TIMOR-LESTE: Youth benefit from safe activities
Salesian oratories offer a safe place for youth to engage
(MissionNewswire) Activities that benefit youth started at the Salesian oratory in Fuiloro, Timor-Leste, with a kick-off event for the new year that included more than 100 participants. Salesian missionaries and sisters with Daughters of Mary Help of Christians operate the oratory together and provide programs and services for youth.
The event started with a religious talk and an overview of St. John Bosco’s life and devotion. After the lecture, there were games and presentations of songs and dances from the various groups who attend oratory activities.
The oratory brings together local youth for afterschool and summer activities. The majority of youth come from poor families and have little opportunity for recreation activities or connection with peers and supportive adults in a safe and positive atmosphere.
“Salesian oratories offer a safe place for youth to engage in constructive activities during leisure time, such as sports, art and music. Youth learn teamwork and social skills, which provide opportunities for growth and maturity,” said Father Timothy Ploch, interim director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
Salesian missionaries provide a range of educational and social development services at educational centers and programs in Timor-Leste. Poor youth are able to access education and social programs including health services, nutrition, education and general support services that help them to lead healthy, productive lives.
Timor-Leste is home to 1.3 million people and has close to 49 percent of its population living in poverty with over one-third of the population regularly experiencing food shortages. In addition, close to 50 percent of the population is illiterate, according to the World Bank.
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Salesian Missions – Timor-Leste
World Bank – East Timor/Timor-Leste