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(ANS – Bratislava) – In 1991 the Salesians of Slovakia launched the DOMKA association, through which they gave a great impetus to Salesian Youth Pastoral, at a time of profound transformation of their country. Today DOMKA is a well structured reality which involves very many boys and girls.
DOMKA was founded by Fr. Karol Maník, the present Provincial of the Slovak Salesians. He says: “The totalitarian system was over and we came out from under cover. However, the conditions were still doubtful and we were advised not to put anything in the name of the association which referred to Salesians. Inside the association, however, it was evident that DOMKA was aiming at the spiritual renewal of the young.”
The idea which led to the birth of the association was not to just stand by to watch the development of events, but to get in among the youngsters, to get to know them better, to integrate them into our initial structures and programmes, and become more visible in society, displaying our Salesian values to the world.
The Association is aimed at young people from age 12 to 25. DOMKA follows them to help them to see their lives as a gift and learn to take up their responsibilities towards the community and place where they live.
Among the favourite initiatives ofof DOMKA are the animationof oratories and youth centres (festive and daily activities, youth summer camps, sports tournaments, prayer groups ...); training of animators, educational weekends, educational support; foreign languages; social work with disadvantaged children; special and international events such as the Lumen Festival, the more important Gospel music festivals of Central Europe, starting already from 1992.
All this is possible thanks to the commitment of innumerable young people who are part of DOMKA: in the first years of the training for animators about 100 youngsters were taking part each year; Now there are about 400 per year, very young and highly motivated. From a survey conducted in2010 it emerged that 83% of those collaborating in DOMKA started to do so before they reached the age of 17, and more than half of them do it “to give whey had previously received.”
DOMKA is now one of the major youth organizations in Slovakia. It counts over 8,000 members, mostly children and young people in 32 youth centres spread across the country. DOMKA is a member of the Youth Council of Slovakia, of the Salesian Youth Movement (MGS) and of the Don Bosco Youth-Net.