ITALY: Women gain skills to earn living
Salesian Santa Chiara Oratory launches new tailoring workshop
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Santa Chiara Oratory in the Ballarò neighborhood of Palermo, Italy, has launched a new tailoring and dressmaking workshop for young women and mothers. The training initiative, known locally as “LABMAG,” meets three times a week. The participants have the opportunity to socialize with one another and learn a skill to help them earn a living.
For decades, the Santa Chiara Oratory has been a place for meeting, sharing and hope for the many diverse cultures of people who live in the neighborhood. The women in the training are determined to create their own products that will support their families.
Marina Profeta, coordinator of the group, described her approach, “This tailoring workshop represents a time for women in the neighborhood to connect with each other while working and creating. We socialize and talk about issues that are close to our hearts — family, work and children. They do not feel judged and like to share their fears, expectations and desire to learn something for the future.”
Profeta wants to grow the workshop to include others. “We would like to approach migrant women who have different life experiences and are rich in values. They can give us an intercultural exchange that could make our reality a dressmaker’s workshop of the world.”
Father Domenico Luvarà, rector of the Salesians of St. Clare, said, “We consider it one of our priorities to pay attention to these women through our pastoral educational projects. Their presence here is vitally important. We have a goal to work more with young women and provide the support and encouragement they need to prepare for the future.”
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 percent 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