The Philippines – At the service of today's many “Michele Magone”

09 April 2019

(ANS – Liloan) – Since 2010, when the “Magone Home Aftercare Program” first opened, more than 150 young marginalized people have been transformed thanks to this new Don Bosco ministry in Cebu. Together with the Boys Home, Parish, Vocational Training Center, High School and Youth Center, this Program offers an integral environment for many youth in conflict with the law for a solid renewal of their life.

hanks to the commitment of the Salesians, Past Pupils from the Don Bosco Home (some of them are on the staff at Magone), well qualified staff involving social workers, psychologists and networking with many government and other civil authorities, most of the clients of Magone have been able to start a new life.

Up to this point, this is the only Salesian ministry of the kind in the two Filipino Salesian provinces.

Magone offers a multi-facet program based on the synergy of personal, family and group counselling, a variety of activities, vocational training program (carpentry and construction), together with many typically Salesian activities like sports, works, music and personal development, which make this program quite effective. Each day the Magone boys mingle with all other youth at the Don Bosco campus in Boys Home Liloan, especially involved in the TVET vocation training program.

Also the highly committed team of lay mission partners together with Fr.Arvin Abatayo and Br. Louie Domasian are united in their vision: “One of the important qualities of a good program is its capacity to replicate itself to others who have the same goal. Here at Magone, we see networking as an essential way of encouraging others to adopt our program's best practices. This is the reason why we are very happy to have a meeting with other civil or education institutions where we learned that they aspire to develop their own community-based program for the CICL (Children in Conflict with Law). In this way, we achieve one of our goals that other will do what we are already doing.”

Over the past 10 years the Magone program has been developed, especially in the personalized journey for each young person: “Prior to the youth admission to the Magone Home Aftercare Program, it is important to hold a case conference wherein the referral center staff, Magone Helping Team (MHT), and the client meet to discuss the client's personal and family background, case, and the results of the intake assessment. This process allows the MHT to gauge the qualification and the willingness of the youth to be admitted into the program. Also, this provides important information for the preparation of suitable and tailor-fit interventions for the child, through the principle of a client-centered approach.”

At now the so-called “Children in Conflict with the Law” (CICL) has become once again a by-word, an interesting topic and story, due to the move by the Congress and the Senate to lower the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR). For the people involved in the Magone Helping Team, “it doesn't matter if he is 12 or 15 years old. If a child needs to be saved then we will be there to help.”

Indeed Don Bosco was involved not only with Saint Domenico Savio, but also with Michele Magone and a variety of youth coming from very difficult backgrounds.

In the month of February, Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB, Regional Councillor of the Salesians of Don Bosco for the East Asia-Oceania Region, visited the “Magone Home Aftercare Program” and collected some interesting quotes by this youngsters:

Before, I was always rejected due to my many faults but in the Magone Home I was made welcome and recovered my self-esteem. They have restored the bonds with my family members and I learnt here that I’m loved and also how to love. In Magone I learn how to change myself, Don Bosco is the best thing in my life, he is part of my changed life. Thanks to Don Bosco I met Jesus Christ and I was also baptized; outside I didn’t know Him, although I was curious about who he was! In Don Bosco I grabbed the opportunity to change my life. Earlier my life had no direction, but Magone means guidance. Here I got the courage to stand up and I’m now holding the steering wheel, and my dream is to finish College. Magone for me is a great help, especially to find my own family. They continue to help me here and I got to know Jesus. Before I did not give any importance to my family; here was the first time I spoke to my brother. In Don Bosco I found youth with dreams, everybody is here to help us; they don’t mind our mistakes and help me to achieve my dreams. Outside there were many struggles with no direction; here in Magone we are trained how to change our life and how to meet Jesus! I’m the only non-Catholic (Pentecostal), but I respect the Church and learn how to change. Don Bosco gave me baptism and I’m also proud to become a Bosconian. Magone helped me to dream again: when I was caught I was always rejected, now I’m welcome. Family day was the best experience last year, after many years I met my family, I learned how to talk to my parents for the first time...

Moreover one boy, in a letter written after the visit, has expressed: “what you have told us that you will not be able to go to heaven without the young people you love, that is what I was also thinking: we would not be able to achieve what we have now if not because of the Salesians. I firmly believe that this will not be that last time that we will be together, but rather the start of our journey.

Thank you for your visit, your visit was of great importance to us CICL. We hope that you will also visit the other CICL, those young ones who also have dreams, so that they too will be able to experience the same joy that we have felt when you visited us”.

Source: AustraLasia 


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