(ANS – Santo Domingo) – Radio Juventus Don Bosco began in 2004 due to the courage and initiative of Fr Luis Rosario who, with a group of street children, too it upon himself to transform a means of communication into a means of education and carry out some magnificent pastoral work following the example of Don Bosco. The Station broadcasts 24 hours a day on AM, with the slogan: “A voice for the civilisation of love.”
As Fr Rosario tells it: “At first there was just the desire to have a radio station, but there was neither the money not the premises, and even less the equipment. However, once things started, little by little what was needed started coming in: some contributed money others offered volunteer labour...”
But the most extraordinary thing about this radio are the people who keep it going 24 hours a day. Writing an account of the radio, Germain Marte, a co- worker says: “Whoever would have dreamed of putting a radio station of that sort into the hands of a group of youngsters taken from the streets? Only Fr Rosario, convinced that young people deserve to be trusted, respected and given the opportunity to develop their talents.”
The youngsters in question are part of a project run by “Yo También” (Me too) Youth Ministry service which takes children from the streets and re-educates them and returns them to their families and to society. These are the youngsters who run the radio. Salesian Youth has not only been an example for the country but has taught it a lesson. “The young people involved here can be taken as an example of seriousness, discipline and application. I am very happy for them,” the Salesian priest says.
“With these young people we have achieved what Don Bosco wanted: making the young good Christians and upright citizens,” he say. Some of them are now so well prepared that they produce and direct three-hour programmes every Sunday. Many have developed skills as sound technicians, and capable of the installation, assembly and repair of the equipment and also of computers.
According to Fr Rosario “Radio Juventus Don Bosco” is quite providential. None of the producers of the programmes pays the station for what the radio broadcasts but neither does the radio have to give them anything. It is voluntary work, as is that of those who direct and manage the station. The only condition is that the educative and pastoral lines of the station are always respected.
The programming of the radio is addressed mainly to young people, to adolescents and to families. It follows Don Bosco’s educative and preventive system based on reason, love and faith. The main objective of Radio Juventus is to contribute to the making of a better world based on love; hence the slogan: “A voice for the civilisation of love.”
(ANS – Cochabamba) – “In all mission areas the roads are getting shorter because through the radio it is possible to meet up all day long; and so reach not only listeners’ ears but also their hearts” Fr Juan Aparicio, Delegate for Social Communication in the Province of Bolivia declared, on the first Radio Day, held yesterday, 13 February. “The radio has become the best way to communicate with out people.”
“In Bolivia,” – Fr Aparicio explains “we have 7 associated radio stations: ‘Radio Domenico Savio’ at Independencia; ‘Radio Don Bosco’ at Kami; ‘Radio Maria Ausiliatrice’ at Montero; ‘Radio Sariri’ at Escoma; ‘Radio salesiana’ at La Paz; ‘Radio AudioBosco’ at Sagrado Corazón and ‘Radio Ichilo’ at Yapacaní. In addition to these there are smaller radio and television operations which assist in strengthening pastoral and social work.”
“For the ‘Our Lady of Copacabana’ Province the radio has become a very efficient means of missionary work since in conjunctions with the heads of communities, in the language of each native culture we have built up a great rapport. It is being used as a means of educations in all areas: health, catechesis, family formation, cultivation techniques, prayer, music and love for Don Bosco and Mary Help of Christians”, says Fr Aparicio.
Fr Pedro Quispe Vela, who works at Radio Kami says that “a sense of community is built up through radio, keeping them united under all circumstances: working together, literacy projects, telling the life of Don Bosco and learning how to live as Christians. By radio we Salesians enter peoples’ homes and talk to them about their difficulties, we reflect together, we amuse ourselves, we learn the Gospel and deepen our commitment as believers. Here in Kami, the whole community works with Fr Serafino Chiesa and they help each other.”
“At Radio Salesiana in La Paz,” Fr Thelian Corona, Director of the Station says, “the students from the Salesian University are real communicators, because they think of it as the cradle of thought. The students who work on producing programmes take a lot of trouble with the contents, because they know it is their responsibility to know how to guide, to communicate and to teach something new. Everything they do has to be an expression of the name of the city ‘La Paz’. Therefore all the Salesian messages are always leading towards building up peace.”
Yesterday was the first World Radio Day, and in Bolivia it was the day of communication, because, thanks to the radio the Salesians have reached the places furthest away in order to spread education and evangelisation.
(ANS – Rome) – Yesterday, 13 February, for the first time was World Radio Day. Suggested in 2008 by the Spanish Radio Academy, the day was approved last November by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation). The Salesian Congregation observed this occasion explaining how radio is one of the media closest the world of youth capable of guiding, informing, involving and evangelising.
“Free independent and pluralistic radio is essential for healthy societies, it is vital for advancing human rights, and fundamental freedoms.” This is one of the points made in the message written for the occasion by the Director General of Unesco, Irina Bokova; she invites Governments to promote all the radio initiatives than can be of support in human development. It is in this spirit that the Salesians of Don Bosco, present in 132 countries in the world have set up in various countries radio station committed to defending those most vulnerable.
In many parts of the world the Salesians see the radio as one of the means that has enabled them to come into direct contact with communities, with this first form of accompaniment and as the best way for educating, informing and evangelising. It has been a rapid and practical mean of overcoming distances and making the message more effective.
For the Salesian Congregation – as described in the Salesian Social Communication System “We are radio institutions working with a Salesian style; we evangelise popular and youth culture, educating, guiding, informing and involving” (SSCS n. 90).
With regard to good practice it is suggested that: “(Salesian radio) promote culture, education and religion through ethical quality programming; prepare and train professional radio staff in the Salesian charism on a regular basis, to guarantee the quality of the message of evangelisation; engage in social justice and human rights with radio messages for the purpose; in all areas encourage networking with the Salesian Congregation and the Church” (cfr SSCS n. 93).
“Radio will always be a means of bridge-building between cultures, bringing the different age groups together and a form of education for the new generations” is the opinion of the Salesians of Radio Don Bosco in Madagascar.