(ANS - Ancona) - Create an opportunity, for families facing difficulties, to provide support for their children, help them with judicial matters, prevent abandonment. Non-invasive support, which does not replace the family, but supports them in a flexible fashion across a variety of educational activities. With this aim in mind, the Salesians of Ancona decided to give rise to the day center "Il Faro," the Lighthouse.
(ANS - Sunyani) - Shata is a street child who was abandoned at birth by his parents when they realized he was disabled. Shata does not speak English, but understands the local language and can make himself understood. He has a head deformity and leg problems, but he runs and jumps like any child. He was found and taken from the streets of Sunyani by Father "Uba", as the Salesian Ubaldino Andrade is called by hundreds of young people.
(ANS - Bukavu) - In their message of last May 13, the Bishops of Northern and Southern Kivu, members of the Provincial Episcopal Assembly of Bukavu, once again denounced: "The number of street children are growing at an alarming rate." The Salesians active in Bukavu, such as Fr Piero Gavioli, deal with this situation on a daily basis: not statistical data, but real children, innocent victims. On the example of their founder, the Children of Don Bosco still succeed in giving hope, dignity and opportunities for the future.
Villarrica, Paraguay - August 2017 - The young animators of the Don Bosco Oratory of Villarrica, Paraguay, are engaged in the activity of the "traveling oratory." Thanks to this initiative, they visited the chapel dedicated to San Biagio and took care of the neighbourhood's needy children.
(ANS - Calcutta) - "Don Bosco Ashalayam is the only family I have ever had," says Sanjoy, a boy who grew up without parents. He remembers having lived in the streets, where he worked, slept, and sought food to survive. He recalls that a family once offered him a place to stay, but soon realized it was a scam; they treated him like a domestic slave, abused him and gave him no money, nor help. And he was just 10 years old.
(ANS - Rome) - In June 2017 more than 9,000 unaccompanied foreign minors landed in Italy, vulnerable young people who, after a long sea voyage, find themselves alone and exposed to various risks. An answer to this emergency is the figure of the voluntary guardian, introduced by recently approved Parliamentary Law N 47/2017: "Provisions on measures for the protection of unaccompanied minors." Volunteer tutors are those citizens (over 25 of age) who decide to act as the single child's legal representative so that the child's rights are, indeed, recognized. Starting today, the guide, requirements and profile of this new figure can be downloaded at http://www.salesianperilsociale.it/tutore-volontario. See: "Voluntary guardian for unaccompanied foreign minors. Challenge and Opportunity for the Salesian Family."
Comfort Zone: NO THANK YOU! "I prefer a wounded Church"
Some were astonished to see the face of Pope Francis injured during his visit to Colombia. The bruise on his eyebrow and on his cheekbone, the blood-stained white garment. A small accident on the Pope-mobile, which brought to mind the words of Bergoglio and inspired my ANS Editorial: "I prefer a Church that is bruised, wounded and dirty because it is going out into the streets, rather than a Church made sick by closure and the convenience of clinging to its own safety." (EG49)
RMG - Father Tom: "I am what I am today because God has taken care of me"
(ANS - Rome) - A serene man, in peace with God and with everyone, including the kidnappers, and also able to joke about the experience he lived through. This is the image the world's journalists and media saw in Fr Tom Uzhunnalil the morning of Saturday 16 September at the "Salesianum" in Rome where they heard in person the touching tale of captivity and liberation, both experiences lived with great faith in God.
Democratic Republic of the Congo - "The child and the dugout canoe"
(ANS - Miti) - There are three maternal orphans abandoned by their fathers; there is Bora, a young woman who has faced more challenges in her 28 years than most people live through in an entire lifetime; there are the Bambuti Pygmies who, while being the region's oldest inhabitants, when Kahuzi Biega National Park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, were expelled and now live on the margins: there are, alas, many poor people living in rural areas near Bukavu where the Salesian missionary Fr Piero Gavioli and Lydie Masoka, a Salesian Cooperator, are working as best as they can to help give a future to the area's children and most vulnerable teens.