However, Mbuji Mayi is not the only place where children's rights are violated. The numbers in the world are frightening: more than 150 million children live on the streets, over 300,000 children are exploited as soldiers in armed conflicts, over seven million children are refugees, over 250 million children have no access to education, 41,000 girls a day are forced to marry, thousands of children are not registered at birth ...
The Salesians do their best to counter these scourges: the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid, "MISIONES SALESIANAS", alone takes care of 85,800 children in 110 child protection projects active throughout the world. But many other children need protection and support. For this reason, the Mission Office has launched the campaign "Una cucharada de cariño" (A spoon of affection), in order to reach more children in risky situations.
"The defense of their rights, the protection, education and promotion of children is our formula for responding to the vulnerability of children," explains Fr José Antonio San Martín, Director of Misiones Salesianas. Schools, reception centers, vocational training centers, youth centers, kindergartens ... are Salesian instruments to defend the rights of children, who however also need affection so that they can recover their self-esteem and dignity, so that they can laugh, play, dream again ... in short, change their future.
On International Children's Day, celebrated today, November 20, the Salesians want to invite the international community to make the protection and well-being of children a truly genuine priority.