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Spain – "Palabek. Refugio de esperanza", documentary about refugees' life and dreams

15 October 2019

(ANS - Madrid) - Palabek is the name of the most recent Salesian settlement opened in Northern Uganda, very close to the border with South Sudan. Its meaning in the Acholi language is very explicit: "Stop the sword. Don't fight." More than 40,000 people from the world's youngest country, namely South Sudan, live in that camp: for the most part they are women, children and young people who have escaped a war that has lasted almost 6 years and has left more than 320,000 dead, two million internally displaced persons and 2.5 million refugees. But Palabek is also the title of the last documentary made by "Misiones Salesianas" - the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid - and of the "Jóvenes y Desarrollo" Foundation, which will be presented Thursday, October 17, in Madrid and subsequently in numerous other locations.

The Palabek documentary is just one example of the moving stories of refugees arriving from all over the world. It shows the dreams that keep these people alive, along with the work that the Salesians do with them, offering education, accompaniment and hope.

"Palabek. Refugio de esperanza" brings us close to the reality of those who have had to leave everything to save their own lives and now live a present full of difficulties, separated from their family and waiting for a definitive peace to be able to return home.

Alice and Gladys, two young refugees and mothers, have started a new life in the settlement of Palabek thanks to the study opportunities offered to them by the Salesians. Thanks to a scholarship, Alice is finishing high school thanks in a village near Palabek, while Gladys is the only girl who attends the Motorcycle Repair course of the Don Bosco Technical School.

Salesian missionary Fr Ubaldino Andrade, along with other Salesians, agreed to live in refugee huts to be with them 24 hours a day. Ordinary life in the camp is the main theme of the documentary directed by Raúl de la Fuente, who manages to represent the daily difficulties and uncertainty of the future of these people.

Palabek opened its doors in April 2017, covers an area of 400 km2 and is capable of accommodating up to 150,000 people. Inside, the Salesians have built more than 11 chapels, four kindergartens and a technical school. They have also started activities for the development of women, the leisure time of young people and the spiritual care of all residents.

Next Thursday, October 17th, at 19.30, Palabek. Refugio de esperanza will be previewed at the "Palacio de la Prensa" in Madrid; the film's presentation will continue in many other Spanish and European cities in forthcoming weeks.

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