Italy – 150 years of Salesians in Genoa: a renewed commitment to formation of young people, to generate the future

07 March 2023
Photo: SanremoNews

(ANS - Genoa) - On the occasion of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Salesian presence in Genoa-Sampierdarena, a conference was held yesterday, 6 March 2023, in the Ligurian capital, entitled ‘Educating young people to generate the future. Winning alliances in the world of work.’ The theme was chosen to underline the role and importance of education and formation both in the professional sphere and in the human growth of new generations. As Fr. Sergio Pellini, Director of the 'Don Bosco' work of Genoa-Sampierdarena, pointed out, “we were not just interested in celebrating this anniversary, but also in leaving a sign of hope for young people within the context in which we operate, the city of Genoa.”

Numerous distinguished guests attended. Presentations were given by Sister Alessandra Smerilli, Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development; Luca Ricolfi, sociologist and lecturer in data analysis, who connected online; Roberto Cingolani, Physicist and Government Advisor for Energy; Maria Teresa Bellucci, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policies; Paola Frassinetti, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Education and Merit.

Also present were the President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, with Regional Councilor for Education Marco Scajola, Councilor for Employment Augusto Sartori, Councilor for Schooling Simona Ferro, and Rector of the University of Genoa, Prof. Federico Delfino.

Opening the proceedings was the greeting of Genoa's Mayor, Marco Bucci: “The Salesians have done so much in the world,” said the Mayor. “They are one of the most important works, especially for young people, and here in Genoa they play a fundamental role; they are present in people's hearts, because so many have passed through them since the late 19th century. Today we are celebrating 150 years of the Salesians in our city, and all the great strides forward that have been made for the education of young people and their insertion into the world of work (...) I can only thank the Salesians who have contributed to this, especially in the Sampierdarena area, but not only there, creating a strong civic presence for the people who live there, giving them hope for the future and for civil society. 150 years of which we are proud.”

"The Don Bosco work is an important presence in our territory with a strategic function in reducing the school drop-out rate of our young people," added the President of the Region.

Thanks to the voices of the authoritative experts present, the conference then delved into information and testimonies on the current state of education, vocational training, work, and young people in Italy. A scenario that sees one of the highest school drop-out rates in the European Union (13.1%), which corresponds - in absolute terms - to about 543,000 young people. It also emerged that in Italy there are two million jobs for which no suitable personnel can be found, but at the same time, there are also two million unemployed who cannot find work.

This is why Fr. Maurizio Lollobrigida, Delegate of the national center for Salesian VETs, the Centro Nazionale Opere Salesiane Formazione e Aggiornamento Professionale (Cnos-Fap) of Liguria, explained: “This is a conference that wants to put young people at the center, to generate the future through winning alliances, and also through vocational training. There is a disproportionate number of young people who have been misguided, have dropped out of school, the famous Neet, and not only them. These people need someone who can intercept them, through the principle of subsidiarity, which allows us, the vocational training organizations, together with institutions and all the friends who carry out this type of project, to be able to help them enter virtuous training paths, that will then lead them to become men and professionals of quality, which is the most important thing for us.”


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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