Ethiopia - Solidarity and sport, Fiona May's bond with the missions

21 July 2021

(ANS - Addis Abeba) - Children, teens, the young need to be given ample freedom to play, run, jump and play sports. The Salesian missionaries are well aware of this in 134 countries of the world, people who bring forth the preventive system of Don Bosco, the Salesian educational method that, among its many applications, places activities related to education and those related to sharing moments of play and sports on the same level, effective means to promote physical and spiritual health, to promote effort and commitment on various fronts, to foster balanced growth and sociality.

Educating is not just transferring notions and educating: educating is awakening, stimulating, promoting. Today, in the thousands of missions around the world, the Salesian educational system accustoms the youngest to confront each other and to grow, it helps them to read themselves to face their future in a determined way that is far from poverty, from the street, from hunger.

As a sportswoman, former world long jump champion, mother of two talented young athletes, Fiona May, testimonial of the Salesian Mission Office of Turin Missioni Don Bosco, has for years believed in sport as a fundamental tool for the growth of girls and boys. Sport for Fiona: “means challenging oneself and respecting others, it means commitment and determination, having team spirit, ability to relate and manage defeat.”

And it is with these words and this spirit that a year and a half ago the testimonial of Missioni Don Bosco chose to combine solidarity and sport. She decided to leave for her first missionary journey to Mekanissa, a Salesian mission in the poor neighborhood of Addis Ababa. There, in the Don Bosco Center, a home for over 400 street children, between a visit, a lesson with the children, a chat with Father Angelo Regazzo, a Salesian missionary, Fiona played with dozens of young people from the Center, she taught them the basics of long jump, followed their days in sports and recreation.

In that place - a Center that boasts 30 years of activity, a home designed to accompany the poorest and most lonely children - Fiona May discovered firsthand the great program of the Salesian Family across the globe. A program consisting of many projects for education, vocational training, reception and promotion of women, projects to protect the rights of children, which Fiona supports with her commitment. Soon, then, she will return to visit these places in person, after her parenthesis as an envoy to Tokyo for the 2020-2021 Olympic Games. A symbol, the latter, of world sport, a sporting event that since 1896 (the first Olympics of the modern era) has promoted non-discrimination, equality and solidarity, which favors the advent of a peaceful society and respect for principles universal fundamental ethics.


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.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".