SPAIN: Salesian missionaries launch new program to assist young unaccompanied migrants
(MissionNewswire) The Pinardi Federation of Salesian Social Platforms has launched a new program in Spain to help vulnerable young unaccompanied minors. Many countries around the globe have been grappling with an influx of young unaccompanied minors who have fled their home countries in search of safety, employment and a better way of life. However, many youth find that life in a new country, where they are at greater risk of social isolation, poverty and violence, is not any easier than the life they left behind.
An apartment in Madrid, donated by the Carmelite nuns at Parla, has been set up to accommodate five children with a goal of expanding the program over time to reach more youth. The program is in response to a recent appeal by the Community of Madrid, through the Family and Minors General Management, to meet the needs of these children and adolescents.
“We are aware that everything has gone very fast and what normally takes months has been a matter of days. There are many urgencies of all kinds for these children to be assisted by the conditions they deserve, in the most dignified way and by safeguarding their rights as minors,” noted the Pinardi Federation in a statement about the new program.
The apartment provided is part of the Casa Garelli project, a Pinardi Federation initiative that provides apartments for youth between the ages of 18 and 21 who are at risk of social exclusion. This initiative was launched in February as a follow up to a similar program run by the Pinardi Federation for vulnerable young refugees.
In Madrid, the Pinardi Federation manages two apartments donated by the Daughters of Charity that accommodate ten young refugees. In Seville, a Don Bosco Foundation apartment has welcomed four young refugees. The successful program includes lessons in Spanish local customs and language, financial and administrative support and work orientation to help the young refugees find and retain stable employment.
Salesian centers across Spain employ 60 professionals and 200 volunteers to serve more than 25,000 migrants and refugees through 40 projects. Salesian missionaries and their network of programs across Europe are assisting European countries with the ongoing refugee crisis. Salesian programs provide humanitarian and educational assistance to refugees by helping them become fully-integrated and independent in their new countries and homes.
Since its inception in 2001, the Pinardi Federation has been developing programs to help poor youth between the ages of 12 and 16 and is currently operating close to 40 projects aiding more than 2,000 youth. Projects focus on promoting the quality of children’s lives, helping youth retain employment and supporting migrants through family mediation. Other community projects work to raise awareness of volunteerism.
The Pinardi Federation’s youth employment projects include training programs that collaborate directly with the business sector so that students learn marketable skills to ease the transition from coursework into employment. These programs also encourage the business community to take an active role in program development as well as meeting with students to help shape their academic and social development, ensuring greater opportunities for employment after graduation.
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