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Creating Engaging Youth Spaces through the Salesian Youth Movement
By Father Leon Cruz
Mumbai, Nov. 2. The Youth Ministry Leaders of the Salesians of Don Bosco in South Asia gathered at Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga on 30th and 31st October, 2016. The purpose of the meeting was to define strategies and engage youth for effective youth services in South Asia.
Key note address by Dr. Prof. Lata Narain, Centre for Lifelong Learning, TISS, Mumbai.
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Father Godfrey D`Souza, the Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai celebrated the Eucharistic celebration for all the Delegates. He extended a warm welcome to all the Salesian Youth Ministry Leaders who had come from the different provinces of South Asia. Father Maria Charles the Youth Ministry Delegate of South Asia introduced the keynote speaker Dr. Prof. Lata Narain who is a professor at TISS, Mumbai.

Dr. Lata in her keynote address highlighted key points on identity, need for learning, rights based approach, having a strengths perspective, and self-directed learning. She urged the Salesian Youth Ministry Leaders to reflect on the processes of learning and create spaces for youth where the point of reference will be core values.

In the following sessions each province member met in their respective commissions and presented the report they had prepared. In the evening, Mr. Conrad Saldanha conducted two sessions on strategic planning - one with the Don Bosco Youth Animation members (DBYA) and the  Youth Pastoral Delegates and the other session with the Regional Commission Heads. He dealt with the possible learnings from the interventions that are tried out by the Salesian confreres.

On the second day of the meeting 31 October, Father George Maliekal the Provincial In-charge of DBYA SA gave an introductory talk on focussing on our field of work while knowing where we are. The different Regional Commissions and Regional Sectors presented their reports on Education and Culture, Education to faith, Social Experience and Youth Movements, Vocational Guidance, Young at Risk (YaR), Don Bosco Higher Educational Institutes (DB HEI), Don Bosco Tech (DB Tech) and Don Bosco Schools India.

Father Maria Charles along with the DBYA SA Regional Team conducted discussions on the theme `Way forward and setting up priorities`. Each commission discussed about strategies for two concerns faced by today`s youth, a strategy for the Salesians in South Asia and the possibility of conducting an event for the young people. Father George Maliekal the Provincial In-charge of DBYA SA concluded the meeting. The two days of enriching discussions will be of great help for all the Youth Ministry Leaders in defining better strategies for the future for effective youth services in South Asia.

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