Chile – Fire destroys “Fundación Don Bosco” center in Valparaíso

12 August 2020

(ANS - Valparaíso) - The "Raúl Villarroel" day center of the "Fundación Don Bosco", which opened its doors seven years ago in Valparaíso to assist adults in street situations, suffered a fire on the afternoon of Saturday 8 August. Fortunately, none of the center's guests, nor the staff members of the work, were injured. Attended every day by over 30 people over the age of 18, the center provided its beneficiaries with access to hygiene services along with cooked food.

Besides providing practical and important services for people living in the streets, the center was above all a place of daily meetings, where socialization work took place in a protected and safe environment and where social reintegration was encouraged in every way. In order to provide an even better service, the spaces of the day center had been recently renovated.

During these months of the pandemic, the center had installed a device through which, by limiting contact between people, it was still possible to help those who live on the street, providing food and a kit of hygiene and personal protection products.

Last Saturday's fire damaged the entire house, especially affecting the reception office and the central corridor on the first floor; it has also literally burned several donations of food, toiletries and personal protective equipment. The flames and heat have in any case damaged all the environments, covering the surfaces with soot.

“As a team of professionals we have been much affected. It was a big blow to us. In the afternoon we dedicated ourselves to tidying up and cleaning, awaiting the assessment of material damage and the time during which we will remain without the possibility of offering our service to our beneficiaries,” declared Carlos Aravena, Director of the "Raúl Villarroel" day center.

The president of the "Fundación Don Bosco", Fr Víctor Mora, SDB, sadly shared some words on social networks: “How many anxieties in order to continue to take care of the people who are beneficiaries of this house ... But in the end, it is only a question of fighting, of living in love, of doing what God wants us to do; even if to do so we had to face the whole world. God will provide and support us.”

The relevant bodies are still investigating the causes of the fire. Soon to to be launched is a fundraising campaign to rebuild the building and thus restore a community environment and essential services to people who live on the margins of society.

Source: Fundación Don Bosco


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".