ITALY: With U.S. Government support, Salesian Missions to help over 24,000 young people and vulnerable populations across Italy
Salesian Missions launches new project: “Salesian Solidarity with Italy: the Emergency Response to COVID-19.”
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Nov. 17, 2020) With support from the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, has launched a new project: “Salesian Solidarity with Italy: the Emergency Response to COVID-19.”
This activity is one element of USAID’s $50 million commitment to Italy to help save lives and build resilience for the future. USAID’s work in Italy is one part of the U.S. Government response to the pandemic in Italy.
The project will impact over 24,000 people including students and other young people, teachers, families, and migrants and refugees. Salesian Missions is working with Salesian International Volunteering for Development (VIS) and local Salesian partners CNOS-FAP, the National Salesian Center for Vocational Training and Ongoing Education, and SCS-CNOS Federation, Salesians for Social Welfare.
The project will mitigate the harmful secondary effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on vulnerable populations across Italy.
Through the stay@ctive campaign, VIS will work with local Salesian centers to develop free online educational resources for families with children to provide parents and children with coping strategies during periods of self-isolation and quarantine.
Secondly, the project will help develop technical and vocational training for students who have experienced a lapse in education due to the pandemic. With an unpredictable timeline for a return to normalcy, these investments in career-focused training will help young people make up for any loss in education access. In partnership with CNOS-FAP, this effort will reach more than 25,000 students.
In addition, the project will provide the funding to acquire annual licenses for technical software, e-simulators and e-platforms aimed at delivering distance learning in vocational fields and at simulating practical work-based environments. One of the challenges with e-learning is the inability of lower income students to access online tools. Thanks to ongoing relationships with Apple and other companies, it is possible for CNOS-FAP to acquire educational devices for its
students at competitive prices. In addition, 550 start-up technology kits will be donated to the most vulnerable and poor students.
Salesian Missions will also donate food baskets and personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, disposable overalls and gloves, and detergents to marginalized groups including refugees, migrants, impoverished families and the elderly. VIS will help deliver these services through its partnership with SCS-CNOS Federation. A psychological help desk service will also be established to provide people with emotional support as they struggle with the challenges of social distancing and other COVID-19 related personal obstacles.
“The United States is proud to support ‘Salesian Solidarity with Italy: the Emergency Response to COVID-19.’ This project will provide online educational training, as well as food, protective equipment, and psychological assistance to vulnerable populations across Italy. Coordinated action is essential to mitigating the long-term effects of COVID-19,” said U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Callista L. Gingrich. She added, “Faith-based organizations such as Salesian Missions are reliable partners in providing care and support to those most in need during this pandemic.”
“We are grateful to the U.S. Government for supporting this critical project in Italy, which has been hard hit by the virus and has a struggling economy made worse by the pandemic,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Salesian organizations have rallied together across Italy to help mitigate the challenges and worsening conditions of poverty for those they serve. This is an example of yet another collaborative project to assist those most in need through education, psycho-social support and delivering direct relief materials.”
USAID is the U.S. Government’s premiere development organization operating in more than 100 countries worldwide.
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