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20/1/2011 - Italy –Civilian Service Volunteers, a year abroad with the Salesians
(ANS – Rome) – The “SCS Federation (Civilian and Social Service) – Salesians in Society” an association of non-profit organisations organised by the Salesians in Italy, arranged a training course between 10 and 13 January for Civilian Service Volunteers about to leave for Salesian centres abroad. It was a very full, satisfying and exciting experience.

Held at the Salesian “Sacred Heart” Institute in Rome it was attended by 10 young people from various regions of Italy from Sicily to Venetia, winners of  a competition for the Civilian Service Abroad project “España Solidaria”. 4 of them will be going to Madrid, 2 to Lugo, 2 to Monzon and  2 to Leon. Those in  Leon will be working in the Salesian Institute, while all the others will be in associations and youth centres where they will assist with the organisation of recreational activities, leadership and scholastic support and in artistic workshops.

Their training dealt with practical and technical  information – the way to maintain contacts with Italy and with the National Office for Civilian Service, official requirements, the rights and duties of voluntary service, existing laws and the contract -  as well as looking at the purpose of Civilian Service, its history and values, the option for non-violence, the ideas of service and commitment.

Some members of the International Voluntary Service for Development organisation (VIS) held a meeting about Solidarity and a world view. Other topics examined were active citizenship, groups activities, voluntary service and Don Bosco’s method of education.

Through visits to a Family Home, to a Day Centre and to the Oratory at “Don Bosco Boys’ Town ” they were able to have a first experience of what they would be doing during the 12 months of Civilian Service in Spanish Salesian centres.

According to the 10 young people the training course was very full. “It gave us some useful guidelines to prepare for this experience and a lot more besides”– said Andrea, a volunteer going to Leon. “These days were useful in helping to channel our enthusiasm and to set out with greater awareness” was Romina’s view.

Published 20/01/2011

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