Rome (Italy). From 3 to 15 October 2022, the formation course for the volunteer workers of the Universal Civil Service of the foreign projects of the Foundation Voluntary Youth and Solidarity Onlus (FVGS) took place in Rome, which in the footsteps of VIDES International supports the Missions of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in the world.

The Universal Civil Service with the FVGS Onlus gives young people the opportunity to live a concrete experience of ten months in a Salesian Mission and thus discover fundamental values such as solidarity and love for neighbor, as well as knowing directly the Church that helps and lives among the neediest people. Furthermore, through the SCU, young people discover Don Bosco’s message and follow a path to grow as “good Christians and honest citizens”.

The course was attended by 16 young people from all over Italy, already with their respective destination: 9 will go to Madagascar, 5 to Brazil, and 2 to Equatorial Guinea. For two weeks, they met in the environments and outdoor spaces of the Generalate of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, with the possibility of personally getting to know various Salesian Sisters from all over the world, with whom to compare and get to know the Salesian world more closely.

The days began with the welcome of the Director General of VIDES International, Sr. Annecie Audate, who introduced them to the Salesian spirit of volunteering and to the profound meaning of the experience they have decided to undertake, investing a year of their life.

During the two weeks there were interventions on interculture and human rights, on international cooperation and on the main actors of cooperation, on communication in the organizational and educational sphere, and on the Salesian Preventive System. The various projects and activities that the volunteer workers will carry out abroad were presented. The Safety Plan for each Country and the Child Protection Policy were illustrated and a pediatric first aid course was offered, thanks to the support of the Italian Red Cross.

In addition, specific issues of the Universal Civil Service were studied, such as the organization of the SCU and its figures, the current legislation and the Charter of ethical commitment, the path taken in Italy from conscientious objection to the SCU, as well as identity of the group in formation and to the formative agreement.

The young people enthusiastically participated in the formation days, comparing themselves with each other and gathering food for thought that could be useful for their integral growth. At the end of the course, a volunteer said, “In these days I have reflected on issues on which I had never paused and which have opened my mind.” This is precisely the purpose of the FVGS Formation which wants to be a valid growth tool for young people.

The FMA of the Community of Mary Help of Christians of the Generalate (RCG) accompanied them with prayer and with a cordial presence, experiencing their joyful presence in the house.

In a moment of encounter with the Community, which took place on 14 October 2022, the young volunteers presented themselves, expressed their destinations, seeking with their eyes for the presence of FMA from the Countries that would be their destination. They thanked them for the welcome and talked about the experience lived.

The Animator, Sr. Carla Castellino, on behalf of the Community, expressed the joy of having met and hosted them and addressed a wish to them, “‘Every young person who enters a Salesian house is protected under the mantle of Mary Help of Christians’, said Don Bosco. Our Lady welcomes you in a very special way and does not lose sight of you.

Don Bosco also said, ‘I want you to be happy in time and eternity’. May your joy grow day by day until you are happy, because being happy here is already being happy in eternity. And the joy will be in being a gift, in being for others”.

Source: fondazionefvgs


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