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ITALY: Students volunteer to help families in need

Students from the Salesian School of Doing Vocational Training Center volunteer time sorting food aid packages for families in need


(MissionNewswire) Students from the Salesian School of Doing Vocational Training Center, part of Don Bosco Napoli located in Naples, Italy, sorted food aid packages that the Italian Farmers’ Association donated to Neapolitan families facing financial difficulty on Easter.

Each package contained more than 50 kilogram of local agricultural products. The initiative is part of the support provided by the Italian agri-food chain in support of those living in the most vulnerable territories.

“Providing nutritional support is important for families in need, particularly as many are still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This also provided an opportunity for Salesian students to give back to their communities. Volunteering and learning new skills are important as our students progress toward the workforce.”

The Salesian School of Doing started in 2019 with 120 students who left conventional education and were in need of learning skills 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 and operation 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.

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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ANS – Italy – Don Bosco Napoli distributes food parcels for Neapolitan families in difficulty

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Don Bosco Napoli Facebook

Salesian Missions – Italy

UNICEF – Italy Poverty