RMG – Salesian activities with minors at risk also appreciated by "Fundamental Rights Agency"

15 June 2020

(ANS - Rome) - The "Fundamental Rights Agency" (FRA), the European Union agency for fundamental rights, shared a Tweet and a Facebook post on Friday, 12 June, in which it defines the activities for young people and minors in residential services carried out by the Salesian Social Platforms of Spain (CEPSS) and "Salesians for Social APS", in Italy, as "stories of hope." "What did isolation mean for Covid-19 for vulnerable youth?" is the question that FRA asked itself. The response, thanks to the participation of "Don Bosco International" - which facilitated interaction with the FRA - led the European agency to highlight the good Salesian practices carried out in two of the countries most affected by coronavirus infections.

All families had to learn to live together in isolation. But what about family foster homes and reception centers for minors?

The Salesian Social Platforms in Spain count 83 residential resources of this type: around 700 people live in all these centers. During the period of isolation their work changed considerably.

“The extension of the hours of intervention brought more time to foster conversation. We have seen how some gave their best and we were forced to leave our comfort zones, to seek new resources ... They made us change,” reflects José Carlos Rodríguez, Coordinator of the residential project "Casa Garelli Protección", in Madrid.

“The efforts and creativity of the educational teams were fundamental. Today more than ever it has been seen that 'Don Bosco' is the home of boys and girls who do not have another home,” adds Ignacio Vázquez, General Manager of the "Fundación Don Bosco", active in Andalusia, Extremadura and the Canary Islands.

Even in Italy, many of the minors hosted in residential care services had no other place to go, while others risked returning to a family that did not guarantee their support. The directors, educators and youth workers of "Salesiani per il Sociale" kept these residential services open and have taken all precautions to avoid contagion.

In Santa Severa, Palermo, Torre Annunziata ... In many different realities "Salesians for Social APS" has helped according to local needs: buying sanitizer kits, masks and gloves to make the rooms safe; supplying tablets to the houses to foster distance learning; and even by purchasing tools to allow young workers to continue their training and to produce masks to prevent infections.

In this phase of health and social recovery underway in Spain and Italy, the Salesians reiterate that for children and young people, especially the most vulnerable, they are - and shall always be - present.


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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