Lets save a starfish – Part III

By: Luis Chacon
Province Coordinator for Volunteers

The previous two weeks I shared the experience of these migrant children in the United States.  They express the risks that migrant children suffer here, and also  brainstorm solutions that in this Province we could consider for future ministry. It must be remembered that these children have grown up in Salesian environments and that despite not being more than 10 years old, in their country of origin they were already actively helping migrants and homeless people in their country.

They find the following risks for a migrant child:

  • Sexual abuse.
  • The consumption of psychoactive substances since their sale and consumption are easily evidenced.
  • The abandonment and abuse due to bullying, racism and constant xenophobia.
  • Kidnapping and ESCNNA (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents).
  • Parental separation due to different parenting cultures.

Brainstorming how the Salesian community could help migrants who arrives in the United States:

  • Providing spaces and opportunities for all children where they can be calm without the fear of being discriminated against, occupying their free time through recreation and constant learning .
  • Providing information to families where they can orient themselves to find schools, health, childcare, work and different types of help that the United States provides.
  • Have the opportunity to create a temporary shelter where saving is encouraged to have a decent home.
  • Help families by advising them on the different rules of this country and being able to teach them basic English.
  • With the facilities that the Salesians have here, a kind of Valdocco oratory can be created. At least starting with the children of migrants and then with the whole family.

These are some of the reflections of these children. I thank God for the opportunity to have had contact with them and their family. I have learned a lot and continue to think about the strategies and scope that we as a Salesian Family could have to help thousands of families, children and young people in this situation. If you have any idea or contact with organizations that might collaborate with us, please send an email to me.