From 12th to 15th June, 20 representatives of Don Bosco Network member organisations gathered at Valdocco, to celebrate their annual General Assembly and the meeting of Development Cooperation Working Group in order to monitor the progress of the network and increase their coordination in the initiatives that the network is developing.
On Tuesday 13th June, the General Assembly presided by Mr. Peter Annegarn, approved the activity and financial reports, gave feedback on communication tools, and analysed the progress of the Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026, affirming that the network was progressing successfully. Mr. Stefano di Maria from VIS, was elected as new treasurer replacing Mr. Alessandro Brescia who had served for more than 10 years.
Fr. Alfred Maravilla, General Councillor for the Missions, addressed the General Assembly with a key-note speech underlining the contribution of DBN members to the Salesian Congregation and also the need to continue fostering Salesian identity and Missionary animation within its members; while helping Salesian Provinces to manage the best possible their resources. In addition, Don Bosco Foundation Malta, Fondation Don Bosco Paris, and Don Bosco Mission Austria, joined the network as observer members.
In the afternoon, member organisations were able to share their progress and their main programmes during the previous year, as well, as the approval and discussion of the network services to its members. As well, an informal moment of sharing was prepared with the new provincials attending the training course, who in most cases have on-going programmes and projects with DBN member organisations.
On Wednesday 14th the participants could analyse the progress of the Emergency Response Mechanism, that is answering effectively to the Humanitarian relief efforts of many Salesian institutions in several countries, like Ukraine, Syria, Ethiopia, RD Congo, etc… New tools were studied and validated, and the coordination between Mission Offices coordinator, currently Fr. MC George and DBN coordinator, was revised and underlined the effectiveness of the work done together.
In the afternoon there was time to reflect upon the capacity building initiatives of PDO (Planning Development Offices) that many members of the network are carrying out, and finding a coordinated approach to support these crucial institutions of many Provinces of the World, focusing especially in the support to design and implement the OPP and SEPP of the respective provinces and keep the focus in the most vulnerable children and youth.