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ITALY: Students raise money for poor youth in Madagascar

Students raise 13,250 euros to help support Salesian center in Madagascar


(MissionNewswire) Salesians and students with the Vocational Training Center, located in Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy, have raised 13,250 euros by auctioning a restored Fiat Panda 4×4 passenger car. The money raised will help support the Salesian-run school Notre Dame de Clairvaux in Ivato, Madagascar.

Notre Dame de Clairvaux provides support to children and youth living in extreme poverty, many of whom lack one or both parents. Some are being raised by aunts and grandmothers. Salesian missionaries have been operating Notre Dame de Clairvaux since 1984, and today, provide free elementary and vocational training for 400 students. The organization relies on donations and other financial support to operate.

The car was fully restored and painted red by students from the auto mechanics and bodywork courses at the Vocational Training Center. The project was made possible with the support of Torino Heritage, an association that promotes automotive culture through the care of classic cars. The students were able to take what they learned in their courses and put it to work restoring the vintage Fiat Panda. The car’s interior was developed based on sketches created by the first-year students and viewed by Cavalier Giorgetto Giugiaro, the designer who invented the Panda in 1980.

A Salesian missionary involved in the project said, “This experience was an extraordinary opportunity for the sectors involved, and for the young people and formators who participated, who were able to put in a wide variety of skills and multiple hours of work.”

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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