URUGUAY: Youth leaving incarceration to receive job training
Don Bosco Workshops to provide education for youth leaving incarceration
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Workshops (Talleres Don Bosco), located in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the National Institute for the Social Inclusion of Adolescents (INISA) signed an agreement to provide education for youth who are about to leave incarceration. The youth will take a mechanics course at Don Bosco Workshops in the hopes of developing employable skills.
“This event connects us to our Salesian mission,” said Father Marcelo Fontona, who signed the agreement on behalf of Don Bosco Workshops. “This gives us joy for the possibility it means for these young people for whom we want to generate other life opportunities.”
Fr. Fontona also noted that Salesians have facilitated a similar project in Salto. Over the past 20 years, Salesians have been providing education for youth who were once incarcerated and want to have job prospects once they re-enter society.
The agreement, also signed by Unión Capital AFAP, will educate 10 youth from INISA centers in a vehicle mechanics for gasoline engines course. There is already a waiting list for this program because many youth believe it’s a viable option for them for employment.
At the signing of the agreement, Dr. Rosanna de Olivera Méndez, president of INISA, said, “I am very happy, and today is a very important day. We are innovating. It is the first time that we have signed this framework agreement with Don Bosco Workshops, which has great prestige. At INISA, we have the mission and commitment to give these adolescents, who have difficult and traumatic life stories, the opportunity to find their vocation.”
She added, “We have a responsibility to leave them a network that includes their health, their family but also formation and the possibility of entering the job market. If we do not give them the opportunity to go out with real training and the opportunity to find decent work, it is difficult for them to support themselves. We know that at Don Bosco Workshops they are trained technically, but also in values, discipline, respect for timetables, and citizenship, because they need support to be good citizens and to be aware that crime is not a valid path, that there is another way.”
Youth crime is on the rise in the country. More than 35 percent of crime committed by adolescents can be traced back to a lack of educational opportunities and employment inequality, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Economic and Social Reality. The report also noted that crime rates among young people in Uruguay have doubled over the past 15 years and the rate of violent assaults has quadrupled.
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Salesian Missions – Uruguay
World Bank – Uruguay