PARAGUAY: Youth from the Salesian Carlos Pfannl Agricultural Institute plant 600 trees as part of the Don Bosco Green Alliance “Do not suffocate our future” campaign
(MissionNewswire) Salesian youth from the Salesian Carlos Pfannl Agricultural Institute, located in Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay, planted 600 trees in the city for World Environment Day which was celebrated on June 5. Youth were assisted in the project by agronomist engineers and teachers from the institute and by members of the Oventense Civil Environmental Organization.
Participating students announced that this was only the beginning of their support for the environment and invited all educational institutions, especially Salesian educational centers, to give priority to ecological projects. The event was part of the “Do not suffocate our future” campaign organized by the Don Bosco Green Alliance.
Don Bosco Green Alliance 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.”
Salesian missionaries have been working in Paraguay since establishing a church in Asunción in 1896. Through the years, missionaries have operated educational programs to help advance the skills and knowledge of the indigenous population in the area while promoting strong cooperation with leaders of the indigenous culture. Local Salesian programming supports laws in favor of the indigenous populations, the recovery of original lands, sustainable development, the appreciation of cultural values in each ethnic group and the fostering of internal leadership.
Paraguay is among the poorest countries in South America. According to UNICEF, almost 23 percent of its population of 6.5 million people live in poverty earning less than $1 per day. The gap between the small upper class and the large lower class is extreme and offers virtually no social mobility.
Conditions of poverty drive youth into early labor and a lack of literacy, in addition to a weak educational foundation, compounds the problem. Those in poverty face overcrowding, low quality housing and a lack of access to basic household services. Paraguayans who only graduate from primary school are twice as likely to live in poverty as those who have access to and complete secondary school.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
UNICEF – Paraguay
Salesian Missions – Paraguay