Don Bosco Network Newsletter – December 2018
Don Bosco Network Newsletter – December 2018
DATE: December 3, 2018
CATEGORY: Advocacy, News

Dear Members of the Salesian Family,

As you will read in this newsletter Don Bosco Network continues to facilitate synergy and effective cooperation between Salesian Family organizations and networks from different SDB regions and continents at the service of Don Bosco Mission for young people. Working together as one family we are more effective.

Recently we have also started participation in the work of the Forum for Catholic NGOs based in the Vatican. As a faith based/Catholic/Salesian civil society organization we ensure that young people in need of support are included in the international policy of the Church and Civil Society. Working in partnership with the Church, governments and civil society organizations provide better opportunity for sustainable development and assurance that young people in need “are not left behind”.We realize that there is a need for better publicity about the impact of Don Bosco Mission in today’s World. We need to be present in social and public media to provide good news and hope for a better future for young people. They need to know and feel, like Bartholomew Garelli on the 8th of December 1841, that there is someone who cares about them and is ready to give them support.

With all of these in mind we are happy to join the Mission Offices in “We Are Don Bosco” campaign for next World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019.

With Kind Regards,

Peter Annegarn, DBN President

Dear Friends,

Some weeks ago, Pope Francis presiding at the Bishops’ Synod in Rome, focused on the youth and particularly on our capacity to welcome them and to sincerely listen to them. Those interventions and the spirit of that very strategic assembly are still resounding in our minds and hearts.

Our diversified and very experienced Don Bosco Network institutions and agencies were created and should exist for one purpose only: to serve the youth, particularly the most abandoned and forgotten ones. DBN in each continent continues to contribute to very inspiring initiatives for them.

This Synod entrusts very challenging “home-work”to us: our genuine capacity to listen to the youth, and to listen particularly to their needs and dreams. By truly listening, we will avoid two important dangers: first, offering them what they do not need; second, not assisting or accompanying them in achieving their dreams.

One very simple test or exercise of our listening skills should be to assess our internal listening dynamics in each one of our DBN institutions, and even in our own family and social settings. How will I be able to listen to the needs and dreams of the youth of the world, if I’m not yet wholeheartedly ready to listen to my wife or husband, to my children or neighbours? This is indeed a very interesting and demanding challenge!

In don Bosco,

Fr Guillermo Basañes, Councillor for the Missions


In April 2018 some Salesian MO’s and NGO’s attended a training workshop in digital marketing organized by the Missions Sector. We also discussed the possibilities for greater collaboration in our communication to the public. We felt it would be inconvenient to have a uniform logo, name and message. However, we felt it was desirable to be more uniform in our brand and in the message we convey. The MO’s offices are now testing the idea through a joint campaign built around World Youth Day (WYD 2019). More than 12 MO’s and NGO’s have so far joined this branding campaign, WeAreDonBosco. Preliminary campaign efforts are all done online through the common website and through the individual websites of the participants. We leverage the WYD to build awareness of Don Bosco’s legacy and the present-day works of Salesians worldwide, thus inspiring support for these works.

The Missions department hopes to strengthen this synergy beyond the WYD – one that will lead to a well-established, common, coordinated DON BOSCO campaign on a regular basis. In the long term, we aim to develop worldwide a strong name recall of DON BOSCO evoking images of youth, technical competence, and works for the poor among people worldwide. You are all invited to join this campaign.


On the 9th of October 2018 members and partners of the Don Bosco Network (DBN) including the Councillor for Missions Fr Guillermo Basanes, Economer General Bro Jean Paul Muller and the Coordinator of Mission Offices Fr George Menamparampil, met at the DBN headquarters in Rome for the Development Cooperation Working Group meeting. Representatives of Don Bosco organizations from Europe, USA and Africa discussed the best possible ways to support the education and skills training of young people all over the world. Special attention was given to youth in developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Following the mission of Don Bosco, Don Bosco Network empowers young people to have their dreams of a better life and access to job market fulfilled in their home countries. It is due to programs such as Don Bosco Tech Africa (present at the meeting) which represents 100 technical institutions in 34 countries in Africa that young people do not have to migrate in order to find a better life. Through education, skills training and job finding support they can realize their dreams and build a better future in their own home countries and communities. Don Bosco Network provides this support through professional capacity building programs, effective humanitarian aid, resilience programs, partnership building, cooperation and networking. DBN is using modern techniques and means of communication. Don Bosco Network cares about the future for all through engaging with partners in innovative green energy programs. Inspired by Saint John Bosco we tackle the roots of the problems which force young people in troubled countries to seek refuge in foreign lands (like Venezuela, South Sudan and many others…). Don Bosco Network is committed to a sustainable development agenda and we make sure that young people in need “are not left behind”. As for current coordinated emergency responses Don Bosco Network is supporting INK province in their relief/reconstruction/rehabilitation programs after the flood in Kerala in India last August. The working group meeting was followed by a DBN Board meeting on the 10th October with planning of network activities for next year 2018/2019.


The Salesians actively participate in various advocacy programs on national and international levels where it is possible to have the voice of the young heard, bringing to the attention of political decision-makers the needs and expectations of the poorest and most marginalized young. What does “advocacy” mean in the Salesian perspective? Why is this theme important for the Congregation and for the Salesian Family? The Position Paper entitled “What does advocacy mean according to a Salesian perspective”, recently adopted by the Rector Major and by the General Council is attempting to answer these and other similar questions.

The text was prepared with contributions from various Salesian NGOs together with an Expert Group of “Don Bosco International”. It first defines the concept of ‘advocacy’ as a “process to support people and enable them to express their point of view and their concerns, to gain access to information and services, to promote and protect their rights and responsibilities and to examine choices and options.”

Unlike lobbying and awareness raising campaigns, advocacy aims to ensure that people, especially the most vulnerable, are empowered to have their voices listened to regarding the issues most relevant to them, to protect / safeguard their own rights, and to ensure that their opinions and desires are genuinely taken into account when decisions are made regarding their lives.

The document, emphasizing the tradition of advocacy in the history of the Salesian Family, identifies the values and guiding principles for a Salesian approach to the challenges of our time in this area. In an international context in which the so-called “Agenda 2030” proposes the Goals for Sustainable Development, the Position Paper identifies seven priority areas for a Salesian advocacy action.

Full text of the document is available in the link below in 6 languages:

Full newsletter in 6 languages in the links below: