Valdocco, Turin, Italy, 22 December 2022 -- At the end of each year we are accustomed to evaluate, to give thanks or harvest the fruits of the hard work during the past 12 months. Without doubt the Sept 28-Oct 2 World Congress of Salesian Social Works, convoked after 24 years (1998 - 2022) has offered very rich motivations, fruits not only for the 300 participants in Valdocco but for the whole Salesian Congregation and Salesian Family around the world.
The presence of Past Pupils of Don Bosco from SDB social works, the family spirit and systematic sharing at the Congress were all expressions of a strong Salesian culture to journey with youth in need in a variety of conditions. For those who were not involved in the 2022 World Congress, the main talks, some significant materials are available on Boscolink:
Three key-talks of Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, SDB (Honduras, member of Pope Francis G6), Fr Michal Vojtas SDB (Slovakia, Vice-rector of UPS-Rome) and Prof. Carlos Ballesteros (Spain). Main speakers introduced the social perspective of the Church, of the Congregation and the challenges and opportunities faced today by the Salesian Congregation.
Variety of 'Mini-course' materials , highlighting our social pedagogy and evangelization of the youth from different aspects: Youth at Risk Spiritual Accompaniment; Volunteers and social innovation; Next generation Education; TVET and Job placement; Significance and sustainability or Advocacy from Salesian point of view.
Best practices of Salesian social works and ministry in different continents: Uganda refugee camp (AGL), Ministry to the returned migrants in Guatemala (CAM), India-Kolkatta Prison ministry (INC), HIV infected & other affected youth in India-Tiruchy (INT), Spain 'Documentary as best practice' (SMA), S.A.V.I.O Social Concern project of FIN province (Philippines North-Malaysia) or the Cambodia Don Bosco works impact.
The World Congress was concluded by the General Councilor for Youth Ministry, Fr Miguel Angel Garcia. In the Conclusion he presented the convictions for the future, with the following strategies and paths in the Salesian social works and services:
# From the snare of 'withdrawal' to mobilization towards unknown territories
# From fragmentation to networks and interdependence
# From the functional relationship to the approach of Salesian care
# From aspirations to human rights - dignity
# From politics to integral human development and denunciation
# From the linearity of the paths to the spiral of processes
# From the paradigm of efficiency to the responsibility approach
The 'Turin Youth Manifesto' was prepared by the youth present in Turin, with these 10 concrete expressions:
1. To promote socio-cultural education through sport and art in Salesian social works.
2. To create synergies with local, regional and state authorities so that young people are listened and accompanied.
3. Commitment to dealing with situations of drug addiction and new dependencies in a more specialized way
4. To create intervention models based on the analysis of local realities
5. Addressing basic needs with a right and dignity approach
6. To value and include young people by contributing to youth leadership decisions and programmes to work on their life projects
7. Address structural and systemic issues by promoting comprehensive and intersectional care
8. Develop policies on migration and international protection, as well as the renewal of vocational training.
9. Create a loving atmosphere that respects young people and makes them smile.
10. Prevent young people in conflict with the law from returning to prison."
Resources: Salesian Social Work World Congress 2022 (archives)