RMG – Salesians: South Sudan, a country in its infancy, has a right to peace and development

Everyday somewhere in the world the earth is shaking, heavy rains cause the rivers flood the fields and villages, typhoons and hurricanes devastate the land, draughts destroy the crops depriving people of their basic needs. Only some of these break into global news because of their extend range and severe impact on the great number of people’s lives.

Salesian communities present in 132 countries in the world deal with these calamities and their effects on a regular basis. Most of the times, when the disaster affects limited area, communities and provinces respond locally. But in some cases, when the emergency hits with a great force like it happened in Haiti in 2010, in Philippines in 2013 or in Nepal in 2014, there is a need for international response and solidarity involving other Salesian provinces, Salesian organizations, institutions as well as private and public donors supporting the affected population in all phases of emergency relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Since 2013, Don Bosco Network has been established by the Rector Major a focal point coordinating global emergency responses of the Salesians. Joining the efforts of many Salesian NGOs, Mission Offices and other partners, we do everything we can to provide fast and accurate help in case of emergency.


Lebanon – The Beirut tragedy and the prompt Don Bosco response
DATE: August 11, 2020 CATEGORY: Emergency, News

Medical care, food, hospitality, spiritual, moral and economic support for families affected by the explosion: this is what the Salesians in Lebanon have been working on immediately following the explosion of 4 August. Driven by young people, of all rites and religions, who have voluntarily put themselves at the service of the most affected families in the capital, the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco give home and assistance to those who have lost their family, shelter and work.

In a video recorded in front of the devastated port of Bierut, the Syrian Salesian Fr Simon Zakerian describes the situation of enormous pain that pervades the whole population, but also the desire for redemption and reconstruction that arises in the first place from young people:

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Don Bosco coordinated response to COVID-19 emergency
DATE: March 31, 2020 CATEGORY: Emergency, News

Over the course of a few weeks, Covid-19 has gone from being a Chinese national problem to a pandemic involving the whole world. While the contagion has spread day by day in new regions and countries, the Don Bosco Network (DBN), the coordinating body of ten of the most important Salesian NGOs, has been hard at work. Under the patronage of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, it has initiated a coordinated response to the current emergency under the guidance of the Congregation’s Emergency Response Coordinator – the coordinator of the Congregation’s Mission Office.

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Don Bosco in the fight against COVID-19
DATE: March 25, 2020 CATEGORY: Advocacy, Emergency, News

Recommendations to prevent contagions, suggestions on how to continue helping the population in different local contexts, and finally several ideas for drawing lessons from this pandemic: these are the fundamental elements of a fraternal letter sent by Bursar General, Bro. Jean Paul Muller, SDB, to the Salesian Provincials around the world due to Covid-19’s advancement at the global level.

“Dear Provincial, I hope you have been able to make your way back home. You can imagine how concerned we are about the situation …”, begins Bro Muller. He then goes on to indicate several of the most well-known and basic hygienic actions for one’s personal protection and the containment of infections, before suggesting a number of specific preventive measures for the Salesian religious communities themselves.

Our models are Don Bosco and his boys at the time of a cholera epidemic. More recently, we’ve had our brave confreres in Sierra Leone and Liberia at the time of Ebola.”

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DBN supports emergency relief and rehabilitation of flooded Salesian school in Cambodia
DATE: September 5, 2019 CATEGORY: Emergency, News

The heavy rains and strong winds from the tropical storm Lekina, and the impact of the southwest monsoon, hit Cambodia’s coastal provinces, causing floods in several areas, including Sihanoukville. The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology had issued a statement, urging citizens to prepare for this serious natural event. However, the Don Bosco Technical School, the Hotel and Children Fund center of Sihanoukville, suffered flooding on the night between 8 and 9 August. Salesian Brother Roberto Panetto, Economer of the Don Bosco Sihanoukville Center, described what happened.

“Last night at 22:30 (August 8), the heavy rain made me have a walk to check the water level in front of our school. I advised some our staff families and guests at the ground floor of our guesthouse to get ready for some water may enter in their ground floor rooms,” said Br Panetto. “The level of the water on the main road in front of our school started to rise and in a matter of few minutes it was overflowing the dam-wall we had just built to prevent flooding.” 

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Mozambique – Cyclone Idai: “A disaster of great proportions”
DATE: March 23, 2019 CATEGORY: Emergency, News

After weeks of torrential rains and floods, a large area between Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi has been hit by Cyclone Idai. Although the official figures are still being updated, the situation on the ground is defined as “terrifying”: over 200 victims already registered, but the estimates speak of more than 1,000.

Of the three countries affected by the fury of the cyclone, Mozambique is probably the hardest struck. The communities of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Mozambique, despite not having homes in the tragedy’s epicenter, are mobilizing to assist the victims by providing food, clothing and basic necessities, as well as their prayers.

In the coastal city of Beira, 90% of the buildings have been destroyed or damaged, while most of the population is displaced. Also severely damaged are sections of the hospital and the city’s most important access roads. The port is only partially operational, but still allows for the arrival of aid by sea. Other central provinces of Manica, Zambezia and Tete have also been affected by floods, as well as part of the northern part of Niassa. Many of the inland villages have remained isolated and still inaccessible to relief efforts.Read more »