SPAIN: Youth Forum Focuses on Sharing the Educational Experience in Madrid
(MissionNewswire) More than 135 students and 45 teachers of Salesian-run professional training programs recently participated in a forum organized at the Salesian Center in Carabanchel, Madrid. This was the fourth year of the event and its theme was, “To share to educate.” The purpose of the forum was to facilitate discussion between youth and educators in order to share life experiences and success stories.
Spain has been hit hard by the current economic troubles in Europe and 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 are living below the poverty line.
“This forum helps youth in professional training programs learn necessary life and business skills to help them lead productive lives,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The development training is particularly relevant at this time given the high unemployment rate in Spain. Youth need to develop the best skills they possibly can to compete in the job market and find a way out of poverty.”
The forum aims to foster growth and personal development of youth by promoting commitment, perseverance and the ability to push beyond one’s limits.
Throughout the forum, youth were given the opportunity to experience a range of professions and activities through workshops facilitated by various experts. For example, youth worked in the radio lab under the instruction of Mar Llerena and the Radio Temptation team, fostered creativity in literature with writer David Lozano, experienced theatrical improvisation with Manuel Castano of Lègolas Theatre and glimpsed what happens behind the scenes in television programming with Felipe Mellizo of Globomedia.
In addition, youth had the opportunity to participate in a dance workshop with dancer Susana Romero, discover the importance of sports with Joe Arlaucas and Jorge Franco of the Fundación Real Madrid and learn various magic tricks while enjoying a performance by Carlos Hernández.
Education and training skills are the primary focus of Salesian professional training programs. The Salesians promote the teaching of real world skills to youth in order for them to gain long-term employment to support themselves and their families. Equally important is personal growth through perseverance as many of the youth in these programs have had to overcome personal obstacles on their path to education.
“We want youth to succeed,” adds Fr. Hyde. “The Salesians have always grown and adapted our programs to best fit the needs of youth whether through education, technical training or helping youth to have the confidence, strength and perseverance to set goals in life and achieve them.”
World Bank – Spain