesian community are involved in the organic cultivation of aloe, which is the first step of the project. They will also be involved in the extraction and processing phase. The goal is to create a 100 percent natural product from the community. Youth will work as a team to create an exclusive brand to sell the aloe to raise funding.
Fr. Preite concluded his statement by quoting the words Don Bosco used to address his benefactors, “Without your charity, I could have done little or nothing; with your charity, we have instead cooperated with the grace of God to dry many tears and save many souls.”
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.
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Salesian Missions – Italy
UNICEF – Italy Poverty