ASIA/IRAQ - “ESTATE RAGAZZI” CHILDREN’S SUMMER CAMP IN MOSUL: WAR OVER, SALESIANS HELP REBUILD SOCIAL TISSUE
Mosul (Fides Service) – The Salesian Fathers in the Middle East are anxious to go back among the children of Mosul now the tragedy of the war is over. As for the Summer 2002, they will start a week of preparation for Animators on June 25. This will be followed by three weeks in July of morning activities 9-12am for about 400 adolescents and afternoon activities 5-8pm for another 300 youngsters from 7 Chaldean parishes in Mosul and 1 Syrian-Catholic parish. The programme was illustrated by Salesian Superior Father Gianmaria Gianazza, who visited the site in late May to verify the present situation.
A report on Children’ Summer Camp run by the Salesians in Baghdad for the fourth time in the Summer of 2002, illustrates the initiative: “The activities were realised in two centres: in the periphery of Baghdad at the Chaldean seminary with a group of 550 children from 8 parishes; and in the city centre in the morning on the premises of Mar Gorghis Chaldean church for 350 children and in the evening on the premises of the Mar Behnam Syrian-Catholic church for 400 children. The Summer Camp was prepared with three days training of Animators; their response was generous. They are volunteer teachers of religion who usually devote Friday (a holiday in Muslim countries) to catechesis and animation of parish groups”.
Children’s Summer Camps organised by the Salesians are characterised by encounter and animation of local parishes in order to start a process of socialisation among the boy participants coming from different places. The Camps organise various activities, recreation, sports, formation with a closing celebration with special games. The Camp ends with a special prize which the children may choose from the Don Bosco shop which stocks all kinds of useful things for school, exercise books, calculators, school bags, sweat shirts and also soap and perfume . The programme of the closing evening event last year held at the Summer Club on the Tigris River included plays, mimes, dancing and song performed by different parish groups for the children and their parents. SL (Fides Service 16/6/2003 EM lines 24 Words: 326)
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