OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Salesians 25 years at the service of young people where violence among youth is widespread

Tuesday, 13 September 2005

Port Moresby (Fides Service) -Juvenile deliquency in New Guinea is a serious problem, a matter of concern for experts, educators, civil and religious leaders. The Salesians who first came here 25 years ago to work among young people are committed to educating youth, helping save young from the trap of crime.
Twenty five years ago on their arrival in New Guinea the Salesians, sons of St John Bosco, began to open missions, technical training schools, oratories to organise activities for young people. They have saved many boys otherwise destined to a life of vagabonding or exploitation by gangs of organised criminals.
Salesians are celebrating their 25th annviersary this year. ANS Salesian bulletin reports that Rev Pascual Chávez Salesian rector major was present in Port Moresby for the occasion. He visited Don Bosco Technical Institute, affiliated to the Divine Word University in Madang, the only Catholic college in Papua New Guinea. The institute has 400 students and according the ANS they are all very grateful for the technical training and schooling in values offered by Salesians and lay collaorators.
Spreading crime and increasing violence among young people is causing alarm among civil authorities and the local Churches. In Port Moresby, Lae, and Mt Hagen, gangs of “raskols” sow panic and fear. Most of them are unemployed youths who have difficulty in finding their place in society .
The Salesians know that the only way to save young people from this danger is to provide “positive socialisation” , technical training and education to the values of respect, love and solidarity. The local Catholic Church offers various activities for youth in healthy environments and education to moral values as a foundation for life, operating in the field of school education and technical training. In PNG 70% of the schools and other institutes of education are run by Churches. The social and cultural development achieved by PNG is mainly due to the contribution of the different local Churches fully committed to education.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/9/2005 righe 27 parole 270)