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(ANS – Madrid) – Yesterday, 12th August, was the International Day for Youth, promoted by the United Nations. The Madrid Mission Office launched an appeal to give children and young people a future and hope for a fairer world.
There are millions of young people in the world between the ages of 15 and 24. The majority, 85%, are in developing countries and, according to UN data, more than 150 million are illiterate.
“Today we are going through a serious economic crisis where unemployment is one of the most important problems, hitting the young especially hard”, says the statement from the Madrid Mission Office. “40% of the world’s unemployed, as reported by the International Employment Organisation, are young people. ‘There are many young people who spend their days doing nothing. They are convinced that that cannot change their lives and they can see no way out’, says Eric Arnaud, a Salesian missionary about the situation in Africa.
“As a Mission Office we are supporting young people throughout the world, every day, so that they can receive adequate education and training which will help them improve the quality of their lives.”
The Madrid Office works with secondary schools, technical colleges, workshops, offices and institutes of higher education in all five continents. It offers alternatives to young people so that their future will not be one of exclusion and marginalisation. “As the foundation of everything there is training. It is essential that young people learn a trade, so that they can leave school able to do something”, says Fr Arnaud.