ITALY: Salesian missionaries launch vocational training courses at the Don Bosco Educational Center in Naples
(MissionNewswire) After 40 years, vocational training courses are starting once again at the Don Bosco Educational Center in the Doganella district of Naples, Italy. To celebrate the event, a conference titled, “Possible Futures,” was held at the Salesian Institute Menechini in February to discuss more about the educational center and the vocational training courses that will be offered. These courses have been made possible by Salesian missionaries working in collaboration with leaders in the Campania Region and private donors.
The educational center will offer vocational training for youth to provide them the skills needed to find and retain stable employment. Chiara Marciani, the public councilor in charge of vocational training, noted that the choice to offer a professional training path is more important now than ever given the number of youth leaving school before completion.
The Riva Association, a local group that provides and directs funds to socially useful projects in the region, has provided funding to the Salesian vocational training center to ensure it has the organizational capacity it needs for teachers and supplies. Its funding, combined with the Salesian missionaries’ experience and passion for education, has made the new vocational school a success from the standpoint of education, professional coursework offered and meeting the needs of the local economy.
The school will begin by offering two courses, one in motor vehicle repair and mechanics and one in logistic system operation and warehouse management. Father Fabio Bellino, director of the Salesian Oratory of Naples, has said, “This project is especially important for those who live in situations of marginalization and difficulty. It is a path out of poverty.”
In Italy, young people who are unemployed and not in school or training programs represent 20 percent of the population. Vocational training is as 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.
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.
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UNICEF – Italy Poverty