(ANS – Munich) – The words of Pope Francis seem as if they are taken from the Fathers of the Church, but they are ever more relevant and valid in the light of the urgent reality being experienced by refugees, especially young people. Pope Francis has insisted that “accommodation alone is not enough and it is not enough to give a piece of bread unless we also help them to learn and to stand on their own two feet. Charity that leaves a poor person as he is, is not enough.” The Salesians are aware of this hard and painful reality and they have joined forces with the Paribas Foundation in order to assist the refugee children in their centres in Munich and Nuremberg.
The BNP Paribas Foundation in Germany has donated 30,000 Euros to support the work done by the Salesians on behalf of refugee children. The money is intended, among other things, to finance a coordination centre for part-time volunteers and to support the refugees during the transition period between finishing school and beginning vocational training.
The donation of the foundation is intended to facilitate the integration of young refugees in Germany and to help them to build better prospects for the future. “It is very important for us to promote contact and exchange between young refugees and young people in Germany. It is important that they can learn from each other. The first thing that is required is that young people have a means of transportation and it was decided to provide them with bicycles and economic support for the use of public transport,” say Fr Stefan Bauer, Director of the Salesian Work in Munich in Bavaria, and Fr Stefan Müller, Director of the Salesian Youth Centre in Nuremberg.
Throughout Germany there are numerous projects and facilities run by the Salesians for young migrants who have sought asylum and who arrived in the country without their family. The Salesians will endeavour to help them in their daily lives. Across the country there are about 500 young refugees accommodated in Salesian institutions, 100 of them in Munich and Nuremberg. Most of them are young people aged between 16 and 18 who come from African countries or from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.