ITALY: Salesian missionaries launch new School of Doing Vocational Training Center for 120 youth in Naples
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with the Salesians of Social Welfare (SCS/CNOS Federation) have launched a new vocational training center known as the “School of Doing” in Naples, Italy. The inauguration of the first school year brought together local administrations and political figures as well as Salesian leadership.
Father Fabio Attard, general councilor for the Salesian Youth Ministry, said, “When a boy or girl lives in an environment where he feels welcomed, accompanied, promoted and made a protagonist, the present is called the future.”
The “School of Doing” is starting with 120 students who have left conventional education and are in need of a second chance at learning skills needed for employment. The school offers a practical hands-on approach to education. Salesian missionaries have built partnerships with national and international companies to offer students a chance to put their skills to work in a real-world environment.
The school offers more than 1,200 square meters of space where courses in motor vehicle repair operators and operators of logistics systems and services take place. The three-year training courses offer more than 1,000 hours of learning each year, more than half of which is reserved for workshop activities.
At the inaugural event, each course and teachers were introduced before a ribbon-cutting ceremony and blessing from the Superior of the Salesian Province of Southern Italy, Father Angelo Santorsola. After the opening events, students guided the visitors through simulations of lessons in the workshops.
The construction of the school was made possible by many supporters including the Campania Region, UNICREDIT Bank, With the Children Foundation, Alberto and Franca Riva Onlus Foundation, San Gennaro Community Foundation, ImparareFare, Cometa Formazione and the Il Millepiedi Social Cooperative Society.
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.
Young people who are unemployed and not in school or training programs represent 20 percent of the population in Italy. Vocational training is an educational path that serves as a highly effective bridge between work and school.
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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Salesian Missions – Italy
UNICEF – Italy Poverty