SPAIN: Meeting gives youth growth opportunities
Youth discuss recreation as education and essential for growth and development
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Eirené Youth Center in Seville, Spain, facilitated the Andalusian Federation of Youth Centers XXXIII Meeting of Oratories and Youth Centers in late March. The event was attended by more than 2,500 youth from the 34 Salesian youth centers in Andalusia and Extremadura.
Every year since 1986, youth have gathered to discuss recreation as education and essential for growth and development. During the meeting, youth participated in a wide variety of recreational and educational activities, from sports to creative workshops. They also attended dialogues and panel discussions on current issues relevant to youth.
Through its network of Salesian youth centers, the Andalusian Federation has been working for 36 years focused on youth development and providing them with safe spaces. Programs are focused on personal and community growth for the construction of a better society. The meeting was a time for friendship, collaboration, tolerance, respect and cheerfulness.
“Salesians aim to serve the whole person by providing safe spaces for youth, especially for those at-risk or in high violence and conflict areas,” said Father Timothy Ploch, interim director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian youth centers and oratories are safe havens for youth. They can access tutoring help, have a safe place to go after school and spend time engaging in recreational activities. Sports at youth centers also offer opportunities for youth to learn teamwork, improve their health and take on leadership roles. Youth feel empowered and are able to develop a sense of self-worth.”
Salesian missionaries have also 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.
Close to 32 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% less than men and represent only 34.5% of those listed as the highest earners in Spain.
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Salesian Missions – Spain
World Bank – Spain