In 2020, meetings of Communications Delegates saw excellent participation and were organised by the Coordinators and Communications Delegates of America South Cone, Interamerica, Africa-Madagascar, South Asia, East Asia-Oceania Central & North Europe, and the Mediterranean.
Each Region, based on its own situation, rhythm and vision, contributed significantly to the continuity, deeper understanding and implementation of the communication plans of the Provinces and Regions.
Based on the study of the 8 Priorities of the Rector Major for the Congregation, all the Delegates for Communication, and in some Regions, SB Editors and Directors of Radio and Publishing houses chose and approved some basic priorities for communication for the next 5 years.
Targets, processes and actions were defined for each priority, with their respective dates and the people responsible for accompanying, implementing and verifying that plans have been carried out.
The priorities chosen are:
1. Live the “Salesian Sacrament of Presence” by engaging in the study and research of the current digital reality of the young and their needs and by proposing a Salesian-style Digital Habitat for accompaniment, empowerment and engagement.
2. Give absolute priority to the young, the poorest, the most abandoned and defenceless.
3. Accompany the young towards a sustainable future
4. Together with the laity in mission and formation. The charismatic strength that the laity and the Salesian Family offer us.
5. Help young people, the laity and Salesians at every stage of formation to communicate and inculturate the Gospel in the digital world with the heart of the Good Shepherd.
According to our guidelines, those coordinating Delegates in the Regions, together with the Provincial Teams, will accompany the steps and implementation of these activities related to the priorities of each Region.
On 9 February this year I met online with the Coordinators of the Social Communications Delegates of the Regions for the Salesian Congregation to design together the Program for the School of Social Communication Delegates which we aim to start online on August 2021.
The team, involving myself together with the Coordinators of the Regions, Fr Ernest Rosario(South Asia), Fr Peter Chinh( East Asia-Oceania), Fr Javier Valiente (Mediterraneam) , Fr Rigobert Fumtchum( Africa-Madagascar), Fr James Gardner (Central & North Europe) and Zaida Elisa( America South Cone and Interamerica) defined the goals, the methodology and the contents of the School of Social Communication.
The SSSC (Salesian School of Social Communication) is a special program organised by the Department of Social Communication in Rome, with the collaboration of the Social Communications Coordinators of the Regions, in response to the two actions proposed by the Project of Animation and Governance of the Department of Communication(2020-2026) a. Guideline 5.1.4 b. Guideline 1.1.1
The Course aims at deepening, forming and enriching those involved in leading the media ministry/services of various Salesian provinces across the globe from an evangelical, synodal, Salesian and convergent perspective on communication in order to evangelise and educate the youth of today.
The course will be available to Social Communication Delegates from Salesian Provinces, Editors/ Coordinators of the Salesian Bulletin, Radios and Publishing Houses, Salesian/Lay people chosen and indicated by the Social COM Coordinators of the Regions (5 people).
For each topic a lecturer, an expert in communication, will conduct the reflection as well as the practical aspects of each content. The course will start in August 2021 and will end in September 2022.
The course will be conducted online
- The meetings will be held twice a month according to the schedule
- Each meeting will take 3 hours with 30 minutes break
- Each participant will present a short and practical project at the end of the month based on the contents given.
Some of the topics to be developed in the course.
a) Better understanding of the basis of Human Communication
b) Deeper exploration of the basis of Christian and Ethical Communication
c) How to design Institutional Communication and Marketing Planning for the Salesians (schools, parishes, provinces, youth centres, other)
d) How to set up protocols for institutional crisis and security
e) How to design the Communication Code of Ethics for the Institution, and deal with Intellectual property and Privacy
f) How to organise processes of building trust in organisations: internal and external communication and management – public relations
g) How to gain a better understanding of artificial intelligence for building better human governance: educational and social vision
h) Gaining a better understanding of the Digital World: culture and the digital anthropology: the techno-human condition, culture of digital natives and networking
i) How to develop a pastoral methodology to evangelise and educate in the digital environment
j) How to foster Salesian educative accompaniment of young people in the social media environment: language, codes, Salesian values and attitudes, interactions, instantaneity and engagement.
k) How to promote digital citizenship planning in the Province (professionalism, digital inclusion, digital transformation, rights for digital education).
We hope this course will help us to creatively respond to the challenges and opportunities of the digital world.
Wishing you all health and hope.
Fr Gildásio Mendes dos Santos – SDB
General Councillor for Social Communication
Rome, 24 February 2021