PANAMA: Student from Don Bosco Technical Institute participates in Salesian-run climate-focused side event at recent United Nations High Level Political Forum
(MissionNewswire) Santiago Corrales Rodríguez, a student in his last year at the Don Bosco Technical Institute located in Panama City, Panama, was invited to be a representative of Latin America at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York in July 2019.
The HLPF is an annual meeting promoted by the UN to evaluate the progress made each year by various countries pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals. The theme of the forum is, “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”
The Salesians of Don Bosco hosted two side events to the HLPF including once focused on the environment titled, “Youth Aspirations & Climate Urgency.” Rodríguez participated in the round table discussion with other Salesian representatives from Europe, Africa and the Pacific Islands.
The Don Bosco Technical Institute is part of the Don Bosco Green Alliance whose members work to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders. The Alliance’s priorities are combating pollution, reducing global warming and eliminating disposable plastics. In each of these areas, it aims to partner with ongoing global campaigns promoted by the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment) or other international organizations.
“The Don Bosco Green Alliance is an important part of our Salesian youth ministry today,” says Father Savio Silveira, the convener of the Alliance. “Young people feel very strongly about the environmental crisis since they understand well the impact it has on their lives and their future. Accompanying young people as they seek solutions to environmental issues has to be an aspect of our youth ministry. Care for God’s creation is very definitely an integral element of our Salesian youth spirituality.”
As a result of the environmental work done by the Don Bosco Technical Institute’s ECOClub ITDB in Panama City, the school was chosen by the United Nations to represent the young people of the Latin American region at the HLPF. The ECOClub was launched in 2017 by a group of students who worried about the country’s environmental condition.
The club’s members organized waste collection activities, planted trees and promoted waste collection and recycling. Over time they received support from their parents and from the Fundación ECO Creando, a local foundation, which allowed them to be recognized by the Ministry of the Environment and to be part of five waste collection centers in Panama City.
The Don Bosco Institute’s environmental focus is supported by the entire local population and is the only school in the country that functions as a center for the collection and optimization of recycling.
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