The Office for the Marginalized and Disadvantaged is one of the many offices of the Conference of the Salesian Provinces of Italy. To give hope to the many young people who knock on the doors of the Salesian Houses, the Office has organized Help at Hand week.
There are over 29,300 children in Italy living away from their families, because of the inadequacy of the family, the absence of their parents or their neglect. The number of young people availing of temporary accommodation has grown by 24% in just one year.
It is with needy young people in mind that the Salesians are organizing “Help at Hand” week from 5 to 11 May. Parishes, oratories, schools and vocational training centres from all six Salesian Provinces have joined the initiative to raise awareness of the problems facing young people and to raise funds and support for the work the Salesians are doing to meet these problems.
A ccording to Fr Claudio Belfiore, president of the National Centre of Salesian Works, “With Help at Hand week, the Salesians in Italy want to draw attention to a situation that affects a large number of young people. We have been working for a long time to give a family to young people who are alone or abandoned. We want to raise awareness of this issue primarily by distributing information in brochures and posters.
Nevertheless, we want to actually help young people and families in need in deeds and not just in words.” Donations collected will be used to “donate a family to someone who does not have one.”
“Normally when we hear about need and poverty we think of countries in the developing world. This is still true, but our experience and the statistics reveal dramatic and urgent situations on our doorstep,” adds Fr Belfiore.
“In the current situation of widespread crisis,” says Fr Belfiore, “there is a danger that we pay attention and offer support only to those who manage to make their voice heard. As Pope Francis points out, our society tends to exclude young people and the elderly who are the hope and the memory of society. The Salesians in Italy have decided to promote this initiative as a sign of hope for young people in need, but also as a sign of maturity for all of us, because it puts us in a position to take care of the younger generation.”
Further information is available on the website of the Federation SCS / CNOS .
Source: Info ANS