January 29th, Don Bosco Network and Don Bosco International hosted in Rome the third annual advocacy planning meeting of the Salesian Family.
The meeting gathered over 20 representatives of Don Bosco Networkorganizations (VIS – Italy, SWM – Poland, Via Don Bosco – Belgium,Jovenes y Desarrollo – Spain), Don Bosco International, Don Bosco Youth Net, representatives of the SDB General Council – Fr Gulermo Basanes, Fr Fabio Attard, Fr Eusebio Muñoz – Delegate for the Salesian Family, Fr. José Pastor Ramírez – Delegate for the Past Pupils, Renato Cursi from the Youth Ministry Department, Patrizia Gonzales and Ana Muñoz from the Salesian Mission Procure in Madrid, Cynthia Cichocki from Don Bosco Mission Bonn, Fr Thomas Brennan – SDB representative in the UN, Fr Joy Nedumparambil from BREADS, India and Irfan Arif – human rights activists from Pakistan.
Main topic of this year assembly covered the attitude of the Salesian Family organizations towards the Sustainable Development Goals that constitute the international agenda after the 2015. After vivid discussion the participants selected a working group whose task will be to elaborate a common declaration of Salesian Family organizations on the Sustainable Development Goals.
The second part of the day was focused on the migration crisis, its root causes and effects on the work of the Salesians in the world. Angel Gudina, Don Bosco International, with the cooperation of the Salesian Youth Department, will work on developing a position paper of the SDBs in this matter that will be presented and consulted by other Salesian organizations and Salesian Council.
At the end of the meeting Fr Fabio Attard, Delegate for Youth Ministry, assured that the Youth Department’s goal is to facilitate and encourage the vision which we have inherited from Don Bosco – anthropological vision of the human person based on values, dignity, rights, solidarity, commitment.
– Youth and children are not our clients, numbers we offer a service to. They are people we are called to serve – he underlined – In advocacy work we often don’t have a direct contact with children. So we need to keep in mind whose agenda are we following? Children or the authorities we talk to. At the end of the day we need to have children in the center.