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AWritten WrittenTestimony Testimony Of Of How How You You Bring Bring God-Saving God-Saving Grace A Grace To To A A Troubled TroubledWorld World
Juvenile Detention Center Shows At-Risk Youth The Value Of Salesian Program As youngsters from the Salesian Don Bosco Center in Naples, Italy, toured a juvenile detention center, they saw firsthand where they could have ended up if not for the dedication of the Salesians and the generosity of caring friends like you. These visiting children had managed to escape lives of drugs, crime, homelessness and hunger by finding safe refuge at the Salesian facility, which is home to 90 kids ranging in age from 11 to 18. They had been placed in the care of the Salesians by city social services, juvenile courts and other organizations that assist children in need. In stark contrast, the detention center was filled with young inmates who ended up on a
different, more tragic path. In many ways, they were very much like their peers from Don Bosco – they were of similar ages, backgrounds and in some cases, even friends and family members. But the primary difference between the two groups can be attributed to the impact of the Don Bosco Center. As part of their visit to the
detention center, the Don Bosco children performed their own variation of the popular musical “Grease.” Theater plays an important role in the artisticrecreational activities offered by the Salesians because it’s an effective way to instill confidence, develop social skills and keep kids engaged. The entire experience was very emotional for everyone and the response was overwhelmingly appreciative. At the end of the show, as the children from Don Bosco were getting ready to leave, one of the incarcerated youngsters approached with tears in his eyes and said, “I feel even sadder this evening because I could have come here as an actor rather than being a spectator!”
This Month’s Child
7 Years Old
Togo, West Africa
At the tender age of just seven years old, a precious little girl named Pyalo had already been sold into domestic slavery by her impoverished parents looking for a few extra dollars and one less mouth to feed. Even more appalling, the practice of selling poor children to rich families is considered acceptable in many West African cultures. In fact, it’s even regarded as a s tatus s y mb ol for th e wealthy to own a “bonne” – which is the upscale label given to these child slaves. Against the overwhelming forces of a society that tolerates such human injustices, the Salesians in Togo are fighting for the rights – and the freedom – of young girls like Pyalo.
They first attempt to convince parents not to succumb to the temptation of quick dollars at the expense of the wellbeing of their child. If that doesn’t work, the Salesians then take the young girls into their care at the Don Bosco Center for Girls. The lives of thousands of girls are at stake in Togo alone. Until every one of them is rescued from slavery, the Salesians will continue their efforts to save each one. It’s a mission only made possible with your continued kindness and generosity. Please visit the Youtube link below to learn more about child slavery in Africa: http://youtu.be/dltX3QaZTRk
This Month’s Call For Prayer Too many children around the world are victims of abuse and exploitation. Please pray that our missionaries around the world have the resources and funding to provide the love, protection, guidance and support these children desperately need.
Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world due, in part, to decades of violence and civil war. The devastating fallout has resulted in an estimated 640,000 orphans, countless street children, and numerous families living on less than $1 a day. Young girls are particularly vulnerable and often become victims of human trafficking, child prostitution and substance abuse. The Don Bosco Vocational and Educational Training Center for Girls in Phnom Penh is a bright spot amidst all this tragedy. In addition to vocational training, the center also teaches vital life skills such as leadership and self-worth. Empowered by an education, job training and loving support from the Salesian Sisters, at-risk girls are better able to provide for themselves and their families.
Students who have struggled in a traditional academic setting – and are thus at higher risk of unemployment and poverty later in life – have an alternative way to gain marketable skills thanks to Don Bosco Boys Town. Although the name implies that it only serves boys, the programs are also available to girls. In fact, one brave Kenyan girl is learning steel soldering alongside her 30 male peers. Upon graduation, these determined young men and women are given assistance to establish their own small businesses in Nairobi. What’s more, tuition for Boys Town is heavily subsidized by the generosity of caring friends like you – which means that many young people struggling to break free from poverty have a much better chance of doing so.
In Costa Rica... As an extraordinary testament to the value and impact of a Salesian education, seven students from the Don Bosco Technical Institute were recently honored by the President of the Republic, the Hon. Laura Chinchilla. The students were recognized for their creative and innovative accomplishments and will represent Costa Rica at the International Science and Technology Fair.
In a special ceremony, the president expressed her appreciation by stating, “Many thanks not only for your important personal achievement but also for having contributed to the development of Costa Rica. This country has one thing that every country needs to have if it wants to dream about future progress, that is the intelligence of its people.”
Missionary of the Month: Fr. Won Seon-o At the age of 84, Father Won Seon-o knows that he has limited time to accomplish his latest mission: to build 100 small schools for the poor children of South Sudan. Given his impressive record of accomplishment as a Salesian missionary, he is destined to succeed. As a young priest from Italy 50 years ago – his birth name was Vincenzo Donati – he moved to Korea, immersed himself into the culture by adopting a new name, and dedicated himself to helping
the most needy victims of the war-torn country. As Korea transitioned into a prosperous country, Father Won sought another place where he could make a difference. That journey led him to South Sudan in 1982 where he has been ever since. Of his latest venture, Father Won says he was moved to take action due to the suffering he saw among so many children in South Sudan. To gain support, he reached out to his old friends and students in Korea, citing in a letter, “I don’t
have much time left. Please hold out your hands to help me.” And indeed they have. On a recent visit back to Korea, the Salesian alumni association honored him with a check for $43,200 – enough to build one school with four classrooms. Please visit the Youtube link below to view a powerful, emotional video about our work in Sudan: http://youtu.be/WaVSQ6p9FGI
You Create Small Miracles With Big Impact Dear Friend: I hope you gain the same level of satisfaction in reading about the small miracles made possible by your kindness and generosity, as I do in sharing these stories with you. We, as Salesian missionaries, are motivated by seeing the horrible tragedies so many children and families around the world have suffered. And we are inspired by the outpouring of support we receive from caring and concerned friends like you.
While you could turn a blind eye to these tragedies, as so many people do, you choose to step forward and make a difference. And I can assure you, that every gift you send is having a direct and meaningful impact far greater than you can imagine. The articles in this issue of the World Bulletin are only a small sampling. I invite you to visit our website at: www.salesianmissions.org where
you will be moved by many more examples of how you are a true savior to needy children. Thanks, as always, for caring as much as you do. God bless you!
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Published on Aug 1, 2012
Our World Bulletin is a written testimony of how the Salesians, with the help of our supporters, bring God-saving grace to a troubled world.