Animation and Planning Visit
Fr Václav Klement, General Councillor for Salesian Missions, was in the vice-Province of Haiti from 1 to 4 August, meeting the Provincial Council and members of the Rinaldi Foundation and visiting all the Salesian works in the capital.
Fr Klement went to Pétion-Ville, Thorland, Gressier, Fleriout, ENAM, Lakay, Cité Soleil, the Little Schools of Fr Bohnen (OPEPB), and Drouillard. He met the Salesians in each place to hear about and check the state of progress in the reconstruction work after the earthquake of 12 January.
During the meeting with the Rinaldi Foundation Fr Klement was able to establish that, motivated by the Rector Major’s letter at the beginning of the year, the various agencies are getting organised to intensify the work, clarify priorities and responsibilities and solve problems together, avoiding working in isolation. A list of projects had been drawn up and they are in constant contact with the Rector Major. At present the Rinaldi Foundation team are still working in tents, but they will soon be able to move to new offices.
Involvement of Salesian NGOs
Relations with Salesian NGOs are very good and fruitful. Even those working in the front line are fully aware of the need to be careful in administering the funds received and to maintain the trust and responsibility required in such situations. That said, some works have not yet found agencies to help them rebuild, whereas others are beginning to see the results of their work.
At the meeting with the Provincial Council on 3 August, attended by members of the new and the old Councils, everyone found many areas to work upon in common. Fr Sylvain Ducange expressed his thanks, recalled the need for continued courage and enthusiasm to make progress in facing challenges, and introduced the new Council members. He added that the mayor of the city had made it possible for the guests at Thorland to begin their retreat and had thanked the Salesians for their support over the past six months.
In his address, the Councillor for the Missions insisted that in all the work going on the key word was ‘communication’, in every sense of the word: as commitment, as the way forward, as responsibility. “This entire project needs the primacy of God, the nourishment of his word and a faithful understanding of the Constitutions”, he said.
Fr Klement then pointed out that the Salesians in Haiti have been at the centre of the Congregation during 2010, experiencing a time of worldwide solidarity, the presence of the Rector Major, of General Councillors, of new missionaries, of the Salesian world present in every expression of fraternity. All this was in turn an opportunity to build up the charism and re-empower the Salesian presence. In October, furthermore, there would be visits to Haiti from Don Filiberto González, General Councillor for Social Communications, and Don Fabio Attard, General Councillor for Youth Ministry.
Various tasks remain, such as the drawing up of a Province Plan (POI) to ease the way ahead for the province, the production of positive and encouraging news items, to be made known widely, and the continuation of the work of reconstruction and developing links with the Salesian NGOs, to reinforce the numerous projects.
Direzione Generale Opera Don Bosco
Via della Pisana