The fourth Formation Seminar was held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, from 21 to 25 October, as part of the project to strengthen the competences of planning and development offices (PDO) and Salesian Vocational Training Centers (CFP) in Latin America. The project represents a joint effort, led by the German Salesian NGO “Don Bosco Mondo”, in coordination with the PDO of Bolivia “OFPROBOL”, and financed by the German Ministry for Development Cooperation (BMZ).
Eighty representatives took part, including lay people and Salesian leaders from 23 Provinces – 18 from the Salesians and 5 from the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians – and from 17 countries: Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. In addition to the representatives of “Don Bosco Mondo”, there were those of other Salesian NGOs: “VIA Don Bosco” (Belgium), “Salesian Missions” (USA), “VIS – International Voluntary Service for Development” (Italy) and “Jóvenes y Desarrollo”(Spain).
The project involves strengthening the skills of the staff of the PDOs and the CFP through mutual and collaborative learning to better meet the needs of the beneficiaries of Salesian activities in the region: youth at risk, vulnerable men and women and at risk of social and economic exclusion.
In the various workshops, the PDO managers developed the contents of the transversal axes in the field of development cooperation, in particular on the Environment, Political Incidence and Human Rights; while those of CFP gave continuity to the curricular development by skills, focusing on the evaluation and on the socio-work support of young people.
Among the main efforts made at the 4th seminar:
– consolidate the work and collaboration networks between the PDOs and CFPs of Latin America, in addition to their articulation with other local and regional Salesian networks;
– strengthening in the field of awareness-raising, social mobilization and socio-political advocacy, a function envisaged in the document “General outline of the model and functions of the Salesian PDO of the Province”;
– strengthen awareness of environmental problems and work in a spirit of shared responsibility with all the actors involved in the Educational-Pastoral Communities. To this end it will be possible to count on the support of “Don Bosco Mondo” to formulate an integral project proposal on the subject, at the regional level;
– effectively share the results of this meeting with Provincials and their Councils in the awareness of the process that has now begun and which, with the support and contribution of all, will continue to consolidate.