Freetown, Sierra Leone - 2016 - These are the faces of children left without parents, whom the Salesians look after and educate for life. They are "faces that speak of the future."
(Photo: Alberto Lopez, the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid)
(ANS – Badajoz) – One of the city buses of Badajoz, in Extremadura, Spain, has been sent to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Thee it will become a mobile unit that can help thousands of children at risk of exclusion who are living on the streets of the city. It will serve to provide medical assistance, food and psychosocial help.
(ANS - Lungi) - Fr Ubaldino Andrade Hernandez is a Salesian missionary who has worked in Sierra Leone. He was in Rome at the Generalate during the photographic exhibition: "Ebola, and beyond Ebola". His testimony is a sign of trust in God. He says that in those strange days of the epidemic they were living with "a real fear of death” but they decided to stay there as parents for many abandoned children." Looking at the pictures of the exhibition, the memories came to mind, and his eyes paused to remember his experiences. "Staying was the best option."
(ANS - Freetown) - The problem of street children, even after many years of efforts, continues to be a difficult issue to deal with, both by the Government and by institutions working for the protection of minors. Last December, 28 children who had been housed at the Salesian centre "Don Bosco Fambul" in Freetown, Sierra Leone, were happily welcomed back into their families. Following that, staff from the Salesian house went out to the streets looking for other vulnerable children and suggesting the Salesian rehabilitation programme to them.
(ANS - Lagos) - In Nigeria, everything is the best: the number of inhabitants of the country which is the most populous in Africa, the strong facial features and burly physique of the people, the loud laughter of the people when they speak, the sound of drums and the singing at Mass, even the dust which rises everywhere and covers everything in a short time. In this country so full of life, the Salesians are dynamic and hard-working, all for the good of the young.
(ANS – Monrovia) – Human migration is an historical phenomenon that lasted for centuries and caused the growth and prosperity of many countries. But it is a double-edged sword: it has its benefits and its perverse effects. What really matters is creating a safe, free and just society in every country.
Ethiopia – “Here I was able to live the ‘Oratorian Heart’” says Donato Galletta SDB
(ANS – Addis Ababa) – Be it Feast or Feria, Christmas or Easter, Meskel or Temket, the National Feasts in Ethiopia, there is someone who is always at his job: a Salesian 24/7, a man with an ‘oratorian heart’, ‘man of few words and more actions’. This is Bro. Donato Galetta, who has been touching the hearts of hundreds of young people ever since his arrival in Ethiopia in the year 1988. Of the thirty years spent in Ethiopia, 12 years were spent in Zway and the remaining 18 years at Mekanissa in Addis Abeba.
A rich man who helped Lazarus
In his letter for Lent this year, Pope Francis invites us to be generous with the needy, stressing that this generosity should lead us not to give what is left over but to give of our very own. In this regard, the example set by Chuck Feeney, an 85-year-old man who donated all his possessions to charity, well represents the phrase: "He did not give the crumbs. He gave the whole bread."
Indonesia – Asian Youth Day 2017, in preparation
(ANS – Jakarta) – To encourage and accompany young people in Asia to live and promote a "culture of solidarity and encounter with the other, in the multicultural and multireligious societies of Asia" and increase the awareness of the contribution to give to the Church and society: this is the intent of the seventh Asia Youth Day, which in 2017 will be held in Yogyakarta in central Java, from July 30 to August 9, 2017. The theme chosen for the event which will bring over 3,000 young Catholics from 29 Asian countries to Indonesia is "Joyful Asian Youth! Living The Gospel In Multicultural Asia".
Paraguay – Conclusion of Team Visit with the Rector Major
(ANS - Ypacaraí) - The Team Visit to the Salesian Region of the American Southern Cone was held at the House of the Salesian Family of Ypacaraí, Paraguay. It ended on the afternoon of Friday 24 March with the concluding words of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime.