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SPAIN: Youth centers provide safe havens

Youth center meeting brings together more than 800 participants

Salesian oratories and youth centers in the Canary Islands, Spain.

Salesian oratories and youth centers in the Canary Islands, Spain.

(MissionNewswire) On Jan. 21, more than 800 youth participated in a meeting of Salesian oratories and youth centers in the Canary Islands, Spain. The meeting was held at the Salesian center in La Orotova and was coordinated by the Don Bosco Youth Center of the Our Lady of Conception Parish. The young participants took part in a day filled with sports and recreational activities. They were able to bond with their peers, meet new friends and learn from caring adults.

“The work of Salesian missionaries in Spain goes beyond traditional education, and youth centers play an important role in how they support youth,” said Father Timothy Ploch, interim director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesians aim to serve the whole person. Providing safe spaces for youth, especially for those at-risk or in high violence and conflict areas, ensures they feel empowered and are able to develop a sense of self-worth.”

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. The sports offered at youth centers also offer opportunities for youth to learn teamwork, improve their health and take on leadership roles.

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 percent less than men and represent only 34.5 percent of those listed as the highest earners in Spain.

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Sources:

ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Spain – Over 800 young people at meeting of Salesian oratories and youth centers in Canary Islands

Salesian Missions – Spain

World Bank – Spain

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