Action for the Salesian Mission Day 2019 - Refugee in Africa (UGANDA)
Contribution from Vietnam to Uganda (Salesian posting)
Salesian PDO Director (Vietnam) receiving contribution from all SDB communities
(ANS – Ho Chi Minh City) – Every year, on the occasion of the Salesian Missionary Day, the Missions Sector also proposes a project linked to the year's theme. This year the theme is the refugee – Africa welcomes African refugees – “Without realizing it they welcomed angels”. The project proposed for this year is the construction of simple little places of prayer in the refugee camp at Palabek and in other similar refugee camps elsewhere. And the Vietnam Province has decided to marry this project with generosity.
The use of the term “places of prayer” is deliberate because we are not thinking of grand churches or even simple chapels. We do not know how long the refugees will be in the camps. So, all we are planning to construct are simple shelters – a rain-proof roof supported by pillars, where the faithful can gather together for Mass and prayers sheltered from the sun and rain. Even walls are not really contemplated.
These shelters will serve as “places of prayer” as well as for community gatherings, meetings of various groups and organizations that work together for their own welfare, and even space where children may gather to play or to study.
It is estimated that a simple structure of this sort can be put up with between USD 5,000 to 10,000.
The Salesians of Don Bosco in Vietnam decided to use this project to animate all their communities and parishes with a warm missionary spirit. They encouraged everyone to thank God for whatever He has provided them in life and make little contributions to the refugees who have even less than they do. They invited individuals and families to make little sacrifices and bring symbolic offerings in cash, to buy one or more bricks, a sheet of corrugated iron sheets for the roof, etc.
Every Salesian Community in the Province of Vietnam and every Salesian parish got involved. The total they collected came to a tidy little sum of USD 6,000. This amount is being handed over to the Superior of this Province on 12 September 2019.
Vietnam is already well appreciated for the large number of Salesians who volunteer to be missionaries in various parts of the world (there are already over 100 Vietnamese missionaries across the globe). They have now made a step ahead of their confreres in other countries with this significant donation of and for a “place of prayer”
in the refugee camp of Palabek in Uganda.