SPAIN: Salesian centers across Spain launch fundraising projects to collect food and other items for youth and families in need
(MissionNewswire) In the weeks starting the new year, many Salesian programs in Madrid and across Spain launched fundraising campaigns to help others in need. The majority of these solidarity campaigns are traditional yearly events in Salesian houses. These events always encourage hope, help to set new goals and persevere in the mission of caring for youth in need, as well as their families. In recent weeks, in collaboration with Caritas, tons of non-perishable food and hygiene products have been collected in many Salesian houses through schools, youth ministry centers and parishes.
The “Kilo Solidario” campaign was promoted across the country with each program adopting its own specific campaign motto. For example, the “Open the door of solidarity” was the motto of the Salesian house in Cadiz, which collected 8,000 kilos of food. The Puerto Bosco Youth Center chose “Sowers of Stars” as its motto and collected donations for the poorest of families in Puertollano.
Other campaigns targeted collecting goods for specific populations and causes. The “Food for Africa” campaign was carried out by Salesian houses in the homes of Deusto, Logroño, Pamplona, Azkoitia, Donostia, and Rentería and benefited programs providing youth in need in Sierra Leone. More than 8,000 kilos of non-perishable items were collected.
In the Salesian centers of Andalusia and Extremadura, the “Potito Solidario” campaign collected products for children, especially for newborns and babies. There was also the “Space for Art” campaigns with projects carried out in the youth centers of Castile and León. In addition, thanks to festivals held in León, Valladolid, Villamuriel and Zamora, youth were able to express their commitment to a better world in an artistic way and organize a food tasting of fair trade products to raise people’s awareness toward poverty and inequality.
“These are wonderful solidarity projects for local Salesian students who are able to utilize the skills they are learning in class while giving back to their community,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The people in the community are able to have the food and other supplies they need, while Salesian students are learning how to learn to work together to accomplish a significant task.”
Spain, which has been hit hard by the current economic troubles in Europe, now has the greatest inequality of the 27 countries of the European Union. According to the World Bank, close to 25 percent of Spanish workers are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. One in five citizens is living below the poverty line. Poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment.
Salesian missionaries in Spain have been working for many years to provide educational and workforce development opportunities for poor youth and women through residential, technical and vocational training programs.
World Bank – Spain