Freetown, Sierra Leone - 2016 - These are the faces of children left without parents, whom the Salesians look after and educate for life. They are "faces that speak of the future."
(Photo: Alberto Lopez, the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid)
(ANS – Badajoz) – One of the city buses of Badajoz, in Extremadura, Spain, has been sent to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Thee it will become a mobile unit that can help thousands of children at risk of exclusion who are living on the streets of the city. It will serve to provide medical assistance, food and psychosocial help.
(ANS - Lungi) - Fr Ubaldino Andrade Hernandez is a Salesian missionary who has worked in Sierra Leone. He was in Rome at the Generalate during the photographic exhibition: "Ebola, and beyond Ebola". His testimony is a sign of trust in God. He says that in those strange days of the epidemic they were living with "a real fear of death” but they decided to stay there as parents for many abandoned children." Looking at the pictures of the exhibition, the memories came to mind, and his eyes paused to remember his experiences. "Staying was the best option."
(ANS - Freetown) - The problem of street children, even after many years of efforts, continues to be a difficult issue to deal with, both by the Government and by institutions working for the protection of minors. Last December, 28 children who had been housed at the Salesian centre "Don Bosco Fambul" in Freetown, Sierra Leone, were happily welcomed back into their families. Following that, staff from the Salesian house went out to the streets looking for other vulnerable children and suggesting the Salesian rehabilitation programme to them.
(ANS - Lagos) - In Nigeria, everything is the best: the number of inhabitants of the country which is the most populous in Africa, the strong facial features and burly physique of the people, the loud laughter of the people when they speak, the sound of drums and the singing at Mass, even the dust which rises everywhere and covers everything in a short time. In this country so full of life, the Salesians are dynamic and hard-working, all for the good of the young.
(ANS – Monrovia) – Human migration is an historical phenomenon that lasted for centuries and caused the growth and prosperity of many countries. But it is a double-edged sword: it has its benefits and its perverse effects. What really matters is creating a safe, free and just society in every country.
RMG - Fr Pallithanam: on the streets or in the office, always close to the poor
(ANS - Rome) – Fr Thomas Pallithanam is an active missionary in a small Salesian community in Ravulapalem in Andhra Pradesh. He is also the coordinator of one of the most important organizations of Indian civil society, "Wada Na Todo Abhiyan". The two cornerstones of his work are a global vision and local initiatives. He now speaks about his work in an interview with ANS.
A rich man who helped Lazarus
In his letter for Lent this year, Pope Francis invites us to be generous with the needy, stressing that this generosity should lead us not to give what is left over but to give of our very own. In this regard, the example set by Chuck Feeney, an 85-year-old man who donated all his possessions to charity, well represents the phrase: "He did not give the crumbs. He gave the whole bread."
Chile - The Rector of the Don Bosco University in El Salvador inaugurates the academic year at the Silva Henríquez Catholic University
(ANS - Santiago) - On 21 March there was the opening ceremony of the academic year at the Silva Henríquez Catholic University (UCSH). It was attended by Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, Archbishop of Santiago, and the Secretary for Social Services of the Ministry of Social Development, Juan Eduardo Faúndez Molina.
RMG – World Down Syndrome Day: a change in approach is needed
(ANS - Rome) – Even small gestures can bring changes in the way we consider those who are different from ourselves. Yesterday, 21 March, was International Down Syndrome Day. In Cartagena in Spain, the students of "San Juan Bosco" primary school, were invited to do drawings to express how they see their companions with this syndrome. The intention was to break stereotypes and discover the positive contributions that people with Down syndrome can make.