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(ANS – Ljubljana) – Skala, which means ‘rock’, is a Salesian NGO forming part of ‘Zavod Salesianum’, founded in 1996 by the Slovenian Province. Its purpose is to provide training for the young people who live on the streets, and to promote their overall development.
The educational activities of Skala are aimed at children and adolescents between the ages of 7 and 15 who spend most of their time on the streets and are consequently beset with many difficulties and worries.
Don Bosco’s Preventive System provides the basic guidelines for the work. ‘We believe that there is a spark of goodness in every boy and girl. We want to share our knowledge and experience with the most disadvantaged and develop their potential. We are aware of the importance of co-responsibility in building community and we want to be in contact with the true real-life situation of the street children and adolescents, to offer them friendly support and encourage their growth’, writes Janja Omahen, one of the Skala workers.
Activities take place throughout the year and are concentrated in the Fužine quarter of Ljubljana, an area faced with social, economic and family problems. There are many different programmes through which the Skala workers carry out their mission:
The young people take part enthusiastically in the various programmes and grow through them. All the activities are designed to build up the self-esteem of the youngsters.
Among Skiala’s success stories is that of Sandra, who flourished in Fužine through the programmes of the Salesian NGO. With their help she published a collection of poems entitled ‘Life’. She first became a volunteer with the project. Last January she was taken on directly and she is now one of those in charge of the Film Project. Her position in Skala has led to greater collaboration between the residents and the educational initiative, since they can trust more freely in someone from their own area.