Perhaps this experience of two centuries ago could be compared to what happens today in the "Don Bosco" Oratory in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.
The residence for students of the "Don Bosco" secondary school in Santiago del Estero houses, for free, 29 young people between 12 and 18 years of age from the areas of Las Tinajas, Copo, Alberdi, Moreno and San José de Boquerón.
From Monday to Friday the boys are hosted in the residence; they get up, do homework or other activities and at midday they prepare for lunch. They set the table and after meals they wash the dishes and tidy up. The school of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima opens its doors in the afternoon. On their return home, the young students have snacks and end the day in the workshops of the "weaving ties, or laces" program: courses for bakers, electrotechnicians, or playing sports, depending on the day.
The Don Bosco oratory is totally poor. The structure has a youth center, community residence and a church, with no facilities to generate income. Everything the boys receive is the result of donations and agreements that derive from the hard work of the Salesians: Fr Silvio Torres, Fr Alejandro Jorrat, Fr Julián Arroyo and Br Javier Abregú, SDB.
The morning school support is provided by volunteers in different classrooms based on the level of schooling of the boys; meals are provided by companies and shops. Everything is the result of much effort and commitment.
In this context, the Planning and Development Office of the Salesian Province "Blessed Artemide Zatti" of Northern Argentina works together with various organizations and foundations interested in helping to support the Salesian work in Santiago del Estero. Last Tuesday, 14 August, the "Young Farmers: a responsible and sustainable participation" project was launched.
With quality education and a climate of sharing as fundamental guidelines, young people can have greater opportunities for their social integration.