UNITED STATES: Salesian representatives discuss empowering youth through education at side event during United Nations 57th Session of the Commission for Social Development 2019
(MissionNewswire) Agostino Sella, director of the Don Bosco 2000 Association, recently spoke at the youth-led side event, “Youth Empowered! Enabling Youth Through Social Protection: Education, Employment, Environment,” held during the 57th Session of the Commission for Social Development 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Sella stepped in for Diallo Fousseynou, a young Senegalese migrant, who was denied a visa to attend the event.
During the event, Sella highlighted the critical role the Salesians of Don Bosco play in the empowerment of young migrants through employment-oriented vocational training. Sella noted that Salesian educational programming enables young migrants to acquire skills they can use to empower their own communities in their countries of origin should they choose to go back. Calling this process, “circular migration,” Sella said that the training is important in addressing the global challenge of migration.
The event was moderated by United Nations interns, Genevieve Pinnington and Greta Hunt. Joining Sella were young panelists who included: Morgan Thobe, youth engagement fellow from UNICEF; Apefa Adjivon, founder and executive director of The Pearl Project; Saphira Rameshfar, representative to the Baha’i International United Nations office; and Devopriya Dutta, coordinator at Tarumitra.
The group highlighted the initiatives each of them had undertaken to empower young people through education, employment and environmental action, emphasizing these as important elements of social protection.
Questions from the participants to Sella helped to highlight the work of Salesian missionaries and Salesian founder, St. John (Don) Bosco, which invests in the young, especially those from marginalized communities, so that they emerge empowered as leaders to secure a future for themselves and their communities.
Several Salesians were present at the event who emphasized the global presence of the Salesian mission. They included: Bishop Miguel Angel Olaverri Arroniz from Congo; Father Alphonse Owoudou, provincial of ATE (Congo); Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions in the United States; Father Piotr Gozdalski also from Salesian Missions; Father Sebastian Chirayath from Kenya; Father Joseph Amal from Australia; and Father Thomas Pallithanam, the Salesian UN representative.
The side event was planned as a launch for the upcoming High-Level Political Forum in July that will be reviewing the same themes of education, employment, environment, inequality, peace and justice and international cooperation along with the overarching themes of empowerment, inclusion and leaving no one behind.
The panelists, responding to a final question from Fr. Pallithanam as to what would be their specific policy from global governance to addressing gaps, and the issues of education, employment and environmental action, reiterated that in addition to better implementation of existing policies, there is a need to involve young people in policy-making.
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