SPAIN: 13,000 youth take part in summer programs
More than 13,000 children and older youth attend Salesian summer programs during their summer break
(MissionNewswire) More than 1,400 staff and volunteers at Salesian youth centers in Spain are organizing activities for 13,000 children and older youth during their summer break. Despite the limitations caused by the pandemic, the activities are broad-based and varied. These activities are facilitated at overnight camps and day camps in urban areas.
The goal is to create a lively atmosphere through games, gymnastics, sports, educational activities, workshops, cultural visits and excursions into nature. The camps will also feature workshops on technology, linguistic immersion and pilgrimage experiences along the Camino de Santiago. In addition, Salesian social platforms have developed activities such as camps, excursions, workshops and vocational training courses.
Some of the activities that could not be held last year are available this summer. A training course for youth who are Salesian staff helps with professional development so the youth can obtain the titles of supervisor and director of recreational activities. More than 600 people will take part in this training.
Teachers in the Spain-Mary Help of Christians province will also take courses in professional development. Close to 600 teachers are learning about the preventive system, neuro-education and educational marketing. Another 400 teachers attended sessions in Barcelona to improve learning processes in the classroom.
All the activities for youth and Salesian staff and teachers will be offered according to regulations to prevent COVID-19, including testing, distribution of masks and disinfectants, meeting capacity limits, and ensuring safety distances.
“All youth deserve a chance to have an enjoyable summer vacation, and Salesian programs provide a time when youth can relax with their peers and engage in safe activities,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The programs provide much more than just recreational activities. There is an educational component to each program. Even the sports programs teach teamwork, skill building and problem solving. These programs also provide a chance for our youth leaders to practice their skills outside of the classroom.”
Salesian missionaries have been working for many years to provide educational and workforce development opportunities for poor youth and women in Spain through residential, technical and vocational training programs. Although teachers are available to start providing distance learning again in the event of a new lockdown, the importance of face-to-face education is emphasized in Salesian schools.
Close to 37 percent of young Spanish workers under the age of 25 are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. Poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment. Women in Spain face inequality in the workforce. They earn up to 14 percent less than men and represent only 34.5 percent of those listed as the highest earners in Spain.
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Salesian Missions – Spain
World Bank – Spain