Spain – "Open our hearts to the refugees": Salesians welcome young refugees

19 February 2018

(ANS - Madrid) - The State Coordinator of Salesian Social Platforms has initiated the full reception program for vulnerable young refugees, funded by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

This program is developed in Madrid and Seville respectively by the Federation of Pinardi Social Platforms and the Don Bosco Foundation. The project is aimed at young people between the ages of 18 and 26. By the end of the year, estimates are that there will be about 40 young people being assisted in five shelters. The first 14 young refugees are currently transferring into homes.

In Seville there is an apartment that already houses four minors from Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and Syria. In Madrid, 10 young people from countries such as Afghanistan or Syria will live in two apartments donated by the Daughters of Charity, with whom the Pinardi Federation shares a project via one of its social platforms, "Lumbre".

Last week, emotions ran high in waiting for the news of who would be the first young person to live in one of the houses: "We know that his name is Mohamad. He speaks English and Arabic, and he arrives with nothing but a bag with three T-shirts inside to what will be his first home in two years. "The boy already knows the neighborhood and also three of his future roommates." "Now the challenge is that in 6 or 12 months they no longer need," says an educator brimming with hope.

"In our context, these two apartments - to which, God willing, others will soon be added - want to be a response from the Church, small but hopeful, to the call of Pope Francis to open our hearts and our intentions to refugees," said the Salesian Provincial of Madrid, Fr Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy.

The project provides a complete service with a team of more than seven people who will take care of all aspects of the young person. Each home will have a platform and an emergency educational community to provide full assistance.

With this project the Salesian Social Platforms take a further step forward in their efforts to promote the full inclusion of young people in situations of vulnerability, strengthening the intervention work carried out by associated entities as well as the generation of proposals and synergies for social transformation and the fight against inequality.


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.

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