Ecuador - Youth mobility in America, a call for action

23 August 2018

(ANS - Quito) Scheduled from 23 July to 10 August 2018 was the Missionary Animation Delegates of America. Salesians and lay people, coming from the provinces ANT, ARN, ARS, BBH, BCG, BMA, BSP, BOL, CAM, CIL, COM, ECU, MEG, MEM, PAR, PER, SUE, HIS, URU and VEN, gathered in the Salesian Center for Continuing Formation of America, in Quito, to exchange experiences on missionary animation, study and reflect on the theme: "Human Mobility and the Salesian Mission."

We present a summary of the reflections and action guidelines on youth mobility.

A situation that calls out to us

According to data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), around 500 million young people travel worldwide each year. Nearly 45 million children, teenagers and young people are forced to do so as internally displaced persons or refugees. In 2016, North America had 52 million emigrants, Latin America and the Caribbean 9.6 million. The situation of Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico are extremely delicate.

It is a phenomenon present since the beginning of humanity, but never registered in these dimensions. Various the triggers: economic asymmetries, demographic growth, globalized culture, ease of mobilization. A new youthful continent is on the move, which for us represents a LAND OF MISSION.

Criteria for Action

Priority recipient option: priority to the mobility of children and young people.

In the light of the Preventive System trilogy, we indicate some criteria.

Motivation: our intervention requires professionalism, serious knowledge of the migratory phenomenon, supported by the human sciences and by competent staff who collaborate and advise. We must offer educational answers for the promotion, development and integration to and of children and young migrants or refugees.

"Loving kindness": the Salesian style requires "presence", constant and human contact. Interventions, in the world of mobility, should be as close as possible to the recipients, so as to feel like friends in the style of reception and protection and not just as service providers.

Religion: all our educational and pastoral activity is focused on establishing educational processes and evangelizers, attentive to the first proclamation, on the basis of a convincing testimony of life and charity.

Community action: the central theme of pastoral action is the local and provincial educative-pastoral community, where lay and consecrated people struggle in communion, in the same PEPS to guarantee continuity and coherence to our mission. With the same dynamism, we work in harmony with the local and national church, with other organizations and agents in favor of young people on the move.

These guidelines are part of the complete document, which should be concretely activated in every province according to local contexts and realities.


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