German Salesians work with young people who are often on the margins of society. For this reason, it is important, especially in the current situation, to keep in touch with them. "We use the various social media and various messengers in a heightened way to accompany them," says the Provincial Vicar, Fr Christian Vahlhaus.
The Don-Bosco-Club in Cologne, for example, offers live streaming three times a week via Instagram and Facebook. Young people who would otherwise have taken advantage of the Club's open offers in Cologne-Mülheim are invited to telephone, write or participate in another way. Users tell what worries them, how their daily lives have changed and what they are currently doing at home. A psychologist from the Don-Bosco-Club is available for the most serious needs.
Digital proposals have also increased in other areas. In the vocational training works of the religious community, teaching materials were made available, both analogically and digitally, or via virtual learning platforms.
In the field of youth assistance, Fr Vahlhaus stressed that the Salesian commitment is now even more energetic, to absorb the anxieties and frustrations of young people and provide them with positive support.
Under the hashtag #GuteNachtCorona (Goodnight, Corona), the Youth Ministry and the Salesian Public Relations department are offering the thought of the "Salesian Goodnight" via Instagram and Facebook every day, around 6 pm. Also offering their contributions alongside the Salesians of Don Bosco are the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the collaborators and volunteers of the "Don Bosco Volunteers."
Also, a separate area was created on the religious Don Bosco Medien GmbH, which brings together information and proposals from the religious community; among the initiatives, "Together at home", a proposal by "Don Bosco Medien GmbH" with activities for family life.
"Don Bosco would like to be always present in this difficult time especially for young people, but also for families," explains Katharina Hennecke, head of Public Relations for the Salesians of Don Bosco in Germany. This page offers indications, suggestions and materials to facilitate the daily life of families, as well as pastoral proposals curated directly by the Salesians.
They also offer creative initiatives via social networks every day, such as cooking recipes and suggestions for manual work and physical activity.
Finally, there are also other proposals, edited by the Salesian centers in Chemnitz and Essen, or through the Instagram channel of the Salesian Youth Movement in Germany, which shares videos, images and texts by young people, for young people.