|Bolivia – The Radio close to its listeners’ hearts|
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(ANS – Santo Domingo) – Radio Juventus Don Bosco began in 2004 due to the courage and initiative of Fr Luis Rosario who, with a group of street children, too it upon himself to transform a means of communication into a means of education and carry out some magnificent pastoral work following the example of Don Bosco. The Station broadcasts 24 hours a day on AM, with the slogan: “A voice for the civilisation of love.”
As Fr Rosario tells it: “At first there was just the desire to have a radio station, but there was neither the money not the premises, and even less the equipment. However, once things started, little by little what was needed started coming in: some contributed money others offered volunteer labour...”
But the most extraordinary thing about this radio are the people who keep it going 24 hours a day. Writing an account of the radio, Germain Marte, a co- worker says: “Whoever would have dreamed of putting a radio station of that sort into the hands of a group of youngsters taken from the streets? Only Fr Rosario, convinced that young people deserve to be trusted, respected and given the opportunity to develop their talents.”
The youngsters in question are part of a project run by “Yo También” (Me too) Youth Ministry service which takes children from the streets and re-educates them and returns them to their families and to society. These are the youngsters who run the radio. Salesian Youth has not only been an example for the country but has taught it a lesson. “The young people involved here can be taken as an example of seriousness, discipline and application. I am very happy for them,” the Salesian priest says.
“With these young people we have achieved what Don Bosco wanted: making the young good Christians and upright citizens,” he say. Some of them are now so well prepared that they produce and direct three-hour programmes every Sunday. Many have developed skills as sound technicians, and capable of the installation, assembly and repair of the equipment and also of computers.
According to Fr Rosario “Radio Juventus Don Bosco” is quite providential. None of the producers of the programmes pays the station for what the radio broadcasts but neither does the radio have to give them anything. It is voluntary work, as is that of those who direct and manage the station. The only condition is that the educative and pastoral lines of the station are always respected.
The programming of the radio is addressed mainly to young people, to adolescents and to families. It follows Don Bosco’s educative and preventive system based on reason, love and faith. The main objective of Radio Juventus is to contribute to the making of a better world based on love; hence the slogan: “A voice for the civilisation of love.”