ITALY: Salesians for Social reactivating 67 Universal Civil Service projects that can be done remotely
(MissionNewswire) Salesians for Social, which coordinates the Universal Civil Service in Italy and other countries, has reactivated 67 projects that had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About 80 percent of the total activities from the organization have resumed including re-engaging 753 volunteers in 198 project locations.
“We are satisfied with restarting some Universal Civil Service projects because we strongly believe in the educative values of this experience that acquire greater strength in a moment of social emergency like this,” said Father Roberto Dal Molin, president of Salesians for the Social. “Our young know the value of their activities and have made themselves available for the good of all, primarily for service to our country. We are sure that they will be of great help in the places where Universal Civil Service will start again with that energy and enthusiasm typical of young people.”
Among these volunteers are those who had chosen to carry out their civil service abroad. They had to return to Italy during the health emergency and will remain to carry out their volunteer service in their home country. In some instances, volunteer projects cannot be reestablished. These youth have suspended their service at the moment, but work is underway to reactivate the projects as soon as possible.
The activities that volunteers will carry out will change. For some projects, volunteer service will take place remotely while volunteers are at home. In other projects, a volunteer will work at the project’s original site or in another place where work can be done safely thanks to agreements with local governmental bodies and organizations engaged in the fight against the health emergency.
Volunteers will engage in a range of services including supporting the elderly, social assistance, educational support, digital literacy, creation of educational and cultural projects, food support, donation management and more.
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, 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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Salesian Missions – Italy
UNICEF – Italy Poverty