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St John Bosco and St Maria Mazzarello

    John Bosco, born in 1815 in Italian Piedmont, was the son of a catholic day labourer and peasant.  In Italy, there were times of famine, child labour and street children that today can be found in large Asian, African, Latin American or eastern European cities.

     

    Due to poverty, he first attended school at the age of 15, in those days it cost money.  He worked, as a result, as a waiter, blacksmith, tailor and a servant.  After he left school, he enrolled as a seminary in Turin and in 1841, he became a priest.  In Turin, he taught workers in the slums during the industrialisation period and worked in the streets with hungry and neglected children.  The young priest started to work with young offenders and visited reformatories and hospitals.

     

    Later, he rented a piece of land for street children, on which he built a school, a training workshop, a church and a playground.  This youth centre (oratory) would be a model for all the Don Bosco centres around the world.  Don Bosco reached out to young people, not with logic, but with emotion..  His programme: teaching skills to young people through love, developing understanding and humour, and through school, educational training and Christian values, in order to make responsible, independent people.

     

    In 1859, the new religious order, the Salesians of Don Bosco was founded.  And in 1872, Don Bosco and Maria Mazzarello established the Sisters of Don Bosco.  The Salesians of Don Bosco and the Sisters of Don Bosco are one of the biggest religious orders in the world today!  The range of activities are varied but are always carried out with young, disadvantaged people. Among these, are also those afflicted with Aids/HIV and Malaria, child slaves, child soldiers, child prostitutes and young victims of organ trades.

    The Don Bosco Mission

      The purpose of Don Bosco Mission is and always has been to give children a (better) future.

      Besides generally caring for farmers and workers, the so-called "simple folks", John Bosco paid special attention to disadvantaged children and youth as well as youth and children in risk situations.

      What he started at the time is being continued, further interpreted and developed today by the order communities and associations founded by Don Bosco as well as numerous newly created NGOs. The focus on a better future for young people and the engagement against poverty remain unchanged. The goal and the challenge in all fields of action is the holistic development of young people.

      The Jugend Eine Welt Organization, established in 1997, is still focused - as are many other organizations, foundations, associations, orders, etc. - on the Don Bosco Mission today. This website provides information on how this involvement looks like today and what projects are carried out worldwide in order to achieve the goals of this mission.

      The educational philosophy of Don Bosco

        "Children are like precious stones lying in the street. They only need to be picked up and they will start to shine."

        This is one of the best-known quotes by Don Bosco and it describes precisely the core of his work with young people. He believed in a holistic education: to help young people in finding their personal, social and religious identity. Don Bosco considered himself as an educator and a priest at the same time.

        His contemporaries gave account of how he was always first in the game, "the soul of leisure time", whenever they would visit the football-playing, tightrope-walking magician priest and his protégées in their different lodgings in Turin in the 1850s. Space and time for games - that was and still is one of the cornerstones of the education in his institutions, which he called "oratories". These are open houses that take in young people and give them space to find their faith. They give room for a school to prepare them for life, but they also give room for a playground where they can spend leisure time together.

        In the institutions of the Salesians of Don Bosco, where they work to get children off of the streets, these "oratorical principles" are still alive.

        These rules alone do not account for the complete educational philosophy of Don Bosco. The relationship between pupil and teacher was, for him, of the greatest value. To turn towards the children, to listen to them, to win their trust - those are the strengths of Don Bosco.

        He saw the instructors rather as "assistants" to the children. Assistants, whom young people find interesting, and who attentively, encouragingly, supportively, yet demandingly stand by their side. The relationship between instructors and children should be based on mutual trust and honest interest.

        In his essay on the Preventive System, Don Bosco explained that the system has three essential components: reason, religion and love. To this day these remain the cornerstones of education to the followers of Don Bosco.

        No matter which continent they live on, love and affection, games and fun together with a good education provide the foundation of a positive future for young people.

        The Salesians of Don Bosco

          Thanks to the Salesians of Don Bosco, Jugend Eine Welt has competent Partners to execute its projects in more than 130 countries.

          Their often long-standing local presence and their knowledge of the general conditions guarantee a successful cooperation. Above all, their presence spares Jugend Eine Welt the development of its own expensive local structures. The Salesians support the work of Jugend Eine Welt in Austria by providing it with staff and premises as well as means of communication.

          The Salesians are optimistic about the future, just like Don Bosco was. They accept today's challenges as opportunities and help young people to succeed in life.

          On the 8th December 1841 in Turin, Priest Don Giovanni Bosco took an unemployed bricklaying apprentice in his care, and many other young people followed. That was when a global "enterprise" called Salesians of Don Bosco was born. It was followed by the foundation of the congregation, the Society of Saint Francis de Sales, in 1859. The Salesians of Don Bosco (S.D.B.) with around 15,000 members in more than 130 countries are the second largest religious community of the Catholic Church.

          The "Salesian" name and spirituality originate from Francis de Sales, the saint bishop of Geneva (1567-1622). His realism, his positive vision of humanity, his unfailing apostolic zeal, his kind and gentle nature as well as his experience with the boundless love of God were the reasons why Don Bosco chose him as an example.

          The Salesians live in fraternal communion. They seek to give testimony of God's love for humanity through their work for the youth as priests and trained social education workers. The Salesians live together with the young people and are there for them as helpers, advisors and friends.

          The Salesians of Don Bosco are operating in Austria since 1903. They run a high school, student homes, manage parishes and youth centres and organize several spiritual and leisure activities.

          The Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco

            The Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco come from the small village of Mornese in Northern Italy. Don Bosco met Maria Mazzarello here, who dedicated her life to help young girls. She founded the order called “Daughters of Mary Help of Christians” (F.M.A) in 1872 with the support of Don Bosco. The order is known as the “Sisters of Don Bosco” in German-speaking regions.

            The young community spread very fast and is now present on all continents. With 13,000 members, the Sisters of Don Bosco are the largest Catholic female order. The Preventive System, a feature of Don Bosco’s educational philosophy, has taken root in the institutions of the Sisters of Don Bosco as well. They create an atmosphere through “spontaneous, friendly and happy relationships” towards the children and youth that helps the children feel safe and loved.

            It is important for the Sisters of Don Bosco to take the concerns of women seriously. They pay particular attention to adolescent girls, as some of the most important decisions in life have to be made in this delicate phase of life.

            The first Sisters of Don Bosco came to Austria in 1928. Today they operate kindergartens, day care centres, schools, dormitories and a socio-educational residential community. The Sisters of Don Bosco are also active organizers of extracurricular programs for children and youth, they operate in parishes and work in pastoral care for families.

            The Sisters of Don Bosco have a vast global network of successful projects.

            Jugend Eine Welt and Don Bosco

              A worldwide network of partners

              With the motto "Education conquers poverty" in mind, Jugend Eine Welt supports projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America as well as Southern and Eastern Europe. In order to be able to adapt these projects, the Association relies on Partners with excellent knowledge on local circumstances, experience in working with children and youth and can sustainably improve the situation of the people. Jugend Eine Welt found these Partners in the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco. They are supporting young people in more than 130 countries by providing education, by taking care of street children and by offering young people a possibility for other recreational activities than drugs and violence.

              Jugend Eine Welt cooperates with a number of German speaking Don Bosco Partners, such as Br. Günter Mayer in Ghana, Br. Lothar Wagner in Liberia, Fr. Johann Kiesling in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sr. Maria Rohrer in Tunisia or Br. Reto Wanner in Papua New Guinea. And there are in addition countless local Partners and Promoters, who highly appreciate our help and the valuable contribution of our Donors and Supporters.


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