In welcoming participants, the Provincial of Peru, Fr Manolo Cayo, thanked them all for their fundraising services in favor of the poor, saying that "an office that looks for funds is like a two-dimensional heart (ad intra and ad extra) because it helps us, inside, to remember the reason for our being Salesian (the missions, the poor, the most needy); and on the outside, because in various areas, we work to raise people's awareness of the essentials of Christian life, of having to take care of others, those who have less ..." Fr Cayo added that the essential task of Salesian Mission Offices is not to raise funds for large projects but, above all, to create relationships with people, so these same people make us "partners in the experiences of life and dignity in favor of the poorest."
He then declared the meeting open, recalling the slogan of the First World Day of the Poor: "Let us love, not with words, but with deeds, facts."
The program of the meeting foresees various phases: presentations of experiences, dialogues on the expectations of the various countries represented, group work, identification of common goals and needs and transversal themes, with the aim of then drawing up a final document.
The Province of Peru, which welcomes the participants, has also planned to present the Salesian centers serving the poor in the city of Lima to participants and visitors. One of them is in the Rímac district, the oldest Salesian presence in the country, where Salesians offer young people with limited resources technical training courses, thanks to the "CETPRO Santo Domingo Savio".
"It's time to listen to us and see how to create bridges to support each other and to try to break the culture of indifference that floods the world," commented Marco Calderón of the Salesian Mission Office of Peru.