LEBANON: Nearly 800 youth bond with peers at camp
Salesian Youth South Camp in El Houssoun provides summer activities for 800 youth
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Youth South Camp, held at a mountain house in El Houssoun, Lebanon, is an oasis of peace and serenity in a time of social, political and economic challenges in the country. Close to 800 youth, including youth from Lebanon and refugees from Syria and Iraq, are coming together to bond with their peers.
The children, who are a mix of Muslims and Christians, enjoy sports and recreation together. A Salesian missionary from the local youth oratory said, “It’s impressive to see the joy that shines on the faces of children and adolescents and the enthusiasm they put into participating in the various activities offered.”
This summer break is in sharp contrast to the daily lives of those living in Lebanon. According to the World Bank, there is a severe, prolonged economic depression in the country where now more than half the population is likely living below the poverty line.
Unemployment, especially among youth, is already high and could rise sharply. Children from poor families are less likely to be able to complete their education and have limited employment opportunities as they get older. Many end up stuck in low-wage, seasonal and high turnover positions.
Don Bosco Technique, located in Fidar, is one of the area’s few professional institutes and welcomes a large number of youth who have difficulties attending school. The goal is to provide them education and social support so they remain in school and gain the skills needed for employment.
The institute, which currently trains more than 200 youth, offers several different programs for youth including mechanics, electrical installation, hairdressing and computer science. One of the institute’s most praised and sought-after programs is focused on training catering and hotel staff students. There is a large employment sector across the world for graduates who want this kind of employment.
Salesian missionaries have been working in Lebanon since 1952 and currently have two centers. The one located in Fidar has Don Bosco Technique and a youth center. The Salesian community in El Houssoun has an oratory and a reception house that has been housing Catholic refugees since the start of the war in Syria.
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World Bank – Lebanon
Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.