Nearly 30,000 Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians work in more than 130 countries around the world, bringing education, workforce development and social programs to poor young people and their families. They work in difficult circumstances and are among the first to respond during humanitarian crises or natural disasters. “Education is always our primary objective, but we know fully well that young people, their families and their communities have to do with much more than the simple need to access education,” explained Fr Gus Baek, Head of the 'Salesian Missions' Mission Office. “The Salesian missionaries thus work to meet basic needs such as housing, food and medical care, and are committed to ensuring that humanitarian aid reaches those who need it most.”
For the International Day of Charity, “Salesian Missions” thus highlighted some of the countless educational and social programs that are helping poor and at-risk young people.
In Bolivia, the “Don Bosco” Center of San Carlos helps about 150 malnourished children, involving the mothers of the young guests in the recovery process. Temporary accommodations have been set up, where children and mothers can stay until the end of the program. Mothers participate in training workshops on malnutrition and its prevention, the care of their children, growth, health and preventive medicine. In this way, they will be able to excercise what they have learned, until it becomes a daily habit.
In Eritrea, the Salesians who work at the “Don Bosco Technical School” in Dekemhare, offer 400 boys and girls a two-year technical course in the automotive, mechanical, construction, carpentry, carpentry and electronics sectors. In addition, thanks to the funding received from "Salesian Missions", they have purchased cows and are expanding the barn to increase the self-sufficiency of Salesian initiatives.
“Don Bosco Anbu Illam” in India supports the “Don Bosco Care Home” program, which deals with young people affected by HIV/AIDS. The program gives them access to adequate medical care and offers psychological support through counseling and psychotherapy sessions.
Salesian parishes in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, have set up transit stations to distribute water and other basic necessities to people in isolation due to the pandemic. The Salesians in the cities of Da Lat and K'Long also carry out support activities for the population. In particular, they contacted the owners of gardens and vegetable gardens to collect vegetables and send them to people in need in Ho Chi Minh.