ITALY: Salesian Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco oratory holds BorgOlimpiadi 2018 sporting event for youth
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian oratory of the Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco, located in Rome, Italy, held the BorgOlimpiadi 2018 from Oct. 20-21. The sporting event featured four rival youth teams from Madagascar, France, Albania and Australia who came together to compete and show sportsmanship. The event, which fostered a sense of belonging and friendly rivalry, was organized in collaboration with parents, teachers, Salesian staff and volunteers. Youth from the Vocational Training Center of the Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco prepared meals and snacks for the participants.
Today, almost all Salesian programs include some form of recreation and some programs have developed more formal socio-sports components. Sports and recreation provide youth a chance to connect with their peers, gain team building skills and have fun in a supportive environment.
“Sports programs teach youth both on and off the field,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Learning and playing team sports encourages leadership skills as well as teaches youth to work as part of a team. Students also learn important social skills and have opportunities for growth and maturity.”
Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco is one of several Salesian programs across the country that include an oratory and a vocational training center. The training centers provide the skills youth need to enter the workforce and find and retain stable employment in order to escape poverty and lead productive lives.
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 and 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.
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.
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)
UNICEF – Italy Poverty