Pope Francis, in the letter he wrote to convene this day, explains that the drama of internally displaced people, to whom the day was dedicated, is “an often unseen tragedy that the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated … The crisis we are facing should not make us forget the many other crises that bring suffering to so many people.”
Faced with the circumstances of migrants and asylum seekers in Spain, the Salesian Social Platforms work to accompany the processes of reception and integration of these people: they mainly accompany children, adolescents and young people, many of whom are unaccompanied, but they also develop programs to assist their families and especially adults who are most vulnerable. The Salesian Social Platforms currently deal with over 35,000 migrants and about 1,000 people seeking asylum or refugees.
Salesian projects respond to their specific needs by offering extracurricular educational programs, support in the regularization of documentation, specific work placement itineraries, foster family homes, psychological support, actions to promote non-discrimination and intercultural mediation, activities to promote social participation of migrant women, healthy habits, positive parenting and the offer of information, guidance and legal advice.
Especially noteworthy is the program for the comprehensive reception of young asylum seekers and refugees between 18 and 26 years of age. During 2019 and 2020 thus far, 84 young asylum seekers were assisted. Of the total number of applications submitted, 19 were rejected, 7 were approved with refugee status, and 1 was approved with subsidiary protection, while 68% of the applications presented by the Salesian Social Platforms are still awaiting a result.
“To preserve our common home and make it conform more and more to God’s original plan, we must commit ourselves to ensuring international cooperation, global solidarity and local commitment, leaving no one excluded,” said the Pope in the letter issued for the Day.
Similarly, the Salesian Social Platforms are now encouraging all of society - as it had already done with the campaign "Tu voz también es refugio" (Your voice is also a refuge) - to take a step forward for these people, offering one's voice to fight false news and build a better, more fraternal, more just and more united society, where the dignity of all people is acknowledged and no one is left behind.