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ITALY: Students restore car to help poor youth

Vocational training students restore vintage car to help poor youth in Madagascar


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with the Vocational Training Center, located in Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy, are auctioning a Fiat Panda 4×4 passenger car to raise money for the Salesian-run school Notre Dame de Clairvaux in Ivato, Madagascar, which provides free elementary and vocational training for 400 students. The car was fully restored and painted red by students from the auto mechanics and bodywork courses at the Vocational Training Center.

The car was presented during an event for the people involved in the project including artisans, entrepreneurs, and representatives of local institutions, as well as Father Leonardo Mancini, superior of the Piedmont and Aosta Valley Province, and Father Daniel Antúnez, president of the Salesian Mission Office in Turin.

“It is a beautiful expression of an economy of communion,” said Fr. Antúnez. “When vocational training comes into direct contact with initiatives promoted to care for the most disadvantaged, the result can only be astounding and at the same time extremely formative.”

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.

The money raised will help a center that means so much to its community. 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. They started with 90 youth in 1984 and their efforts grew to help more than 400. They receive support from donors and associations, including Belgium’s Via Don Bosco.



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ANS – Italy – Economy of communion between Italy and Madagascar: “Panda 4 Mission” project

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