Belo Horizonte (Brazil). On 18 May 2023, Mother Mazzarello Province (BMM) of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, inserted in the Salesian Network of Brazil (RSB), organized various initiatives to prevent the abuse and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
This date was chosen in memory of Araceli Crespo, a girl who died on 18 May 1973, a victim of sexual violence in Vitória, Espírito Santo. Her case symbolizes the sad reality faced by thousands of children and adolescents across the country, which is why a National Awareness and Prevention Day has been established. 50 years after this tragic episode, the need to continue to fight against all types of violence against children and adolescents is reinforced.
To contribute to such an important cause, the Salesian realities are inspired by Don Bosco, who dedicated his life to the education of poor and marginalized young people. His Preventive System, based on reason, religion, and loving kindness, guides educators and families in this mission to protect and promote the integral development of young people.
Aware that Don Bosco’s Preventive System is an effective way to protect young people from the dangers that surround them, Salesian Schools and Social Works have mobilized with online and local initiatives to celebrate this date. The realities of Mother Mazzarello Province were also involved in various local events and activities, with the participation of pupils, teachers, assisted children and young people, and educators.
A video was produced to encourage the reporting and denouncing of abuses and the Educating Communities participated in various events in support of the cause, including the Commemoration Day Ceremony held at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, organized by the Ministry of Human Rights and of Citizenship (MDHC), in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, Childhood Brazil, and other partners.
“As the Salesian Family we have in our DNA the conviction that we were born to be a great movement in favor of Life! For this reason, the Salesian Network of Brazil supports the promotion of the Human Rights of children, adolescents, and young people as one of the fundamental commitments which must be assumed by our Works and Social Presences.
This commitment drives us to take care of those who inhabit our educational spaces, but it also extends to all children, adolescents, and young people. And I realize that, for this to become a reality, it is necessary to safeguard our educational-pastoral proposal and also guarantee our effective participation in the construction of public policies,” declared the Executive Director of the RSB, Sr. Silvia Aparecida da Silva, present at the ceremony at the Planalto Palace.