VENEZUELA: Summer activities benefit youth
More than 10,000 youth and volunteers are expected to attend activities hosted at Salesian centers and oratories this summer
(MissionNewswire) This summer more than 10,000 youth and volunteers are expected to attend activities hosted at Salesian centers and oratories in Venezuela. The Commission of Oratories and Youth Centers, chaired by Salesian Father Jorge Bastidas, delegate for youth ministry, launched the national motto “With the strength of love everything is possible.”
Youth are coming back to in-person activities after the COVID-19 pandemic forced almost all activities to be online or distanced in-person smaller events. July and August are two of the most active months for Salesian oratories with youth on breaks from school. It’s a time for them to engage with their peers and receive additional support from trusted adults.
Fr. Bastidas explained, “They are unforgettable experiences, because with them the participants have fun, make new friends, improve their social skills in relationships with others, grow in respect, tolerance and freedom, increase their self-esteem and confidence, develop their independence and autonomy, learn and practice values, assume a healthy lifestyle through daily life, and value their families and social environments.”
Salesian missionaries have been living and working in Venezuela long before the country’s political and economic crisis began. They operate schools, youth centers, and other programs that support poor youth and their families.
An estimated 87 percent of the population is currently living in poverty, and essential goods such as food and medicine are scarce. Among them, just more than 75 percent are living in what’s considered extreme poverty, up from 67.7 percent in 2020. The increase is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and fuel shortages, which means many people cannot put gasoline in their cars to make it to the few jobs that are available.
Salesians continue to distribute food, water and hygiene products in the communities they serve to help those impacted by COVID-19. They have also helped returning migrants, organized community kitchens, supported people in parishes and aided Indigenous communities in the Amazon. They remain focused on the youth served in their programs.
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Salesian Missions – Venezuela
UNHCR – Venezuela situation
Any goods, services or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.