During this period, the youth of Aleppo and Damascus will participate in a number of summer activities of various Salesian youth centers in Spain. The aim for this exchange experience is to make the reception and sharing experiences between Syrian and Spanish animators real and concrete. Rita, Talin, Anna, Joelle, Reem, Tala and Amer, divided into two groups, are working and having fun as animators and group leaders in a summer camp in Sanlúcar La Mayor (Seville) and in another camp in Somalo (La Rioja) from 18 to 29 July. Later, they will participate in the urban camps of Vigo and Ourense. They will also have time to visit Madrid and Santiago de Compostela.
Furthermore, Benjamín Morales, animator of the Youth Center "Francisco Míguez" of Malaga, will leave for a trip to Damascus next August. He shall meet with some friends he had befriended during a gathering of Salesian animators from Europe and the Middle East. Since then, he has kept in touch with them, but over time, explains Benjamin, "the impatient desire to go there and see things directly with my eyes was born in me."
"This project, which started three years ago with a vigil for peace, is more than a solidarity initiative, because it seeks to unite children and young people from both countries," explains Fr Santiago Domínguez, SDB, the project's promoter. Through festivals, street markets and solidarity parties, the Spanish youth centers have collected around 20,000 euros in three years, which have been earmarked for the needs of young people in Syria - money with which the Syrian Salesians have been able to buy school supplies and organize various activities.
Immediately after this experience of exchange between animators, the Don Bosco Confederation of Spain intends to give a new twist to the project. "We want to reorganize the project to support a youth business plan developed by the local Salesians. In this way, every center in Spain would commit itself to financing the business plan of a young person in Syria and with this procedure we could have a direct contact between the centers and the young people we will help," explains the Salesian.
Those who wish to collaborate can also do so by raising funds, making a donation or promoting the project on social networks.