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(ANS – La Paz) – For the Salesians of Bolivia the radio has become an important instrument of pastoral work, education and evangelization. Creating synergies, initiatives and programmes have been started for the benefit of people of all classes. The Salesian Universtity of La Paz has activated a chain of collaborations between the Faculties and its broadcasting station Radio Salesiana 89.7 FM.
The “Madonna of Copacabana” Province of Bolivia has 11 radio transmitters. Over the last two years, a path of collaboration and network has been followed which has seen Salesians and lay-people committed to promoting education and evangelization. The Rector of the Salesian University of Bolivia, Fr. Thelìan Argeo Corona, said: “The radio has involved Salesians and lay-people together for the benefit of the whole nation. The radio has enabled us to spread our Salesian and ecclesial identity, to establish ourselves as an alternative medium of communication, to place ourselves before public opinion through various programmes, to evangelize culture, to consolidate the national network of the Salesian System of Communication . For the University its has been an opportunity to be involved in radio programmes for the benefit of the listeners.
Leonardo Mollinedo Silva, one of the journalists of Radio Salesiana 89.7 FM, describes the participation of the academic centre as a great conquest in favour of the most needy. “Each faculty has chosen contents which can be of service to society, placing them at the disposition of the listeners, who consult professors and students to find solutions to their problems.
Lecturers and students are involved in some of the programmes: “Education for life”, promoted by the Faculty of Pedagogy, “Supporting the Community” by the Faculty of health, education and sport; “Learn to read and write”, and “Life and Family”, by the Faculty of Educational Sciences; “Technology of icebergs” by the Faculty of system engineering; “Healthy Criticism” by the Faculty of Law.
The other transmitters have also been involved in this programme. In response to local needs, every station has launched programmes aiming, for example, at agricultural training, culture and evangelization, health, radio cooperation, social action and promotion of peace.
Progress has not been slow to appear. Thanks to the collaboration with the Salesian University, new challenges have been mapped out to improve the synergy between the radios and the National network ERBOL, which has over a hundred radios.
The “Association of Salesian Educative Radio and Television of Bolivia” (ARTESBOL) was started a little over a year ago, aiming at creating a space for critical refection from a Christian and Salesian aspect.
The radio is not only an instrument, but a space for the word, updating, meeting, learning. The option chosen by the “Madonna of Copacabana” Province of Bolivia comes under the mission of education and evangelization of the Salesian Congregation and of the Church.