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 – Freetown) – Suntia is a girl accommodated in the “Girls Shelter” of Don Bosco Fambul house in Freetown. She came in contact with Don Bosco when she was having a tough time with her father. “During this period I was selling different types of items just to raise money for our upkeep and to cover the rent. Subsequently, I was going around with a placard begging the people for money. Unfortunately, my biological father abused me sexually”. This is the story of her suffering and rebirth.
(ANS – Freetown) – On the evening of Thursday 1st December a fire outbreak completely destroyed “Angola Town”, a slum in front of Don Bosco Fambul. The slum served as a residence for 300 families and approximately 1500 people, most of them children and youngsters. Don Bosco Fambul – which stands just a street away from the slum – was saved thanks to the orientation of the wind and to the intervention of Mary Help of Christians.
Spain - Jota Llorente, SDB: "One day they gave me a book on Don Bosco and I thought, 'I want to be like this priest'"
(ANS - Bilbao) - The Salesian Fr Jesús Javier Llorente – known in art as "Jota Llorente" – speaks in an interview about this musician, photographer, artist and especially, priest.
What plot, Lord, are you weaving?
On a day of protests and clashes in Venezuela, two young people were assassinated. Carlos José Moreno Barón was killed while on his way to a football pitch. He did not reach his destination. Paola Ramírez Gómez, 23, was killed while returning from a job interview as she was passing in front of San Carlos Square in San Cristóbal. Neither of them was participating in the protests.
Kenya – 1st Salesian Brothers' Congress in Africa and Madagascar
(ANS – Nairobi) – The first ever Salesian Brothers Congress of Africa and Madagascar was held at the Dimesse Sisters Spirituality Centre in Nairobi, East Africa Salesian Province. Thirty-three Salesian Brothers and 4 Salesian Priests took part in the Congress that started on 18th of April and ended on the 23rd of April. The Thame of the Congress is “Rooted in Christ as Servant of the young in Don Bosco’s way”.
Argentina - Difficult children or absent families?
(ANS - Buenos Aires) - According to several psychologists and sociologists, in today’s world the father figure has lost his role and vanished from the symbolic family universe.
By Fr Juan Picca, SDB
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
WHY WE HAVE LIFE IN ABUNDANCE
My thought goes to the Salesian presences around the world because our dream is that they might be true dispensers of life to so many young people, and a life in abundance, an authentic, true life which gives them dignity and helps them also experience the great gift that God is in their lives.