Spain – Yassin, Jimmy and all the others... "Fundación Don Bosco" for reception and integration of young migrants

06 October 2022

(ANS - Santa Cruz de Tenerife) - How many young people for whom Don Bosco means growth, salvation, a turning point in their lives have there been? From the time of Valdocco to the present day, millions, because the work begun by the Piedmontese saint is still carried on in his name today. Yassin and Jimmy are just two of the many examples that could be reported. A few days after the conclusion of the International Congress of Salesian Works and Social Services, which reaffirmed the centrality and offered new impetus to Salesian action for the integral human promotion of the neediest young people, we share their stories of redemption, achieved thanks to the efforts of Salesians, lay people and volunteers of the "Fundación Don Bosco" (FDB) of the "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" (SMX) Province.

Yassin Halim, a young man who received assistance in FDB's "Project Buzzetti" homes, gratefully christened his recently opened hairdressing store in Santa Cruz de Tenerife precisely with the name "Don Bosco."

"Why did you call it 'Don Bosco?'" a customer asked him as the young barber was busy trimming his beard. "Because Don Bosco took me off the street," Yassin replied. In truth, this is a question Yassin has been asked often since he opened the business premises.

About four years ago, he arrived by boat, with his dreams clutched in a backpack and many uncertainties. Months on the road, meals at the Diocesan Caritas, and language classes with the Don Bosco Foundation, until a deportation order for lack of documents confined him to one of FDB's "Project Buzzetti" houses in Tenerife.

Today Yassin sees his dream come true and is proud to explain often why he put Don Bosco on the sign of the place where he works and strives for professional growth.

Jimmy Samuel, on the other hand, is a 21-year-old young man of Venezuelan origin who arrived in Spain not even two years ago. To speak with him is to listen to the story of a journey of continuous self-improvement, in search of those opportunities he was denied in his country.

His is a story of hard work, much work, perseverance, and gratitude for the support and opportunities he has been given. FDB, in fact, has accompanied him on a path of integral growth: assistance with paperwork, guidance in studies, formal education... "Jimmy won us over with that smile he never loses, with the melodious telling of his story, and with his satisfied look when he says he has managed to graduate," they say from FDB's Social Education Projects office. "His story is one of many testimonies that give a face to our work as Salesian Social Platforms."

A short video introducing Yassin's hair salon and another video in which Jimmy himself describes his journey in search of a better future are available on FDB's YouTube channel.

"Fundación Don Bosco" develops projects in residential care, socio-educational and socio-occupational integration, support for formal education, fighting the digital divide, community promotion, and social volunteer initiatives, which has the Preventive System methodology as the basis of all its actions. It is characterized by comprehensive education and personalized accompaniment, with the person as the protagonist of its process and in a family atmosphere.


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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