World Day of the Poor: Salesian Missions highlights social programs for Catholic observance – Poland

Day instituted by Pope Francis in 2016 at the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in honor of the poor

(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins Catholic organizations around the world in honoring the World Day of the Poor. The day, celebrated on November 13, will be the 6th celebration of the day. This day was instituted by Pope Francis in 2016 at the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in honor of the poor.

In this year’s message, Pope Francis noted, “The World Day of the Poor presents itself this year as a wholesome challenge, helping us to reflect on our lifestyle and on the many forms of poverty that surround us.” He recalled the economic challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Nearly 30,000 Salesian priests, brothers, sisters and novices work in more than 130 countries around the world to bring education, workforce development and social programs to poor young people and their families. They work in some of the most difficult circumstances and are among the first responders in humanitarian crises or natural disasters.

“Although education is the main objective, the Salesians know that young people living in conditions of poverty have many more needs that can be met before they sit down and concentrate in a classroom,” he said. said Fr Gus Baek, director of the Salesian missions. “That is why Salesian missionaries work to meet basic needs like housing, food, medical care and clean water while ensuring that humanitarian aid reaches those who need it most. Once these most basic needs are met, young people have a better chance of succeeding in school.

In honor of the World Day of the Poor, Salesian Missions is highlighting unique educational and social programs that help poor and at-risk young people meet their basic needs, receive an education and find a way out. poverty, bringing them hope for the future.

GUATEMALA

Salesian missionaries in San Pedro Carchá have been working on a housing reconstruction project since torrential rains and severe flooding decimated rural villages in Guatemala. The November 4, 2020 storm isolated entire rural communities and devastated crops and homes. Chiachal, about 65 kilometers north of San Pedro Carchá and home to 105 indigenous Q’eqchi’ families, was particularly hard hit.

In coordination with the Salesian Provincial House and with the financial support of the Salesians of Central America, donors and other charitable organizations, the Salesian missionaries are committed to supporting this community. The first step was to purchase municipal land for the construction of new housing and the church. The work required the cooperation of the local Don Bosco Center and the Talita Kumi Center, run by the Salesians.

The Resurrection Sisters also purchased land which has since been subdivided into 120 lots, where 105 new homes, three churches, a school, a health center and a community hall have been built. Each family received a family farm and farm animals. A cardamom processing cooperative project, including a dryer, is also underway.

POLAND

Thanks to the emergency aid funds that have been sent to Salesian missionaries in Warsaw, Poland, Ukrainian refugees sheltering in Salesian houses have the supplies they need for daily life. With the funding, the Salesians bought duvet covers, sheets, towels and other supplies like soap, paper towels and personal hygiene items.

Salesian missionaries in Poland and neighboring countries have been providing shelter and support to refugees since the beginning of the Russian invasion in March 2022. Currently there are 170 refugees in Salesian houses in the province of Warsaw which can accommodate up to to 370 refugees.

Thanks to the supplies, the refugees were able to live comfortably and take care of their accommodation on their own, giving them a sense of independence and self-sufficiency. The refugees were able to focus on finding a job, caring for their children and learning the Polish language, among other activities to help them acclimatize to their new environment.

SUDAN

Salesian missionaries from the St. Joseph Vocational Training Center in Khartoum, Sudan*, offer a solar energy project to students of the electricity course. The course engages students in hands-on exploration in the field of renewable energy. This project was made possible thanks to Bosco Global and the financial support of the Magone Foundation and the Provincial Council of Huesca, all in Spain.

During the 2021-2022 school year, first- and second-year electrical students installed multiple solar panels in three different buildings on school grounds. The students had the opportunity to learn the installation process, operation and proper use of solar panels.

A Salesian missionary explained the importance of the project saying: “Power cuts of 10 hours a day can happen in Sudan, so solar energy is a key alternative to this problem, while making a very positive contribution to the environment. Currently, renewable energies are booming in the country.

UGANDA

Salesian missionaries from Don Bosco Children and Life Mission (Don Bosco CALM), located in Namugongo town, just northeast of Kampala city, Uganda, received funding for five dairy cows through a partnership between the Salesian Missions and the DD Lynch Family Foundation, an organization that gives to Catholic causes to end human suffering.

With this funding, the Salesians bought five dairy cows to provide milk to the children in their programs. Four of the cows are now pregnant. An earlier gift from the DD Lynch Family Foundation funded a modern barn so that the cows lived in good conditions and were cared for by a full-time veterinarian and shepherd.

The project will be sustainable as the cows will multiply, increasing milk productivity. This prevents malnutrition in the children who live in the orphanage and attend the Don Bosco CALM primary school. Most of the children cared for by the Salesians used to live on the streets and are HIV positive or in another situation of vulnerability.

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