France - Launch of GOFASSS: social and health formation with Salesian "fiber"

28 December 2017

(ANS - Lyon) - Salesians of the "Saint Francis de Sales" Province of France-South Belgium (FRB) have recently launched the "GOFASSS" (Group of Social Action Formation Organism - Grouping of Organizations of Salesian Health Care and Social Action Formation). To explain its meaning and purpose is Mr. Jean-Michel Mari, a member of the board of directors.

Why did you launch GOFASSS? What needs does it respond to?

In France, the world of vocational training is changing, especially as regards quality prerequisites and funding. In the French Salesian network there is a significant number of organizations that share the same problems and demands. By joining together, we shall try to respond together to common issues: together create training modules for autism, support for people with disabilities, with Alzheimer's ... And at the same time we can differentiate ourselves from other realities because of our specific pedagogy.

Is survival at stake?

GOFASSS is made to work as a Salesian Family and to enrich one another. (...) The challenge is to offer quality formation with typical Salesian traits. And these are the stakes! The reforms on funding formation have us go through a storm, but the challenge of GOFASSS goes far beyond mere financial survival.

At the launch you have also invited the educators of social-health action ...

GOFASSS can only work if there is a community of educators and actors working together. This meeting of educators wants to create cohesion and network dynamics. We can also expect that in the future, when we have to search for an educator with a specific skill, we shall be able to find him or her within our own network ... In this way, we will also have a greater capacity for innovation in terms of education and pedagogy, which can be at the service of our formation, our staff, and our recipients.

Currently the Salesian centers in the FRB Province are organized through two networks: 51 educational centers, including some with socio-sanitary structures; and 53 "Don Bosco Action Sociale" centers.

The GOFASSS includes 7 other entities and leads the "Don Bosco Action Social" network. A steering committee coordinates the activities of GOFASSS, while a scientific committee is being set up to direct its research activities.


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