World Refugee Day. Salesians of Don Bosco active all over the world
World Refugee Day. Salesians of Don Bosco active all over the world
DATE: June 20, 2018
CATEGORY: Advocacy, News

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:

  • In Italy, the Salesians have five centers active in first-line reception operations for Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (MSNA) thanks to which they accompany and support about 160 minors; another 18 structures act in second-line reception.
  • In Spain, the Federation of Pinardi Social Platforms and the Don Bosco Foundation started a new full reception program for 40 vulnerable young refugees at the beginning of the year. But this is just the tip of the iceberg: in fact, considering also young migrants, the Salesian Social Platforms of Spain, serve more than 25,000 people.
  • Throughout Germany there are numerous projects and facilities run by the Salesians for young migrants who have sought asylum and who arrived in the country without their family. The Salesians will endeavour to help them in their daily lives. Across the country there are about 500 young refugees accommodated in Salesian institutions, 100 of them in Munich and Nuremberg. Most of them are young people aged between 16 and 18 who come from African countries or from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
  • In Turkey, in Istanbul, the Salesians have been running a school for the children of refugee families in transit from the countries of the Middle East to the West for the past 25 years. The spiritual Sons of Don Bosco serve many minors, between 5 and 16 years, but also provide support to adults who work to help their families.
  • In Ethiopia, the Salesians work with refugees of the Nguenyyiel and Pugnido camps, offering them spiritual care and technical training.
  • In Kenya, in Kakuma, they set up a community within the camp and animate a parish, with several missionary stations, for the pastoral care of Christian-Catholic refugees, and a vocational training school, with three other satellite centers, which also offer courses in vocational training and English language.
  • In Juba, South Sudan, they personally manage, with the help of their collaborators, a refugee camp hosting between 10 and 15 thousand people, depending on the period.
  • And from Easter 2018 they have also reached Palabek, Uganda, where they opened a missionary house at the service of the 36,000 refugees from South Sudan.

Other significant initiatives take place in different parts of the world, sites where the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco continue to follow the Pope’s invitation to the reception, protection, promotion and integration of people forced to flee their countries.