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27/6/2013 - Italy - More than 240 young people on their way to the World

(ANS – Rome) – This year also, the Salesians in Italy, in collaboration with VIS (The International Voluntary Service for Development) are offering young people and adults a formative experience in poorer countries.  241 young people and 37 adult leaders (32 Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, plus 2 married couples and one other leader) are ready to set off.

The young people are aged between 18 and 35. As the time for departure draws near, they have been preparing with a specific training programme drawn up in previous months by the Salesian provinces in Italy. A basic requirement is that they must have had some experience of living in a group. The project will take them to several nations in Eastern Europe, Africa and South America.

Despite the difference of location and the variety of projects in which the young people will be working, they will all follow a common daily programme that includes prayer, activities with children and young people, meetings with people who are prominent in the life of the local community (teachers, journalists, religious, health workers, farmers, tradesmen, etc) and Mass.

This is not a tourist trip! The participants are motivated by a desire to have an experience of service that will lead to a serious examination of their own lives. The lives of poor people and their dignity, even though they lack support and often even the necessities, and their willingness to begin the struggle day after day, offer a silent but effective challenge to the quality of our choices and plans, to what we consider indispensable and to the depth of our spirituality. A natural consequence is an examination of the values that inspire our decisions, and a new mentality that makes the young people become workers for peace and development, capable of practical choices that are consistent with what they have learnt.

The experience usually lasts one month. It allows young people to get to know other cultures and the causes of poverty and under-development that afflict some countries.
It will help young people, when they come back home, to be more aware as citizens, capable of bringing about social and political change, and to offer themselves for international voluntary service.

Published 27/06/2013

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