On Saturday afternoon, March 15, around 70 Provincials participating in the 27th General Chapter took part in a meeting focused on PDOs, capacity building and advocacy work of the Salesian Family. The PDO (Planning and Development Office) is an entity, juridical or otherwise, instituted and owned by the Salesian Provincial Community, fully at the service of the Salesian charism in the province.
The meeting was organized by Don Bosco Network (DBN), the Salesian General Council and VIS (International Volunteering for Development). The GC27 members who attended were mainly from the Africa, Interamerica, East Asia and Oceania regions. The DBN representatives were Joanna Stożek, President; Katarzyna Dumańska, Secretary General; and Wojciech Mroczek, Network Coordinator. Members of the General Council in attendance were Bro. Jean Paul Muller, Fr Václav Klement and Fr Guillermo Basañes; and from VIS: Nico Lotta – new President, Fr. Guido Errico – Vice-President, Ivan Toscano and Riccardo Giannotta – project managers, and Gianpaolo Gullotta from Don Bosco nel Mondo.
Joanna Stożekwelcomed everyone and shared briefly the mission and vision of DBN. She stressed the importance of cooperation based mainly on a common understanding and a strong determination to will share and support one another.
Wojtek Mroczek, DBN network coordinator, presented the outcomes of the January meeting of the Salesian Family on advocacy. He highlighted two key points: youth empowerment and children’s rights, saying that the Salesian Family could work together in terms of advocacy both at local and international level. He shared the examples of Mozambique and Zambia, where Salesians and Salesian Sisters managed to introduce some policy changes at national level for the benefit of young people.
In 2013 all PDOs responded to the survey conducted by the DBN and the General Council. As a direct answer to the needs and expectations expressed in this survey, DBN came up with the framework plan of PDOs capacity building, including regional meetings, PDO staff training, a platform for online exchange of information, a positive campaign in Salesian structures, capacity building of selected PDOs in need, and developing advocacy strategy for PDOs on the local level.
As a very specific and practical example of the PDO support plan, Ivan Toscano and Riccardo Giannotta from VIS presented a four-year project on PDO capacity building in ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) countries that they have been implementing since the beginning of 2014. The main goal of this project is to strengthen the capacity of the PDOs, enable them to coordinate and cooperate between themselves and share good practices.
The meeting was very fruitful and opened many possibilities for cooperation between Don Bosco Network and the Provinces in working with the young people all over the world.
First Published by InfoANS