On Sunday 1st October, Angel Gudiña met the whole Provincial Council of Middle East Province and Adele Amato, as Emergency Coordinator within the PDO, to evaluate the Emergency Response Mechanism after 9 months of coordination and to agree in the steps to be taken for the post-emergency phase in the coming months.
After these 9 months, over 2 million projects and 19 projects, the Salesians have supported thousands of victims in Syria and Lebanon, thanks to the solidarity of several Salesian NGOs and Mission Offices from all around the world.
As well, several challenges have been identified: how to sustain Syrian youth to remain in their country, supporting them in the access to work and housing, how to ensure electricity and energy supply to families in need in perspective to the coming winter.
Middle East Provincial Council remains extremely grateful to the support received as well as to the coordination provided by DBN and the several NGOs that have supported them.
From 18 to 21 September, the Don Bosco Network Board team met at the Provincial House in Madrid to kick off the new school year. Among the most important topics discussed were the management of the emergencies in Ukraine and the earthquake in Syria, the criteria for the admission of new members, the capacity building programme for PDOs, the planning of the year, communication tools and the revision of the Strategic Plan. In addition to the meeting, the Management Team took the opportunity to meet with the Director of Salesian Missions, Fr Luis Manuel Moral, as a member of the network, and with the Provincial Economer, Fr José Luis Riesco, to thank the Salesian Province of Santiago el Mayor for the technical support provided in some bureaucratic matters.
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.
From 11th to 13th April 2023, DBN Board gathered in Rome, at the Salesian University to prepare our General Assembly and Development Cooperation WG, that will be held in Torino in June. As well, we met Fr. Pietro Bianche and Adele Amato, Director and Coordinator, respectively of PDO in Middle East Province.
In the presence of the General Economer, Br. Jean Paul Muller, we could evaluate the first two months of Emergency response, and positively assess that the coordination mechanism had worked perfectly. However, several difficulties regarding the arrival of materials and funds, the capacity building of the new local staff of the PDO and the very changing situation, remain the main challenges to face in these “Emergency within the Emergency”, that represents the Earthquakes suffered in Turkey and Syria last February.
Warsaw, Poland – March 2023 – Fr. George Menamparampil, head of the Salesian Coordination for Emergency Response, Peter Annegarn, President of the “Don Bosco Network,” and Angel Gudiña, Coordinator of the “Don Bosco Network,” visited Poland from March 28-31. They began their visit in Krakow, where they met with the Provincial Economer, the head of the Salesian Volunteer Missionary Movement (SWM), and those responsible for aid to Ukraine. The second stop of the visit was the Mission Center in Warsaw. On March 29 a meeting was held at the Warsaw Provincial House; participants included representatives of the Salesian Family in Ukraine – the Greek-Catholic Salesians, the Salesians of the Krakow Province and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians working in Ukraine, as well as Alberto Livoni, Coordinator of Humanitarian Aid of the Salesian NGO “International Volunteering for Development” (VIS). The topic of the meeting was the evaluation of the projects implemented so far, especially the support to Ukrainian citizens during the last winter, and the analysis of future projects in the field of education, infrastructure and humanitarian aid. The next day, the meeting continued with the Warsaw team in charge of the Ukraine Aid Coordination, the goal being to maintain the current coordinating body and determining further activities directed at helping the victims of the war, both in Poland and Ukraine.
The Rector Major has four “Mission Offices” (aka “Procuras”) totally at his disposition to help him carry forward the mission of the Congregation worldwide. COVID-19 blocked the annual meetings of these Offices but did not stop their work. Instead, they had to work all the harder and with much more creativity to confront the challenges posed by the pandemic: many of the traditional donors lost their jobs and/or saw their income drastically reduced; they could not pay personal visits to some of their major donors, whether institutional or individual; the staff could not come to the office any longer; meetings and interactions had to be all online, etc.
Three of the four Offices had a change in leadership, too, during this period. After a gap of over three years, they did have a lot to share, study, discuss, and plan the way forward.
Representatives of these four Offices (located at New Rochelle, Madrid, Turin, and Bonn) met at Valdocco, Turin, from 18 to 21 January 2023. The Councilors for the Missions, Fr. Alfred Maravilla, convoked the meeting and Fr. George Menamparampil organized it.
“We looked at our Emergency Response Protocol, principally to its application to the unique and unprecedented disasters, the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. Nothing like these had been foreseen at the time of its drafting by the DBN (Don Bosco Network) and its approval and adoption by the Rector Major and his Council in 2016. Nevertheless, despite a few initial hitches, we handled these emergencies well enough. We looked at possible improvements to the protocol,” Fr. Menamparampil shared.
It was a pleasant realization that all the Mission Offices have done well in financial terms in the past three years, despite the difficulties faced by them and their traditional donors.
“We worked at length on ways to improve the flow of information among us and develop synergies that could raise the level of transparency, efficiency, effectiveness, and professionalism, not only to our work, but also to that of the Provinces and Congregation,” Fr. Menamparampil went on.
A thorough study was made of the Solidarity Fund of the Rector Major to which all the above-mentioned offices as well as the foundation “Don Bosco Nel Mondo” regularly contribute funds.
“We also looked at the close collaboration between DBN (Don Bosco Network) and how we could enhance it further,” the Salesian concluded.
Clear decisions were made about steps to be taken in the immediate future.
The meeting was hosted by “Missioni Don Bosco”, Turin.
On November 29-30, 2022, a meeting of the Coordinating Team for Aid to Ukraine was held at the Provincial House in Warsaw, on the initiative of Father George Menamparampil, responsible for Salesian coordination of emergency response. Along with the Warsaw Coordination Team, the meeting was attended by Angel Gudiña, coordinator of the Don Bosco Network (Spain), Alžbeta Kyselica Zelná, coordinator of humanitarian aid to Ukraine (Slovakia), and Alberto Livoni, coordinator of humanitarian aid at the VIS organization (Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo, Italy).
Participants discussed how best to join forces and organize well to help the needy population in Ukraine during the difficult winter season, when low temperatures and frequent lack of electricity throughout the country become a challenge. Online meetings were also conducted: with the Superior of the Salesian Visitation of the Greek Catholic Rite in Ukraine, Father Mykhaylo Chaban, with the Superior of the community in Kiev, Sister Anna Zainchkovska FMA, and with Father Piotr Pawelec, the Provincial Economer of the Krakow Province (PLS), which also includes Salesian communities of the Latin Rite in Ukraine.
After the meeting, Alberto Livoni, Alžbeta Kyselica Zelná and Iakob Tunievi, a volunteer from Slovakia, traveled to Lviv, taking with them for the Salesian communities food thermoses purchased as humanitarian aid thanks to the support of Salesian Missions Australia, and food products purchased as part of the project entitled “Supporting Salesian communities in Ukraine bringing humanitarian aid to victims of war,” funded by the Polish Humanitarian Aid 2022 program, under the Polish development cooperation of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On behalf of the Salesian Family, we would like to thank all those who continually support activities aimed at helping Ukraine and its people.
While the war in Ukraine continues and the world’s attention is on the chances of success of the negotiations, for those who remain in the bomb-torn country, the options to survive largely depend on international solidarity – a front on which the Salesians are always on the front line.
Without lighting and heating for days, sheltered in a cellar, with all the shops closed and being able to buy bread only when it was distributed on the street … this was the life of Natalka with her children, aged five and two, before leaving Kharkiv three weeks ago.
“The worst part was the cold for my children because all I could think about was what I was leaving behind – my husband, but most of all what I was gaining – saving their lives.”
They traveled for several days on foot, but also by bus and train until they reached Medyka, the border crossing with Poland. “The worst was the cold and the snow, carrying a baby in my arms, a big backpack, and holding the other by the hand. It is very unjust what we are suffering,” she says.
Now that she is welcomed by the Salesians, it is not as if everything is resolved. The children are frightened as soon as they hear the sound of a plane and there is always fear for the fate of her husband, whom she calls every day. But Natalka is happy as long as she knows he is fine, and he is consoled by knowing the solidarity that the family receives, “from the Salesians, above all.”
Natalka’s family is certainly not the only one to be welcomed by the Polish Salesians. Overall, the Sons of Don Bosco from the four Polish Provinces have prepared 1,117 places in Salesian refugee centers throughout Poland, of which 501 are already occupied and 366 are free. They are currently sharing what they have, but as maintaining such a large number of refugees is costly, they will need more and more support.
Despite the threat of war, they also managed to send dozens of humanitarian convoys to Ukraine. They bring medical supplies, food, blankets, generators, personal hygiene items. The synergy is significant: for example, thanks to a collaboration with the Mission Office of Bonn, in Germany, they managed to purchase 300 camp beds with as many pillows and duvets and 600 sets of bed linen and towels.
Another testimony of effective and efficient Salesian support comes from Zhytomyr, Ukraine, about 130 km from Kyiv, where last Wednesday, 16 March, the local Salesian house received a new car as a gift.
Fr Michał Wocial, a Salesian who works at the Salesian house, had asked for help after the old school bus broke down on one of the various trips to help refugees flee to Poland.
“It was a priority operation for us,” says Fr Jacek Zdzieborski, Director of the Salesian Mission Office in Warsaw. “We were able to quickly find a seller of an 8-seater minivan with a large trunk, as was needed. A week later, the vehicle had already been purchased, imported, registered, and insured.”
And they were not long in finding a donor: the purchase was soon financed by “Missioni Don Bosco”, the Salesian Mission Office of Turin.
Beginning of March 2022, this crisis started with the Russian military invasion in Ukraine. It was the start of a war, the start of a tremendous humanitarian crisis. Millions of people fleeing towards neighbouring countries, cities who are under constant threat of being bombed, families losing everything as their houses are turned in to ruines, …
Immediately after the first incoming news, the Salesians in Ukraine started organizing themselves to host affected families, offering medical and food support to families and parishioners in need, … Neighbouring provinces offered their support to the Salesians in Ukraine. The Slovak province, in collaboration with the salesians in Lviv and Ukrainian police transported 50 orphans, staying in the salesian center in Lviv, to Slovakia. The children were placed in families closely linked to the Salesians. The Krakow province in Poland (PLS) organized their centres and offices (SWM) to start immediate emergency help for Ukraine: gathering medical aid, food, matrasses, generators, … Trucks with this urgent aid left from Poland to reach Ukraine as soon as possible.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Haiti before noon August 21, 2021. During the next couple of days, the earth was strongly shaken many times more. At least 2,248 people were confirmed killed as of 1 September 2021 and above 12,200 injured, mostly in the Sud-department. DBN immediately called the emergency reaction procedure.
After consultations, DBN is supporting the coordinating information flow and the Salesians in Haiti. The PDO in Haiti Nepal, Fondaton Rinaldi are responsible for coordination of relief work on the spot.
Communities in Haiti struggled receiving aid due to difficult work and safety situation in Haiti. Roadblocks by gangs, blocked relief aid, kidnapping of salesians made the situation very difficult to work in.
The year 2020 has come to an end. Ideal time to share Christmas wishes and make Newyears resolutions. Our president Peter Annegarn and coordinator Fonny Grootjans put forward 3 words which guided us through 2020 but also words that inspire us to step into 2021 with new perspectives.
On the 28th of September 2020 members and partners of the Don Bosco Network (DBN) including the Economer General Bro Jean Paul Muller and the Coordinator of Mission Offices Fr George Menamparampil, met online for the annual General Assembly meeting.
25 representatives of Don Bosco organizations from Europe, USA, India and Africa discussed COVID-19 impact on programs, projects and operations, effective coordinated response to this pandemic and plans for new post emergency situation. In these difficult for all times, cooperation and networking using modern digital means is very important for effective support to Don Bosco Mission helping needy young people worldwide. Cooperation and synergy with SDB UN representative, Don Bosco International, Don Bosco Tech Africa, Don Bosco Green Alliance and other Salesian Family organizations and networks helps to promote Don Bosco Charism and achieve better impact on international fora.
There has been a change in the DBN personnel. Mr Wojciech Mroczek has ended his contract as DBN Coordinator and is working now full time for Don Bosco Aid in Ireland, he is substituted by Mr Fonny Grootjans from Belgium. Mr Carlos Caballero has been substituted by Mr Angel Gudina (both from Madrid) in the position of the DBN Board Member.
“Solidarity”, “taking care”,These two words have been used very often these last weeks and months.
“Solidarity” has been the driving force behind the joined actions of the Missions department and the Don Bosco Network, on behalf of the most vulnerable youth in this COVID-19 emergency and this solidarity could only be put into practice thanks to you, the Salesian NGOs and Mission Offices.
“Taking care” is another word used many times! Many of us ended our conversations by “take care of yourself and your beloved”This makes me think about what Giovani Bosco means by integral and holistic education. “Taking care” of the person as a whole, it is a very open word with many facets, and in solidarity with the vulnerable youth.
Another statement I took up during these zoom-meetings is what Fr Alfred said: “We should not bite off more than what we can chew”, changes can only be a success if they are not too radical and if we take time for reflexion. “Qui va piano va sano!” (Who goes gently goes safely).We have to continue – we from DBN, together with the Congregation – to put “solidarity” and “taking care” in practice.
The world will not be the same as a few months ago, situations have changed, we have changed and we must think differently!We showed already that we have changed the way we work as Green Alliance formulated it: “Rethink and reconnect”, by organizing our meetings via Zoom.Do we realize the number of flights the participants would have taken to come to Rome for these meetings? This is good for the climate but it is good to be reminded that Laudato Si’ is not dealing only with climate and ecological problems, but also with social problems. Sr Sarah from Geneva said, “We have to speak the Human rights language”, Laudato Si’ is in fact a matter of human dignity, of solidarity, of taking care.
With my best wishes, Take care of yourself and your beloved!
On the 26th and 27th of May 2020 members and partners of the Don Bosco Network (DBN) including the Councilor for Missions Fr Alfred Maravilla, Councilor for Youth Ministry Fr Miguel Ángel García Morcuende, Economer General Bro Jean Paul Muller and the Coordinator of Mission Offices Fr George Menamparampil, took part in the annual General Assembly and Working Group meetings online.
On the 26th May Advocacy planning meeting discussions were led by the SDB UN representative, Don Bosco International (DBI), Don Bosco Green Alliance (DBGA) and IIMA Human Rights Office of the Salesian Sisters FMA. Participants shared their experiences and planned cooperation between official representation at United Nations, European Union, African Union and other international forums. Advocacy online workshop for Salesian PDOs was planned for 9 and 10 June 2020.
During the DBN General Assembly, Development Education and Development Cooperation Working Group meetings 25 representatives of Don Bosco organizations from Europe, USA, India and Africa discussed COVID-19 impact on programs, projects and operations, effective coordinated response to this pandemic and plans for new post emergency situation. Working together DBN organization continue to provide effective support to Don Bosco Mission Worldwide in this difficult time for all.
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.
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.”
A few weeks ago I had opportunity to attend the “Forum of Catholic Inspired NGOs” in Rome. Seven Don Bosco organisations took part in this Forum. The subject was “Toward a more inclusive society”. I was impressed during the working group sessions by the idea that we are all on the same journey – faith based NGOs and civil society organisations – for the sake of human dignity and leaving no one behind! This is exactly what Don Bosco asks of us on behalf of the young vulnerable people of our countries. And, as he used to say, “alone I cannot do it!”. Another important meeting was the Energy Forever Conference, organised by the Mission Department; DBN took part in it as well. I would like to quote a sentence from the Final Statement: “The Preventive System integral to the Salesian educative approach brings together four dimensions: the educative, religious, cultural and vocational. Ecology and care for our common home are constituent parts of this approach with its aim of holistic human growth and development.” This year is a very important year, with the XXVIII General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation, in Turin. The title of this GC seems very prophetic to me: “What kind of Salesians for the youth of today?” Looking at inclusion – which is rather different from integration – I would like to express our wishes for 2020 to reach better unity and brotherly partnerships, with all the partners of the DBN, the DBN members, the Mission Offices, FMA, SDB, the PDOs…Looking forward to continue our journey together this year.
5-7.12.2019 Forum of Catholic Inspired Organizations took place in Rome at Villa Aurelia. The Forum meets every 2 years and works closely with Vatican Dicastery for Human Integral Development. For last two years the Forum worked in seven working groups: 1) Human Rights, 2) Development and environment, 3) Health, 4) Education, 5) Family, 6) Migration, 7) Youth. The expert working groups prepared a publication: Towards a More Inclusive Society which will guide Catholic organizations in advocacy work in relevant topics on national and international levels. 135 participants from over 100 Catholic organizations and networks took part in the Forum meeting which was concluded with the audience with Pope Francis. Representatives from Don Bosco Network, Don Bosco International, Don Bosco Youth Net, VIS, Misiones Salesianas, IIMA Human Rights Office of the Salesian sisters and Don Bosco Green Alliance took active part in the work of the working groups and in the Forum meeting at Villa Aurelia in Rome.
The Economer General’s Office, together with various members of the “Don Bosco Network” and the Missions Sector, have organized an international Salesian conference on green, clean and renewable energy; its title: “Energy Forever”. Taking place 26-27 November, in Rome, the conference intends to adopt Sustainable Development Goal No. 7 on clean and accessible energy and, in light of “COP25” (25th United Nations Conference on climate change, scheduled in Madrid from 2 to 13 December), focussing on the definition of a common perspective on this issue and the adoption of concrete commitments.Read more »
Educational initiatives in Ghana, Haiti, South Sudan and Spain illustrate the work of Salesians around the globe that highlights this year’s theme in support of young teachers.
Rome (Oct. 5, 2019) The Don Bosco Network joins humanitarian organizations and countries around the globe in honoring World Teachers’ Day celebrated each year on Oct. 5. The day honors the vital role that teachers play in the lives of their students. Since 1994, World Teachers’ Day has been held annually and commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.Read more »
While cleaning up waste, and beautification of the environment are important and essential practices, unless there is a systemic change that leads to the reduction of waste generation, these efforts will be futile. Cleanup activities have to be supported by concrete steps that lead to a drastic reduction in the quantum of waste generated, and we need to ultimately change public mindsets to ensure that the need for cleaning becomes a thing of the past.
With the above background, we can focus on a campaign to reduce the waste generation within the member organizations, with a 45-day long rollout, focusing on waste reduction. We will focus on reducing the quantum of waste generated by the organisation during August and September, with the 3rd week of September named as the ‘Zero Waste Week’
World Cleanup Day
World Cleanup Day is celebrated on the 21st of September. The first world clean up day was celebrated on 15th September 2018, wherein 18 million people from over 158 countries took part. Over 88500 tonnes of waste was collected. Members of the Don Bosco Green Alliance also participated in this event last year.
This year, the World Clean Up Day coincides with world peace day. As per their mission statement, the movement is not solely about cleaning up trash, but about raising global awareness and implementing lasting changes to end the global waste epidemic.
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.”
From Tuesday, July 9, to Thursday, July 18, the annual High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) took place at United Nations headquarters in New York City. The program attracted more than 2,000 participants, including some 100 government ministers. Over 40 countries have presented their Voluntary National Reviews.
The HLPF is the main U.N. platform for follow-up and review of the progress made toward the 2030 Agenda, consisting of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were set out in 2015.
The theme of this year’s meeting was “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” Included on the program were an in-depth review of SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 13 (climate action), and SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions). In addition SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals) is reviewed every year.Read more »
Don Bosco organizations together with Misean Cara and other partners are holding 2 side events during the Volontary National Reviews at High Level Political Forum at United Nations headquaters in New York
The events information:
1. Addressing Inclusion, Inequality and Institutions: Grassroots views on SDGs 4, 8, 10, 16 and 17 – and the links between them
Date: 10th July 2019
Time: 2.00 to 3.45pm
Venue: 10th Floor, Church Centre for UN, 777 UN Plaza / 44th street.2. Youth Aspirations & Climate Urgency “A conversation on the hopes and demands of grassroots activists in a world threatened by climate crisis”
11 July 2019
2.00 to 3.30pm
Commonwealth Joint Office
685 Third Avenue, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10017
Links to invitation flyers and detailed information below:
The In the last newsletter I had the pleasure to underline the importance of synergies and effective cooperation between Salesian Family organisations and networks. Since the start of this year we continue on this path of cooperation and sharing of good practices. In February in the Advocacy Working Group at UPS we had the opportunity to learn more about Don Bosco Green Alliance, rooted in Laudato Si. I really am convinced that we should take more attention to this ecological initiative. “Everything is connected with everything” says the Pope. Social and ecological crises are not two different crises, but just two sides of the same coin. If we want to fight for the marginalized youth and thus fight poverty, we have to take care of our “mother earth”. During last General Assembly of the DBN we approved the changes of the DBN Bylaws in order to be in closer link to the Salesian Congregation, including the FMA sisters. “Why not invite them next time?” as Br Jean-Paul Müller suggested it. The presence and participation of Don Bosco Tech Africa is another good example of better integration through this project of the Congregation within our DBN network. Yes, we want to continue to support regional networks with our DBN network, we want continue to work on being a real Salesian Congregation network. In this perspective I am convinced that we can contribute to the theme of next General Chapter in 2020: “What kind of salesians for the youth of today?”.
On the 18th and 19th of June 2019 on behalf of Don Bosco International and Don Bosco Network, Wojciech Mroczek DBN Coordinator attended European Development Days EDD organized by European Commission in Brussels. The main theme of the event was: Addressing inequalities: Building a world which leaves no one behind. 67000 participants from all over the world representing implementing and funding development programs organizations, governments and EU representatives. You can find the full program of events and discussions on the EDD official website: https://eudevdays.eu DBN Coordinator actively participated in the following thematic discussions:
Getting it right for children: Meaningful participation and equal opportunities
What is religion got to do with it?
Launching SDG Watch Europe report on SDG 10
The role of young people in the peace processes
Flexible skills development for vulnerable young people
Climate change: Finding the path towards an inclusive and green transition leaving no one behind
Migrants contribution to development in the Global North (organized by Caritas Europe)
Very meaningful and inspiring discussions related to the Don Bosco Mission worldwide.
Don Bosco Network and the Don Bosco Green Alliance as well as the international community is celebrating World Environment Day. The day, which is celebrated annually on June 5, will be hosted by China this year and focus on the theme of “Air Pollution.”
According to the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment), approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with nearly 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific. World Environment Day 2019 urges governments, industry, communities and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world.
UN Environment has noted that 92 percent of people worldwide do not breathe clean air. Air pollution costs the global economy $5 trillion every year in welfare costs. In addition, ground-level ozone pollution is expected to reduce staple crop yields by 26 percent by 2030.Read more »
On 29-30 May 2019, members and partners of the Don Bosco Network (DBN), including the Councilor for Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, SDB, Economer General, Bro Jean Paul Muller, SDB, and the Coordinator of Mission Offices, Fr George Menamparampil, SDB, met at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome for the annual General Assembly and Development Cooperation Working Group meetings.
25 representatives of Don Bosco organizations from Europe, USA, India and Africa discussed the best possible ways of support to young people education and skills training 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 the job market fulfilled in their home countries. It is due to such programmes as Don Bosco Tech Africa, which stands for 102 technical institutions in 34 countries in Africa, that young people do not have to migrate in order to find better life. Through the education, skills training and job finding support they can realize their dreams and build a better future in their own home countries and communities. Similar programs and networks like BoscoNet in South Asia Region, Young People at Risk (YARs) networks in Inter-America and South Asia regions assure the effectiveness of Don Bosco Mission.Read more »
Young people across the world are today raising their voices in anger protest! They are legitimately upset because their lives and their future are being adversely affected by climate change, pollution and a variety of other environmental factors. As they demand change, they also pledge to make the necessary changes in their own lives to improve the environmental scenario. These sentiments of young people are well described by Pope Francis when he says: “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.” (LS 13). Further, the Pope states that “young people have a new ecological sensitivity and a generous spirit, and some of them are making admirable efforts to protect the environment” (LS 209).Read more »
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 »
TVET Initiative and Circular Migration – A Critical Intervention for Empowering Young Migrants.
Mr. Agostino Sella, Director, Associazione Don Bosco 2000 – TVET/CNOS speaking at the Youth led side event during the 57th Session of the Commission for Social Development 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York highlighted the critical and important role the Salesians of Don Bosco was playing to empower young migrants by providing them employment oriented vocational training. This process he said enabled young migrants to acquire skills that they could then use to empower their communities in their countries of origin. Calling this process “Circular Migration” he said that such an intervention is important in addressing the global challenge of migration. Agostino was one of the panelists at the side event: Youth Empowered! Enabling Youth Through Social Protection: Education, Employment, Environment.Read more »
On 11 and 12 February, coordinated by Don Bosco Network with the support of Don Bosco International and Don Bosco – United Nations, the annual gathering of organizations dealing with advocacy and campaign with a Salesian approach has taken place for the sixth time. The meeting was presided by Fr Guillermo Basañes, Missions Councillor, and Fr Fabio Attard, Councillor for Youth Ministry. This edition dealt with several fixed points: sharing 2018’s advocacy initiatives, working in common topics, such as Migrations, human-trafficking and Sustainable Development Goals; but also with a few novelties: two representatives of Don Bosco Green Alliance presented their ecological initiative rooted in Laudato Si’ and youth engagement, while AFW province sent a representative, Benson Osei-Savio Boateng, for the “DBYNWA” (Don Bosco Youth Net West Africa), who shared their many activities in the field, and so for the first time counted on the presence of African representatives. The last novelty was the visit on the morning of the 12th to the Vatican Dicastery of Human Integral Development, in order to get to know their work and see possible synergies with the different socio-political initiatives they are carrying out.
The meeting ended with the exchange of best practices and materials in the field of Development Education. The advocacy meeting grows year after year, as well as the number of joint initiatives developed together.
The World Conference of Salesian Mission Offices is being held from 16-20 January at the “Domus Urbis” House in Rome. 90 people are taking part – 68 Salesians, 1 FMA and 21 lay people from 54 Provinces and 45 countries. The Conference has been organised by Fr George Menamparampil, SDB, Coordinator of Mission Offices. Don Bosco Network is actively taking part in the conference.
Saint John “Don” Bosco truly lived his life for others—especially the poor, downtrodden young men living on the streets of Turin, Italy, near where he was born.
By the mid-19th century, thousands of these boys had traveled from the rural countryside, seeking better opportunities in a newly booming industrial city. But Turin wasn’t ready for them. Inadequate housing options, and a strained social support system, meant that almost as many landed in overcrowded slums—where crime, disease and despair ran rampant. Many youth roamed the streets and were a menace to society with their unruly behavior.Read more »
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”.Read more »
In a year of their presence in the Palabek refugee camp in Uganda, the Salesians have already won the trust of the people, especially women and children, fleeing the war in South Sudan, bringing with them nothing but the clothes they had on, people who only dream of returning to their country in an atmosphere of peace. As in the case of the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, the Salesians are the only organization that resides permanently in the camp and Don Bosco is already a moral authority for the refugees.
The area is about 400 km2 of forest that is destined to accommodate about 150,000 refugees. The generosity of the Ugandan government with the people fleeing the war in neighboring South Sudan has led to numerous refugee camps, but also to various other forms of support and attention, such as issuing work permits in Uganda for those who leave their past due to violence.Read more »
On the 9th of October 2018 members and partners of the Don Bosco Network (DBN) including the Councilor 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 best possible ways of support to young people education and skills training 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 better life and access to job market fulfilled in their home countries. It is due to such programmes as Don Bosco Tech Africa which stands for 100 technical institutions in 34 countries in Africa the young people do not have to migrate in order to find better life. Through the education, skills training and job finding support they can realize their dreams and built better future in their own home countries and communities.Read more »
The 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations opens in New York. The Salesians actively participate through an intense activity of advocacy, and are at work in this and other international organizations 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 doing “advocacy” mean in the Salesian key? But above all, why is this theme imposed today on the reflections of the Congregation and of the Salesian Family? Trying to answer these and other similar questions is the Position Paper entitled “What does advocacy mean according to a Salesian perspective”, recently adopted by the Rector Major and by the General Council of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
The text, drawn up and beginning with the contributions of various Salesian NGOs together with an Expert Group of “Don Bosco International”, first defines the concept of ‘advocacy’ as a “process to support people and enable them to express their point of view, their concerns, gain access to information and services, promote and protect their rights and responsibilities, examine choices and options.”Read more »
In recent hours more than 23,000 people have left their homes, the violence of the storm has already caused over 400 victims and devastated more than 5,000 homes.
Kerala has suffered devastating floods before but, according to meteorologists, last week the rainfall intensity was 250% higher than average. The local government did not act promptly and it was necessary to drain the water from too full basins, opening the dam gates. The exact extent of the damage is still difficult to calculate, a clear idea can only be had when the waters totally withdraw. According to local premier Pinarayi Vijayan at least 83 thousand kilometers of roads are devastated, while about 20 thousand houses and some 40 thousand hectares of cultivated fields have been destroyed, reports the ANSA news agency.Read more »
Flash floods in Kerala have killed 87 people and displaced around 36,000 according to Indian officials, after heavy monsoons led to landslides and overflowing reservoirs across the southern state. Also the Salesians institutions in central Kerala are flooded. “We are unable to do anything due to incessant rain” the Salesians working there say.
Kerala, famed for its pristine palm-lined beaches and tea plantations, is battered by the monsoon every year but the rains have been particularly severe this season.
An incessant downpour battered Kerala again on Wednesday, resulting in 28 more deaths and more destruction and forcing authorities to issue a red alert across the southern state. With these deaths on Wednesday, including five of a family, the death toll since August 8 climbed to 67.Read more »
What can we do to protect and respect God’s astonishing creation…the planet Earth? At times, any effort seems futile; the constant barrage of bad news — worsening smog, melting polar ice, floating islands of plastic waste — is disheartening. In India, the “Don Bosco Green Alliance” is countering this narrative with a message of hope, and providing youth with the resources and tools for change.
Formed this past December in Mumbai, the Alliance seeks to support Salesian-led schools as they shift to an educational model designed in the spirit of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si.“Rampant development and construction is ruining the natural environment around us,” says Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, regional councilor for the Salesian province of South Asia. “We must teach our students to return to the Garden of Eden, the paradise for which God created us, where there is harmony between God, man and nature. We need to make a paradigm shift now. In all our educational institutions, we need to increase eco-based education, and create a love of nature in our students.”Read more »
The Don Bosco Network has been very busy the last few months with a number of important meetings and events (which are summarized below in this newsletter). The good news is the cooperation and networking between Salesian Family or-ganizations is improving. Only when we work in synergy, mutual trust and support we can ensure that the Don Bosco mission for young people will be long–lasting and sustainable with great positive impact in the lives of young people worldwide.
We are happy to welcome a new member to DBN: SAVIO from Slovakia. We are happy to see great interest from other Salesian organizations to cooperate and network with us through our online platform and other programs and projects. With a new board of directors and a new strategic plan for next 3 years, we hope to be of even better service to the Don Bosco mission. The main focus points for us in next 3 years are:
1) communication and synergy (including the online platform);
2) capacity building (PDOs, TVET…), effective support to SDB in emergency situations and training on prepared-ness for natural disasters; and
3) advocacy, development education and missionary ani-mation.
Thematic working groups are effective tool to achieve good results and impact.
I would like to conclude with a phrase from our mission state-ment: Youth at the heart of development! Let us remember this in all our activities.
In 2017, due to wars, violence and persecution, there were 68.5 million people forced to flee their homes, with more than half being minors (53%); of these, about 40 million were displaced within their own countries and 25.4 moved abroad. For the Salesians of Don Bosco, who have always worked in support of the neediest of young people, the data published for the World Refugee Day by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) acts as new impetus for their commitment in the field.
The action of the Salesians is multi-faceted and takes place across the globe. To name a few, among the many:Read more »
On the 31st May and 1st of June 2018 members of Don Bosco Network accompanied by the Councilor for Missions Fr Guillermo Basanes, the Economer General Bro Jean Paul Muller and the Coordinator of Mission Offices Fr George Menamparampil, met at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome for the annual General Assembly meeting to discuss the next steps of the network development.
In the first day of the Assembly Don Bosco Network members met together with the SDB Mission Offices gathered at the same time at UPS to discuss and plan better synergy and coordination between SDB NGOs and Mission Offices in more effective support to Don Bosco Mission worldwide. Organizations present at the joint meeting were: Salesian Missions – USA, Via Don Bosco – Belgium, Missiones Salesianas and Jovenes y Desarrollo – Spain, VIS and Missioni Don Bosco – Italy, Don Bosco Mondo and Don Bosco Mission – Germany, BoscoNet – India, Don Bosco Jugendhilfe Weltweit – Switzerland, SAVIO – Slovakia, Mission Office – Ireland, Mission Office – Poland, and Mission Office – Malta.Read more »
Bangalore Rular Educational and Development Society (BREADS) of Salesians of Don Bosco Bangalore province in India produced short films dedicated to advocacy as a part of their Children Rights CREAM programme. you can view films: against child marriage, against child labour, for playground, demanding teacher in the school in the links below:
To ensure that the Planning and Development Offices (PDOs) in the various Salesian Provinces become increasingly more think-tanks wherein to reflect on how the Salesian Mission can support and foster human development and, especially, young people. This is the primary purpose of the international meeting of PDO leaders and operators currently taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.
The event is being attended by over 130 people from across the entire planet, including representatives of the various PDOs of the Congregation, missionaries, Salesians and lay people. Also present was the Economer General of the Congregation, Br Jean Paul Muller and the Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar region, Fr Américo Chaquisse .
The meeting in Nairobi takes place more than six years after the last similar appointment, which was held in Hyderabad in the autumn of 2011. For this very reason one of the most significant aspects of this meeting is to hold and foster an open discussion on how to expand the institute of PDOs for young people and society in light of the changes that have occurred in recent years at all levels and in different fields. It was also an occasion to conclude 4 years PDO capacity building programme in the region of Africa and Caribbeans. The programme was funded by European Union and led by VIS with participation of all the Don Bosco Network members.
“We asked ourselves the question: what is the role of PDOs in the Congregation? We have seen that there has been a nice process of development in recent years: many Provincials and Provincial Economers have launched PDOs and, through them, have carried out development projects that have changed the lives of young people and of the environments in which Salesian centers operate,” said Mr. Muller in a video produced by the “Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services” (BEAMS), of the host province of the meeting, East Africa (AFE).
The much-felt need was therefore to create a new event wherein to share knowledge, best practices, visions and opportunities in relation to the innovations that have occurred since the last meeting in, innovations in the world of the Church, the Salesians, in the Economy, fundraising, the third sector and human development.
“With this meeting an important step forward is also taken even in consideration of the next General Chapter 28 of the Salesian Congregation”, concludes the Economer General in the video produced.
On Monday the 16th of April a seminar began for the leaders and operators of the Salesian Mission Offices, Don Bosco Network Members, the Planning and Development Offices, the various foundations and other Salesian organizations involved in activities of communication, fundraising, and development. The seminar’s theme is digital marketing: “Technology at the service of the mission.”
Sixty-five representatives from various NGOs and structures of the Salesian Family of all five continents are participating at the seminar which ends Saturday, April 21, at the “Fraterna Domus” of Sacrofano, near Rome.Read more »
On the 27th of February 2018 in the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, Italy 15 representatives of Don Bosco Network members organizations gathered for Development Education and Development Cooperation Working Groups meetings. The participants had an opportunity to exchange their experience and plan common projects and programmes. The main topics discussed included: Sustainable Development Agenda, Migration, Global Education, effective Emergency Response, preparation for SDB Provincial Planing and Development Offices meeting in Nairobi in April 2018, capacity building and support to the network on Don Bosco Technical and Vocational training centres in Africa and Latin America. Fr Guillermo Basanes the Councillor for Missions and Fr George Menamparampil the Coordinator of Mission Offices accompanied the meetings. On the 28th of February Don Bosco Network Board discussed preparations for next General Assembly meeting which will take place at the end of May 2018.
The fifth advocacy meeting for Salesian organizations took place on the 26th of February 2018 at Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, Italy. The meeting was organized by Don Bosco Network (DBN) and supported by Don Bosco International (DBI). The meeting saw the participation of General Councillors for Missions and Youth Ministry, Fr. Guillermo Basañes and Fr. Fabio Attard. In the meeting, participants included over 20 representatives of Salesian organisations who shared their advocacy actions in several fields. Among the topics discussed were the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and Migration. this second topic discussed the input from the Vatican Migrants’ and Refugees’ Section present in the Holy See document on UN Global Compacts. The meeting concluded with Fr. Attard’s presenting the Frame of Reference and its application to advocacy. The advocacy meeting grows year after year, as well as the number of joint initiatives developed together.
With these words Joanna Stożek addressed all in the newsletter of last July. As the new President of the DBN, I would like to use the same welcoming words in this final newsletter of the year, because we are all brothers and sisters in the same family! Looking back at the last year, I would like first to express again my thanks to Joanna. I hope to be a worthy successor to her. Secondly I would like to thank all of you for your dedicated work and cooperation in the projects and actions undertaken on behalf of young vulnerable persons in many countries, especially those in emergency situations. I think that we can be proud of the way we are helping young people to “stand up” and, often, to recover their dignity. I am sure that many are looking enviously at our work, in particular our data-base developed and coordinated by Wojciech. DBN was established to respond to the needs of young people but this would not be possible without the active partnership with the Salesian Congregation. Therefore we are happy to adopt our new DBN logo, expressing our partnership with the Salesian Congregation. It is not only a sort of ‘convenience’, but it is an expression of real cooperation! I hope that in the coming year we will continue to make progress along the lines which the logo expresses. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I send you and your families my best wishes for 2018.
The news of the disaster caused by Hurricane Maria has been distressing. “Puerto Rico under shock for the magnitude of the disaster,” wrote El País, which confirmed what Governor Ricardo Roselló had said: “This is a major disaster. No doubt.” The economic losses will amount to billions of dollars, according to Jennifer González, Puerto Rico representative at the United States Congress, who said: “We have never suffered a devastation like this.” There are no Salesians among the victims, but all Salesian centers in the country have been damaged.
On Friday afternoon, September 22, returning from Santiago de Cuba, Fr Francisco Batista, Provincial of the Antilles – Province to which Puetro Rico’s Salesian centers refer to – was able to communicate with Fr Nicolas Navarro, parish priest of the Church of Mary Help of Christians in the Cantera district in San Juan, the country capital. “There is no structure that has not been hit by the hurricane. Electric poles and telephone service have fallen, as have a large number of trees which were knocked over by the hurricanes,” he commented.Read more »
The earthquake bearing a magnitude of 7.1° on the Richter scale that struck Mexico on Tuesday, September 19, has caused hundreds of victims: 217, according to the Civil Protection Service as of this morning, but the number may increase due to the high probability that there are people trapped under collapsed buildings. Mexico’s National Civil Protection Coordinator, Luis Felipe Puente, said the victims numbered 86 in Mexico City, 71 in Morelos, 43 in Puebla, 12 in the State of Mexico, 4 in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca. Unfortunately, following the collapse of the “Enrique Rebsamen” school, there are at least 25 children among the earthquake’s victims. The search for survivors is currently underway.
Shortly after the earthquake, the Provincials of the two Provinces of Mexico, Fr Hugo Orozco Sánchez, of Mexico-Guadalajara (MEM), and Fr Gabino Hernández Paleta, of Mexico-Mexico, sent a statement regarding the status of Salesians and the Salesian centers throughout Mexico, affirming there was no harm to people and that damage to property would be quantified at a later date.Read more »
Don Bosco Fambul in Freetown is assisting 300 children and young people affected by fatal mudslides in the Regent area of the city as Sierra Leone entered a week-long mourning period for the victims of the flooding that has killed more than 400 people, with fears that the death toll could rise as 600 remain missing. AFP news agency reported on Wednesday that among the dead were at least 105 children.
On the 24th of July 2017 Don Bosco Network Board met in SDB General House in Rome to plan DBN work for 2017/2018. Fr Guillermo Basanes – Counsillor for the Missions, Bro Jean Paul Muller – Economer General, Fr George Menamparampil – SDB Mission Department, Peter Annegarn – DBN President, Alessandro Brescia DBN Treasurer, and Wojciech Mroczek – DBN Coordinator attended the meeting. Joanna Stozek handed over her Presidency duties to Peter Anegarn during the meeting.
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.
30-31 May 2017 members of Don Bosco Network accompanied by the Councilor for Missions Fr Guillermo Basanes and the Coordinator of Mission Offices Fr George Menamparampil, met at the VIA Don Bosco headquarters in Brussels for the annual General Assembly meeting to discuss the next steps of the network development.
As Joanna Stozek from SWM, Poland stepped down as DBN President due to change of professional carrier; Peter Annegarn the President of VIA Don Bosco, in supplementary elections, was unanimously elected by all the members the new President of Don Bosco Network. Peter has a great experience of leadership as he is also the President for European Forum of National Laity Committees. Peter worked as well with DBN in the past when the Network was newly established. We wish Peter great success and inspiration in this new leadership task in supporting Don Bosco Mission worldwide.
Why is Don Bosco still important today? The audio statements of these young people show that Don Bosco is the opposite of old and rusty. His preventive approach and his loving kindness towards marginalized and excluded children and youths is as valid today as yesterday. This soundcloud was created in cooperation with Medienwerkstatt Bonn.
In cooperation with the German Grimme-Institut seven participants have produced this film in a “Digital Storytelling” workshop. They learned how to tell a good story and wrote their personal stories in small exercises, collected license free pictures and music. Finally they decided about the concept of this film and learned how to speak in front of a video camera and strengthened their digital competences.
Peru is experiencing the negative effects of climate change, in particular due to the torrential rains of recent weeks. This weather phenomenon is causing major emergencies, disasters and floods in Piura (in the north) and other regions of Peru. In recent weeks, heavy rains and landslides (floods with water, stones and mud), hit the southern and central zones, including Lima, the capital. According to official figures the death toll is 62 people and 11 remain missing.
13 – 15 March 2017 Don Bosco Network is hosting in Salesianum in Rome a set of Working Group meetings. The representatives of various Salesian organizations: Via Don Bosco – Belgium, VIS – Italy, Missioni Don Bosco – Italy, SWM – Poland, Don Bosco Missions – Germany, Don Bosco Mondo – Germany, Jovenes y Desarollo – Spain, BoscoNet/PARA – India, Don Bosco International and Salesian Past Pupils, gathered to share experiences, materials, best practices and plan effective cooperation in various fields of work and support to Salesian Mission worldwide.Read more »
“The image of Ethiopia in 1984, with children emaciated to the extreme, and over a million deaths from lack of food, have remained in the minds of many Westerners as a reminder of a terrible word: famine” – Carlos Laorden.
“There are cases of deaths from starvation. We do not know how many, because we have no access,” says Luca Russo, Special Adviser to the FAO, referring to the current situation in South Sudan. In this catastrophic situation, the Salesians continue to stay with the people.Read more »
Salesian Missions, Don Bosco Mondo and other members of Don Bosco Network have launched an emergency fundraising effort to support missionaries assisting people affected by severe drought in Kenya. The government of Kenya has declared the country’s devastating drought a national disaster, with an estimated 2.7 million people in urgent need of food aid as a result of lack of rain and a worsening water shortage.
Salesian missionaries with the Don Bosco Mission in Korr—located in the north central region of Kenya— have already begun providing food relief with the limited means available. Right now, missionaries are providing milk, maize flour, wheat flour, oil and salt, which must be brought in from the community of Isiolo more than 142 miles away from Korr. Salesian missionaries are also providing access to clean, safe water from boreholes that have been dug. With food and water supplies running out, Salesian missionaries must rely on donations and financial support to assist with this crisis.Read more »
Team Visits, an instrument of animation by the Rector Major and the General Council, had already started in Chennai – India. It is the first of the series of seven visits which will take place in the coming months in the seven Salesian Regions. Read more here >>
On the 16th of January 2017 Don Bosco Network Board met in SDB General House in Rome to discuss DBN work plan for the coming year. Fr Guillermo Basanes – Counsillor for the Missions, Fr George Menamparampil – SDB Mission Department, Joanna Stozek – DBN President, Peter Annegarn – DBN Vice President, Alessandro Brescia DBN Treasurer, Katarzyna Kucik DBN Secretary General and Wojciech Mroczek – DBN Coordinator attended the meeting.
They discussed relations between PDO’s, Mission Offices and NGO’s, Emergency Response Mechanism prepared by DBN, feedback from General Council and Mission Offices meetings and future plan of work of the Network: DBN working groups meetings and Advocacy meeting in March, plans for next, General Assembly meeting 30-31 May 2017 in Brussels, new members and finances.
Meeting of the Salesian Mission Offices took place from 12th till 14th of January 2017 at the General House in Rome. It was organized by the Department of Missions in cooperation with the Economer General and gathered about 60 participants. Participants shared about coordination between Mission Offices, participation of the laity in the Mission Offices, volunteering and digital marketing. DBN President and DBN Coordinator joined on the last day of the meeting, presenting brief information about DBN, possibility of using DBN website with project data base, volunteers information, PDO platform and possibility of close cooperation between Don Bosco Network and Mission Offices. The three-day conference was chaired by Fr George Menamparampil and Fr Martín Lasarte, both of the Missions Department. Assembly started with the address of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime.
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.
We realized this was the sole request of everyone we interviewed, praying for peace. It became clear what we were really set out to do here – relate Michał Król, Fr Roman Sikoń SDB and Darek Malejonek (Polish Singer) from Salesian Missionary Voluntary Service – Youth for the World (Poland) who have spent week in Syria. In choosing not to immerse ourselves in the convoluted political situation Syria found itself in, we focused instead on the lives of ordinary civilians and the Salesians who were trapped in the jaws of daily war, we also met with hundreds of young Syrians at the Salesian youth center who inspired us with their kindness and authenticity. They too did not hesitate to ask us to keep them in our intentions and prayers.
24-26 October 2016 members of Don Bosco Network and representatives of G5 Mission Offices met 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, Don Bosco Jugendhilfe Weltweit – Switzerland, 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. Read more »
Hurricane Matthew, one of the most catastrophic tropical storms of the past decade, has hit Haiti very hard. At least nineteen people have died. This is 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.
The hurricane has stunned the entire country. All Haitian schools will remain closed until next Monday 10 October. Now the storm is heading for the Bahamas and the South East of the United States. The presidential elections in the country scheduled for next Sunday have had to be postponed. The Salesians have also had to postpone the celebrations for the 80th anniversary of their arrival, originally scheduled for yesterday 5 October.Read more »
Every 5 October since 1994, UNESCO has celebrated World Teachers’ Day. Nowadays the teacher “has become a much criticized figure.” Speaking of teachers, Pope Francis has said they are “craftsmen of humanity! And builders of peace and of encounter” and he insisted, saying:” If only governments were aware of the magnitude of their task!” On the occasion of this World Teachers’ Day, the NGO “VIA DON BOSCO” decided to “draw attention to the right to access to education around the world.”
Students in Belgium are relieved at the sound of the bell after class but millions of children and adolescents around the world have no one to save them from “the well-known difficult conditions for teaching, such as overcrowded classrooms, or schools without teachers” says Christopher El Khazen, head of education for development of the NGO Via Don Bosco.Read more »
Juan Carlos Montenegro working with volunteers in SDB SUO province as part of his Doctorate studies prepared a research about Salesian Volunteer Experience. This is a capsulized summary of a global research by former Salesian volunteers. The survey was taken by 438 volunteers from 28 different countries. These volunteers served in 66 countries between 1980 and 2015, which gives us an extensive data of the scope of global Salesian volunteer programs. You can view the document in the link below.
The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants expresses the political will of world leaders to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale. At the UN Summit on 19 September, world leaders elaborated on how each country will implement these commitments. Refugees, migrants, those who assist them, and their host countries and communities will all benefit if these commitments are met.
Salesians are in the frontline with regard to migrants/refugees, with special regard to young people and unaccompanied minors, as we are present in more than 130 countries around the world and we are in direct contact with the most vulnerable. Our concrete contribution besides being in those countries next to the people in need, is also to contribute in the elaboration of policies that can be effective and which can help in building up a more just and equitable world for all. As this is today one of the major issues tightly linked to poverty and conflicts, as also highlighted in the Agenda 2030 and in the SDGs, we consider it one of the arenas in which the Salesian charism can contribute, also in response to the words of Pope Francis inviting all to join efforts for fighting the unbalance of the present world.Read more »
In 1 year anniversary of acceptance by United Nations of Sustainable Development Agenda till 2030, Don Bosco Network is launching A Salesian Response to 2030 Agenda underlying commitment of Don Bosco organizations to the advancement of “poor and abandoned youth”. We welcome the agenda and present our recommendations to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, making sure that no one is left behind and that all the Rights of young people, especially the Right to Education, are being respected by all the Stakeholders. 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 respective countries’ governments. You can read and download the document in different languages in the links below. For more information contact Don Bosco Network Coordinator at: email@example.com
On the 9th of September 2016 Don Bosco Network Board met in Krakow to discuss current work progress and preparation for DBN General Assembly meeting which is planned on the 24th-26th October 2016 in Rome. Meeting was hosted by SWM in Krakow. Fr Guillermo Basanes – Counsillor for the Missions, Fr George Menamparampil – SDB Mission department, Joanna Stozek – DBN President, Peter Annegarn – DBN Vice President and Wojciech Mroczek – DBN Coordinator attended the meeting.
On the 29th of August 2016 Angel Gudina representing Don Bosco International attended strategy meeting on the situation of children in migration. The meeting took place in the UN House in Brussels. EU, UN organizations and many international NGOs attended the meeting in order to prepare UN Summit, EU Councils and other civil society events on this issue.
This initiative is calling for attention that children travelling with their parents suffer the same conditions as adults including detention by immigration authorities. There are serious Children’s Rights concerns in these situations.
You can view the materials and documents from the meeting on our website resources.
From 25th to 31st July 2016 over a million of young people gather in Cracow to celebrate the World Youth Day with the Holy Father and reflecting on the main theme: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”. You can follow the current updates and the programme on the official website: http://worldyouthday.com
In connection to the WYD Salesian Youth Movement gather from the 27th of July 2016, you will find relevant information and photos on the website: http://krakow2016sym.pl/en/
The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) took place at UNHQ in New York, July 11-20, 2016. Fr Thomas Brennan, representing Salesian Missions at UN together with other faith based organizations, prepared 2 advocacy events: The Human Right to Water and Sanitation and Eliminating the Trafficking of Children and Youth.
You can find more information about the events in our website resources.
(Rome, July 15, 2016) – Between Sunday and Monday last, thousands of frightened people sought refuge in the Salesian mission at Gumbo, 8 km from the centre of Juba, in South Sudan, because of the resumption of armed clashes. Now the mission is home to a huge number of people: between 5,000 and 8,000 by day, a number that increases at night because many return there to sleep. And they need everything: food, water, basic necessities.
In Gumbo explosions and gunfire were heard clearly, especially in the afternoon and evening of Monday 11 July even after the cease-fire by both sides had been proclaimed. “Gunfire, bursts of machine gun and bullets rose into the sky like fireworks. Within a short time the shooting came from all directions, and even approached our compound,” according to Salesian missionary Bro. James Comino.Read more »
I am happy to share with you that thanks to the great openness of DBN members, General Council, Salesian Mission Offices and other Don Bosco institutions we are able to move forward with our cooperation for the good of the young people worldwide. Synergy between Salesian Family organizations in the field of Human Rights and Advocacy as well as Development Cooperation are good signs that as Don Bosco organizations we can work together to realize Don Bosco mission for young people in the present World. Our strength is in working together.
Social communication in modern world changes very fast and we need to adapt ourselves quickly. Our new website is a modern tool of safe exchange of information, learning experience, materials and resources; we present it at the service of Don Bosco organizations: NGOs, PDOs, Mission Offices worldwide. We encourage you to use it.Read more »
At its 32nd session (concluded last week), the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted a resolution on”Youth and Human Rights“. IIMA and VIDES substantially contributed to the text of this resolution. After years of work, finally, this is the first resolution ever adopted by the HRC on the theme of youth and paves the way to future initiatives of the HRC on the topic. This achievement may encourage all of us to continue our work with and for young people. You can view the resolution in our website resources.
Floodwaters and landslides in Sri Lanka have forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes, report agencies. At least 37 people have died and 21 are missing after three days of incessant rains and destructive landslides. “As Salesians we are here to help the people in desperate need although we ourselves are also suffering just as much as the people in general,” says Fr Joseph Almeida, provincial of Salesians in Sri Lanka.Read more »
On the 16th of April 2016 7.8 Magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, more than 600 people died, and 14,000 are displaced. SDB community in Manta suffered damages to the buildings. Salesians are assisting the affected people with emergency relief help. Don Bosco Network supported the local SDB province and PDO to establish good communication channels with the donors. For more information visit Ecuador SDB province website: http://www.salesianos.org.ec/ and you will find all the current updates, reports and materials in the link Familia Salesiana Solidaria.
Don Bosco Network Development Cooperation and Development Education Working Groups meeting took place in Cracow on the 7th-8th of April 2016. Representatives of the salesian NGOs and Mission Procures worked on the common emergency response, PDO capacity building, synergy in development education and possible areas of cooperation.
We are writing to inform you that unfortunately the Horn of Africa is facing another incredible drought and famine emergency due to El Nino climate event, that is affecting many African countries like Somalia, Northern Kenya and Ethiopia. The current emergency is even worse that the last of 2011 and till now there is not enough communication about it in the international media. The UN Dispatch has defined it has the worst drought in 60 years, affecting harvests, livestock and of course human beings.
Today, more than 10.4 million of Ethiopian people in different regions are affected by this severe drought, and this is documented by official international documents (OCHA – UN, and others). Read more »
January 29th, Don Bosco Network and Don Bosco International hosted in Rome the third annual advocacy planning meeting of the Salesian Family.
The meeting gathered over 20 representatives of Don Bosco Networkorganizations (VIS – Italy, SWM – Poland, Via Don Bosco – Belgium,Jovenes y Desarrollo – Spain), Don Bosco International, Don Bosco Youth Net, representatives of the SDB General Council – Fr Gulermo Basanes, Fr Fabio Attard, Fr Eusebio Muñoz – Delegate for the Salesian Family, Fr. José Pastor Ramírez – Delegate for the Past Pupils, Renato Cursi from the Youth Ministry Department, Patrizia Gonzales and Ana Muñoz from the Salesian Mission Procure in Madrid, Cynthia Cichocki from Don Bosco Mission Bonn, Fr Thomas Brennan – SDB representative in the UN, Fr Joy Nedumparambil from BREADS, India and Irfan Arif – human rights activists from Pakistan.
Don Bosco Network is monitoring emergency flood situation in India. INM Madras province is mainly affected. Thanks to quick reaction of Fr George from Bosco Net, we have detailed information on the damage to the Salesian Communities and SDB relief activities.Chennai city has been experiencing incessant rainfalls last month. The lakes and rivers were are all inundated and now with day before yesterday’s heavy downpour up to 62 cms on a single day, they are all overflowing. These resulted in serious damage to the roads and residents areas causing floods, thus disrupting the functions of normal life. Airports have been shut, buses and trains have been stopped and next departure have been postponed indefinitely. Many people have lost their belongings and are not able to cook their daily food, more than 260 have died.Read more »
We have just released our periodic Newsletter. In this edition we share, inter alia, about the meeting of DBN Board with Rector Major, DBN meeting with Mission Procures (G5) in New Delhi and closing ceremony of Casa Don Bosco on EXPO. Newsletter has been distributed to all Salesian provinces, PDOs, Mission Offices, institutions as well as our partners and friends. You can browse all 6 language versions in the links below:
Wojtek Mroczek, DBN Network Coordinator participated in Mission Procures (G5) meeting that took place from 6 to 8 November 2015 in New Delhi. This was the next step in the process of opening and strengthening communication and cooperation of the Network with the other organizations and institutions of the Salesian Family.
Last Thursday, October 29 there was an official handing over of the keys of Casa Don Bosco to the young people of Ukraine.
In the presence of the Commissioner General of EXPO, Bruno Pasquino, the Operation Manager of the Pavilion, Dr Ercole Lucchini, symbolically handed over the keys of Casa Don Bosco to Fr Yurij Smakous, SDB, Secretary and Delegate for Communications of the Salesian community in Ukraine. It was also an opportunity to toast the future, wishing the best to the Salesians throughout the world who strive daily to spread the educational method of Don Bosco. Don Bosco Network was an official partner of the salesian pavillon Casa Don Bosco on EXPO 2015
We should share information, projects, we should strengthen and foster communication – said Rector Major Ángel Fernández Artime while visiting Don Bosco Network Board Meeting that took place in Rome on Saturday, October 10, 2015.
DBN Board, including Peter Annegarn from VIA Don Bosco Belgium, Fr. Manuel de Castro from Jovenes y Desarrollo Spain, Fr. Guillermo Basañes Councilor for the Missions and two Don Bosco Network staff members met to discuss the current activities connected to the emergency response, upcoming advocacy meeting of the Salesian Family and further development of the Network under one DON BOSCO umbrella. Rector Major Ángel Fernández Artime passed his greetings and shared a few words of encouragement.Read more »
On September 25th 2015, 193 world leaders committed to 17 goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty.Fight inequality & injustice.Fix climate change. Sustainable Development Goals that will govern the international action in the post-2015 period were adopted by the UN member states. >> Read more about the SDGs
MDGs vs SDGs
There are 17 sustainable development goals with 169 targets in contrast to the 8 Millennium Development Goals with 21 targets. The complex challenges that exist in the world today demand that a wide range of issues is covered. It is, also, critical to address the root causes of the problems and not only of the symptoms.Read more »
“I also appeal to you Provincials, to ask you with the urgency that you can determine, perhaps with your councils, what each province can do and what you can ask every community and parish to do, to be ready to accept migrant families in our works. We pay particular attention to unaccompanied minors and young people. We should also host one family, four or five people. With a little from everyone we can do a lot, in cooperation with local churches and the local area.”
We encourage you to read the letter sent to the Provincials of Europe by the Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, concerning the refugee emergency. Read the letter here>>
The petition to name the human right to water and sanitation in the political Declaration of the Post-2015 Development Agenda we as DBN endorsed in May 2015, appeared to be successful!
On Sunday, 2 August, United Nations Member States unanimously agreed on the final text that will be adopted by Heads of State at the UN Summit to adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda in late September. The Post 2015 Development Agenda will shape official development policy for the next 15 years. The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 6 on universal access to water and sanitation.
School year has started! Sadly despite the global effort to ensure education for all, still 121 million children and adolescents do not attend school. SAVED BY THE BELL is this amazing initiative of VIA Don Bosco to raise the awareness of our kind, their parents and teachers about the education difficulties their peers experience all around the world.
In developing countries more than one child in four does not finish the last year of primary school. These are mainly young people from poor families, especially girls, and young people from rural areas. Also, ethnic minorities and young people with disabilities are often excluded from the education system. Worldwide, 250 million children cannot read, write or count. Nevertheless, half of them have followed basic education.
It is not enough to show only compassion for the fate of these young people, deprived of quality education. Action is needed! We must demand that Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is respected everywhere: “Everyone has the right to education”.
As citizens it is our duty to not only show our solidarity with students and teachers around the world, but also to let our voices be heard. Together we request those in power to emphasize on the necessity of better access to quality education and the resources needed to achieve this.