Mali – Salesians in a climate of pandemic: "We must stand by the side of the most vulnerable young people and their families"

22 June 2021

(ANS - Bamako) - The young Salesian Fr Romeo Salami, originally from Benin, but active in Mali - also in the Province of Francophone West Africa (AFO) - tells of the work that the Salesians are doing in this era of the coronavirus and its social consequences. “We are currently focused on responding to the needs of our young people and their families, many of whom are affected by the pandemic,” he says.

“As in the whole world, here too Covid-19 has caused not only a health problem, but also a problem of reduced income or loss of jobs due to the confinement measures. And for the most vulnerable people, those who earn their living day to day, it's a very tough situation. Our goal is to stand by the side of the most vulnerable young people and their families in Mali,” adds the Salesian.

Fr Salami, however, underlines the importance of solidarity. In fact, thanks to the generosity of many different people and entities, such as the Spanish development NGO "Bosco Global", it was possible to respond to the emergency situation by accompanying families, providing essential food in the hardest phases of the pandemic, carrying out campaigns for raising awareness on Covid-19, promoting hygiene and distributing materials to stem infections.

Beyond the work in times of this pandemic-related emergency, one of the projects that most enthuses this young African Salesian is for the "Promotion of healthy educational entertainment for disadvantaged young people in the Niaréla neighborhood", in Bamako, a project that is also part of an international solidarity program, being supported by the Municipality of Pozoblanco, in Spain - the same municipality of which the late Salesian missionary Fr Antonio César Fernández was born, and who was killed on 15 February 2019 in Burkina Faso during an attack carried out by fundamentalist militiamen.

The objective of this project, properly Salesian, is to strengthen the formation of the most disadvantaged young people in this district of Bamako through educational activities that promote cultural values ​​and the talent of each person: organized sports, music and free time young people far from the street and from bad acquaintances, while promoting brotherhood and favoring the integral growth of the person.

“Seeing the boys and girls so happy in this project is something that gives me joy. Football and sport in general, as well as music and theater, are a way to bring joy even in times of confinement and social distance. Young people always need to feel together and united,” concludes Fr Salami.


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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