(ANS – Dublin) – The first meeting of the project “Young Europeans at risk: new Salesian responses” was held in Dublin and Maynooth from 8 to 10 March. It involves Salesian social institutions of six European countries: Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, Ireland and Poland. The aim of the project is to share the work of each of the institutions involved. All of them are specialized in various aspects of work with young people at risk.
This first meeting was attended by three representatives from each organization. Don Bosco International participated as a guest.
These international meetings will take place every six months, and will be held in each of the six countries involved. The project will be supported by the “Erasmus +” programme at the request of the Salesian Province of Germany, and the support of other parties. Every meeting will combine training sessions on the main themes of Salesian socio-educational intervention with visits to the premises where projects are carried out and meetings with staff.
At the meeting which took place in Ireland, the specific topic of discussion was that of therapeutic intervention with minors in residential structures. Tricia McDonnell and Martin Burke presented the support structures for staff and the therapeutic methodology applied by “Don Bosco Care”. This is a Salesian programme which offers a home to boys who for various reasons cannot live with their family.
Brian Hogan, Director of “Don Bosco Care,” explained the technical issues of the work of the organization. He also coordinated the meeting, which was attended by the Economer of the Province of Ireland (IRL), Fr Paddy Hennessy. The Provincial, Fr Michael Casey, and Fr Eunan McDonnell were present for an informal meeting.
This project which has just started is consistent with the work done by the Department for Youth Ministry in the area of the Preferential Option, under the overall co-ordination of Fr Daniel García, and with the cooperation at European level of Don Bosco International. The work involves in the first place getting to know the different situations where we work with young people at risk, and putting them in contact with each other with a view to future coordination.
The next meeting is scheduled to take place in Brussels on 25 to 27 October. It will be organized by “Jeugdhulp”, the service of the “North Belgium” (BEN) for youth at risk, and will focus on working with families.