After five years of service to DBN I handover the position of the President of the Board of Management to Peter Annegarn. Thank you so much for your cooperation over the past years. In particular thank you for your openness and every good word. Confronting the understanding of DBN, which was shaped over the last years, I would like to underline once more that DBN is an organization at the service of the Salesian Congregation. It is not a superstructure that usurps the right to manage others, but it is a body that supports others to communicate better together and meet on the planes where they can work together to achieve the goals set by the Congregation. This is not the direction I chose, but the fundamental decision of all the DBN members that formed the network. Therefore, let us not be afraid of each other, but let’s take advantage of opportunities that we can offer to each other.
I hope we meet again, at latest in heaven!
Joanna Stożek, DBN President
We have just concluded the first five Team Visits presided over by Rector Major in Chennai – India, Hua Hin – Thailand, Ypacaraí – Paraguay, Cochabamba – Bolivia and Rome – Italy. That means meeting those who are presiding over and directing the whole Salesian presence in Asia, in Americas and in North and Central Europe. These have been intense moments of Salesian fraternity, of patient listening and dialogue and of co-responsible synergy in Don Bosco’s mission. The presence of the Successor of Don Bosco and of more than half of his closest collaborators (the General Councillors) during the whole time of these Visits, has given a strong sense of unity and of common rootedness; unity in the sense of the common responsibility of building up a unique family of Don Bosco to which an amazing youth mission has been entrusted. But also rootedness, in order to keep very much in mind that our renewed capacity to answer with intelligence and with generosity the enormously challenging demands from the poorest youth in Asia, in the Americas and in North and Central Europe, necessarily passes by our capacity of understanding and of reviving Don Bosco today. And Don Bosco has only one Successor: Rector Major. Being in co-responsible communion with him becomes then fundamental for us today. Also for Don Bosco Network!
Fr. Guillermo Basañes SDB, Missions’ Councilor
DBN GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING
On 30th-31st May 2017 DBN General Assembly was hosted by VIA Don Bosco in Brussels. All DBN Members with invited guests: Don Bosco International and Savio from Slovakia reflected on the identity of the Network and future development. The participants had an opportunity to visit European Union institutions and meet with faith based networks working in advocacy field in Brussels. As Joanna Stozek from SWM, Poland stepped down as DBN President due to change of her professional carrier; Peter Annegarn from VIA Don Bosco was unanimously elected by all the members the new President of Don Bosco Network. We thank Joanna for great work for last 5 years in DBN! Congratulations to Peter!
COOPERATION WITH MISSION OFFICES
On the 14th of January 2017, on the invitation of Fr George Menamparampil Coordinator of the Mission Offices, Don Bosco Network representatives did a presentation at G30 meeting in Rome for all the SDB Mission Offices Worldwide. DBN Coordinator unveiled the new updated DBN website www.donbosconetwork.org to the participants with news and network information, current emergency reaction updates, advocacy corner, projects and volunteers data base, PDO platform with information on over 50 Provincial Development Offices and PDO capacity building tools, materials and resources. All Mission Offices are invited to use the website as a helping tool in synergy in common projects and effective support to Don Bosco Mission worldwide. Together with Fr Guillermo Basanes the Councilor for Missions and Fr George Menamparampil, we are working on closer cooperation and effective synergy between all the Salesian NGOs and Mission Offices. We encourage you all to visit our website and stay in-touch with DBN.
DBN WORKING GROUPS MEETINGS
On the 13th and 15th of March 2017 Don Bosco Network members and G5 Mission Offices’ representatives met in Rome in the General House to discuss closer cooperation in the support to missionary field work. Common coordinated response to emergency situation expresses great solidarity of the Salesian organizations with population affected by natural disasters worldwide. We are supporting currently many emergency relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects of SDB communities in: INC province in Nepal after the earthquake in April 2015; ECU province after the earthquake in Ecuador in April 2016; HAI province after the Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti in October 2016; INM Chennai province in India affected by Cyclone Vardha in December 2016; MOR province, SDB communities in Syria affected by war; AFE province, SDB communities supporting IDPs fleeing armed conflicts and people affected by famine in South Sudan and SDB Communities helping people affected by severe drought in North Kenya (2017); PER province affected by floods in March 2017. In order to facilitate more efficient worldwide responses of Don Bosco organizations to the natural disasters DBN is working on detailed document: Emergency Response Mechanism which will help affected provinces in potential future emergency reactions. Together with Bro Jean Paul Muller the Economer General and Fr Guillermo Basanes, we discussed possible common support to PDO capacity building and DB Tech Africa. In the field of Development Education we concentrate on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and cooperation between Don Bosco organizations in promotion of Global Education and Missionary Animation.
4th ADVOCACY PLANNING MEETING OF THE SALESIAN FAMILY
On the 14th of March 2017 Don Bosco Network and Don Bosco International hosted in Rome the fourth annual advocacy planning meeting of the Salesian Family. The meeting gathered 18 representatives of Don Bosco Network organizations (VIS – Italy, SWM – Poland, Via Don Bosco – Belgium, Jovenes y Desarrollo – Spain), representatives of the SDB General Council (Fr Guillermo Basañes and Fr Fabio Attard), Fr George Menamparampil Coordinator of Mission Offices, Fr Thomas Pallithanam – the director of PARA in Hyderabad province in India, as well as the representatives of the Mission Office in Bonn, Salesian Past Pupils and Social Work Network of SDB and FMA in Spain. Representative of FRA (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights) accompanied the meeting on line with their expertise in advocacy on European level. At this planning meeting we worked on the draft policy documents: Youth Unemployment and Skills Agenda, Youth Participation, How to do Salesian Advocacy .The discussions and materials submitted for the meeting will help to prepare SDB policy documents to support Salesian Communities in local advocacy work on behalf of young people and present Don Bosco message at the level of International Institutions. We are working as well on common advocacy campaigns calendar for Salesian organizations to concentrate our campaign on selected days on specific issues affecting Don Bosco Mission for young people.