In each one of us, as members of the Salesian Family, there is a desire to change the world for better, more friendly for young people. Driven by this desire, we act not only locally, but we are as well taking part in the initiatives on a global level. This time, in addition to cooperation in crisis situations, we have also included a Response to the Agenda for Sustainable Development till 2030, which was developed in cooperation with and on behalf of the Salesian Congregation. The objectives defined in the Agenda 2030 are in themselves good and consistent with what we do, especially in the field of education. I am sensitizing, however, to look at it critically, paying attention to the fact that the Agenda also includes elements which are not in agreement with our faith. In our actions, let us remember as well that we do not preach Sustainable Development Goals, but we proclaim Jesus Christ crucified. And even though we join in social work, our first goal is to proclaim the Gospel, from which good works follow, for it is the Gospel that gives our actions substance and meaning.
Joanna Stozek, DBN President
It’s December 8th. A meaningful and a bright day for all of us, who are with Don Bosco. On this very day; the 8th of December 1841, Don Bosco met Barthelemy Garelli in the sacristy of the Church of St. Francis de Assisi in Turin. The very first young and impoverished boy, whom he welcomed into his arms and began accompanying and mentoring. We are keeping the memory of our beginnings alive not because we like to dwell in our nostalgia or keep some ageing rhetoric afloat. We do it because it is crucial, because it helps us remain true to Don Bosco and everything he stood for and continue to accompanying the youth of all continents in their journey called life. It is very inspiring to take a look at what happened in that sacristy on that special day. An unexpected, conflictive and discrete event. Unexpected, because it was not at all in Don Bosco’s agenda to meet that boy in the sacristy. Conflictive, because he had to face a serious tension between this “friend of his” and the sacristan. Finally, discrete, because it was most likely never mentioned at all in any of the local newspapers. A supposedly random event , and yet, this meeting presented us with a profound example of Don Bosco’s keen attention to the youth and his enormous capacity to find new or even impossible ways to give the misguided youth a positive outlook on life and a satiable answer to life’s many difficult questions. I believe Don Bosco Network should be proud because, with minimal awareness of the challenges around us, and the inescapable deficit of time and planning, we somehow manage to walk down our founding father’s path, equipped with his blessings and inspiration and serve the youth as he once did.
Happy feast of Mary Immaculate!
Fr Guillermo Basañes, Missions’ Councillor
SUPPORT TO HAITI AFTER HURRICANE MATTHEW
At the beginning of October 2016 Hurricane Matthew, one of the most catastrophic tropical storms of the past decade, has hit Haiti very hard. Over 1000 people have died. This was a Category 4 storm with winds that have reached a speed of 230 km per hour. The southern part of the country was the part most affected by the hurricane. The Salesians are safe and well, but the community at the entrance of the southern city of Les Cayes suffered considerable damage, although the buildings were able to withstand the strong winds. Don Bosco Network members and Mission Offices are supporting SDB in Haiti in relief and rehabilitation projects to help the affected people. Foundation Rinaldi in HAI province is coordinating all the activities on the ground. ANS is providing regular updates on relief and reconstruction activities. Don Bosco Network shares all the materials, photos, films and documents on the DBN website resources.
DBN GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING
24 -26 October 2016 members of Don Bosco Network and representatives of G5 Mission Offices gathered at the Salesian General House in Rome for the annual General Assembly meeting to discuss the next steps of the network development. Representative of all Don Bosco organizations present at the meeting: Salesian Missions – USA, Via Don Bosco – Belgium, Jovenes y Desarrollo – Spain, VIS – Italy, SWM – Poland, Don Bosco Mondo – Germany, Missioni Don Bosco – Italy, BoscoNet – India (new DBN observatory member), Don Bosco Jugendhilfe Weltweit – Switzerland (new DBN observatory member), agreed unanimously that the future of the Network belongs to the stronger coordination and joining individual efforts of the organizations and partners under the one umbrella of Don Bosco. In case of global emergencies Don Bosco Network will continue effective coordination of relief and rehabilitation responses provided by NGOs and Mission Offices. Following the PDO capacity building project “Co-partners in development” implemented by VIS – Italy, Don Bosco Network will work on the common vision and ground rules of supporting of SDB PDOs globally, through capacity building of regional networks. Working closely with Don Bosco International present at the meeting, the Network will continue also to strengthen cooperation of the Salesian Family in advocacy work in human rights based approach to magnify the interventions concerning the children and youth rights especially the right to education. Updated DBN website with project data base, volunteers data base, Advocacy section, Emergency corner and PDO platform provides effective exchange of information, tools and materials. As the synergy and cooperation of Don Bosco organizations is the key to more effective support to the Don Bosco mission worldwide, working more closely with the SDB General House especially the Mission Department, the Network is open for new members and partners to join in effective cooperation. Working together we are not only stronger but we also have a much further reach.
SALESIAN RESPONSE TO 2030 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
On the 27.09.2016, on the first anniversary of the acceptance by the United Nations of the Sustainable Development Agenda till 2030, Don Bosco Network launched A Salesian Response to the 2030 Agenda, emphasizing the commitment of Don Bosco organizations to the advancement of “poor and abandoned youth”. The Sustainable Development Goals were signed exactly a year ago and represent a challenge for the next 15 years. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were destined for developing countries, particularly the poorest, these apply to all countries, rich and poor. As Salesians we welcome the agenda and present our recommendations for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, making sure that no one is left behind and that all the rights of young people, especially the Right to Education (SDG 4), are respected by all the Stakeholders. The document granted by the Don Bosco Network points out: “we believe that education is the key to eradicating poverty in all its forms, everywhere. It is essential in order to promote and ensure the common good. As Salesians we are dedicated to the social inclusion of all people and we work consistently to remove the structural barriers that prevent this.” This response has been approved by the SDB General Council and will be presented in the coming months by Don Bosco organizations to international institutions (UN, EU) and the governments of their respective countries. We encourage all of you to use the document in dealings with public institutions. You can read and download the document in six languages at the link: http://donbosconetwork.org/a-salesian-response-to-2030-agenda/
DBN OFFICE PERSONNEL CHANGE
We would like to introduce to you new Secretary General of Don Bosco Network, Katarzyna Kucik. She started to work with us from October 2016; we wish her fruitful work with DBN. You can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org (tel. 0048533114474).