Spain – World Health Day. A year of the pandemic marked by uncertainties and inequalities

07 April 2021

(ANS - Madrid) - On 25 March 2020 some Salesians and lay people held the first coordination videoconference for Salesian initiatives in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. From that day, and almost every day, an e-mail informed subscribers of the various initiatives carried out in the name of Don Bosco all over the world with a single objective: “To save lives”. In this period, more than 11 million people in 121 countries have received assistance thanks to the Salesian Family. Today, 7 April, World Health Day, is therefore the opportune day to pay homage to all health workers and to highlight the initiatives that have developed thanks to Salesian solidarity throughout the world. Much, however, still remains to be done, as inequality and hunger have increased at the same pace as the pandemic.

Awareness programs to avoid contagions, distribution of food and hygiene kits, production of masks, distribution of water, welcoming street children, visits to the sick, online spiritual accompaniment ... are some of the many activities carried out.

The coronavirus, in addition to causing nearly 2.9 million deaths worldwide and disrupting everyone's lives, has widened inequalities and demonstrated that health is a matter of chance, where a lot depends on where you are born. This is why today, while World Health Day is being celebrated, "Misiones Salesianas", the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, also intends to emphasize the importance of building a more just, healthier and more sustainable world for all.

For more than a year, the members of the Salesian Family have been at the side of the most vulnerable people. For example, more than 2.5 million people in India were able to eat thanks to the food kits and rations that were distributed to them. In South Africa, more than 3,000 street food rations were distributed every day. The gymnasiums of various Salesian educational centers in America have been transformed in recent months into food warehouses, food distributed to thousands of vulnerable families.

In Myanmar, 500 families were fed thanks to the distributions made by the Salesian communities. Minors in street situations, in Ethiopia or Sierra Leone, were welcomed so that they could spend the days of confinement in safe places, and also in Togo and Ivory Coast, the Salesians worked to support children at risk of exclusion.

In the Philippines, Salesians and lay collaborators distributed personal protective equipment to frontline workers, and designed lung ventilators for seriously ill patients. In Peru, they went in search of people living in landfills. And in Guatemala they built houses for the most needy.

These are just a few examples of all the countless projects developed in 121 countries by thousands of people who, inspired by the charism of Don Bosco, have helped and accompanied more than 11 million people, including migrants and refugees, vulnerable families, the elderly, the disabled, sick people, and countless others.



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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