Senegal - A generous service where children know how to smile

04 October 2018

(ANS - Tambacounda) - "Beteyà Travel" is the name of a project of multiculturalism and service carried out by the Salesian association "Don Bosco 2000". Thanks to this initiative, for two weeks Italian volunteers make themselves available to those in need in Tambacounda, Senegal, and actually receive more from them than they give themselves. Because, as told by the Salesian who accompanied the last group, Fr Enrico Frusteri, there "there is an authenticity that we have forgotten, people share part of their lives with you."

The "Don Bosco 2000" association has opened a branch in Tambacounda, in the heart of Senegal, almost two years two ago, to start development projects for the local population. Now, to travel in Senegal, are not only the workers of the association, but also groups of volunteers. The last group, recently returned to Italy, was composed of 13 volunteers from the Salesian network, who for two weeks lived in close contact with the families of the villages to carry out animation activities with minors. An experience that left a deep mark on them.

Fr Frusteri narrates his experience: "Before embarking on this missionary journey, I wondered how I would have to behave with people who differed in culture and religion. The attempt to give answers was insufficient, because then you meet the joyful faces of many children despite the misery, the village chiefs who smile and shake hands with an authenticity that you almost forgot because now I share emotions mainly through social media , the savannah that greets you with its green colors and its perfumes ... ".

The volunteers followed the Don Bosco 2000 operators in the internal villages of Senegal, places of extreme poverty in which families struggle to survive.

"The experience in Senegal has certainly marked my way of seeing reality," says Saverio from Palermo. "You understand that everything that you have every day is a lot and that maybe it takes very little to be happy."

"We started this travel project to bring Italians to Senegal, for two weeks to discover not only the natural beauties of the country, but also the villages, the culture, the food, that is the world from which the migrants we welcome in our centers in Sicily come from," declared Agostino Sella, the President of Don Bosco 2000.

Indeed, he concludes: "Knowing is always the basis for understanding."


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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