ITALY: Volunteer efforts support youth in need
Donations to continue through work of Salesian community
(MissionNewswire) Salesians and volunteers in Andria, Italy, have been supporting youth in need. On March 11-12, they held a solidarity event to accept donations of various goods. The items were then distributed to associations, organizations, and communities that provide services for children and families in poverty.
On April 11, a group of fourth-grade children from the Salesian oratory visited the Lorenzo Bonomo Hospital pediatrics ward to donate toys, along with a written note emphasizing that with every gift received, one must make oneself a gift for another. One adult volunteer, who was with the children, said, “We don’t hide our excitement at seeing the smiles on the faces of the little boys and girls who appreciated this great little altruistic gesture.”
The volunteer work will continue. The volunteer added, “The next step will be the distribution of food at the Santa Maria Goretti Reception House in the coming days so we can again support children in need.”
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.
Poverty rose sharply in 2020 to its highest level in 15 years as the COVID-19 crisis brought economic challenges for much of the country. Close to 5.6 million people or 9.4% of the population are living in absolute poverty unable to buy goods or services to achieve a minimally acceptable standard of living, according to the World Bank. This number includes 1.3 million minors.
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Salesian Missions – Italy
World Bank – Italy