Brazil - Young university students collect food for indigenous Bororo and Xavante

26 June 2018

(ANS - Araçatuba) - "Apathy, lack of solidarity, conformism and low commitment of university students are worrying signs in Latin American universities" reports a study published a few months ago by the association of Universities and Institutes of Higher Education in Mexico (ANUIES). The Salesians and the Salesian Institutions of Higher Education (IUS) try to cope with these situations with pastoral and service proposals.

For example, the Salesian Universitary Centres of Lins and Araçatuba (UniSALESIANO) is implementing a service proposal in favor of missions with indigenous peoples.

In concrete terms, the University Pastoral of "UniSALESIANO" has started to collect non-perishable foodstuffs to be delivered to the natives of the Bororo and Xavante del Mato Grosso tribes. The charitable action is part of the "Missionary Volunteer" project, which is being carried out this year for the second time by UniSALESIANO.

More than 20 academic students of various courses at the UniSALESIANO site in Araçatuba and Lins will leave on July 1st for Mato Grosso on an expedition that will take them to the villages of Meruri (Bororo) and San Marcos (Xavante), where they will remain until next 8 July.

During this period, the group shall develop activities, do volunteer work and have the opportunity to experience a moment of learning and exchanging of experiences. "And they will also have the opportunity to experience a deeper cultural understanding, to achieve a cultured vision of the new realities," explained the Pro-Rector of the Pastoral Ministry, Fr Waldomiro Bronakowski.

To participate in the project, interested students had to participate in a two-step selective process. In the first, young university students filled out a form with the membership application and answered questions about themselves. Then, an individual interview took place with a psychologist.

The group thus selected will travel under the supervision of two course coordinators, Prof. Mirella Justi, professor of Psychology, and Prof. Juliana Mitidiero, professor of Physical Education, both of the Araçatuba office.

The UniSALESIANO carried out the first missionary volunteering trip last year, in 2017, and lasted about 14 hours. On that occasion the selected students took over the needs of the natives and, on their return to UniSalesiano, they began to create improvement and development projects for those communities, to be implemented over the years.

Undoubtedly this experience of solidarity and service to the most needy breaks the pattern of an exaggerated individualism that many university students experience when they live only for their own projects and studies.


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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