Uganda – Alberto López (Misiones Salesianas): “Palabek: a refuge of hope”

(ANS  Palabek) – Alberto López Herrero is currently the spokesman for the Communication Department of the Misiones Salesianas, the Salesian Missions Office of Madrid, Spain, operating in more than 130 countries on the five continents. Its objective is the promotion, protection and education of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable. He is responsible for the documentaries produced each year to inform, raise awareness and denounce a specific problem or issue. In a dialogue with ANS, he answered a few questions.

What is your work in Misiones Salesianas?

I’ve been making documentaries for a few years. I do news, follow the content of social networks and elaborate periodic content.

Where did you make your last trip?

Recently I was in Uganda, in Palabek, one of the last Salesian works open to refugees.

What was your impression?

In the various journeys I've made I have seen the realities of child prostitution, of street children, of kids who have experienced war, of refugees, I've seen the war in Syria… Among all these experiences, I was marked by the war in Syria and by the refugees in Palabek. Because no people chooses a war, nor to be a refugee. These experiences greatly surprise us because we find ourselves deprived of everything.

What do refugees feel?

Refugees have two feelings. On the one hand, the sense of abandonment by a society that totally ignores them; and on the other, a feeling of hope in seeing the Salesians who go to meet them, who are with them.

What support do the Salesians give?

The Salesian Missions Office in Spain works for the entire Congregation, for the good of the people. We see the problem and we support the Salesians in finding solutions in any part of the world they may be. For us it is important that our work and solutions are not superficial and fleeting; we always try to give a solution through education, solutions that have prospects and future.

Is there a future for Salesian work?

Not only is there a future, but there is also an immense present, in the midst of so many problems. The Salesian is in the middle of so many difficult situations. It is something that distinguishes the Salesians and that is not within the reach of any organization. About 30 organizations work in Palabek and the Salesians are the only ones who live permanently in the refugee camp. They share the sorrows, hopes and many times cannot resolve all the problems and doubts of the population, but they always walk beside them and offer them hope in a concrete way: education, technical and professional formation and to a God who loves them. Palabek is a haven of hope.


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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