Focus 2022

Tunisia - ISI10-01-2022

Tunisia – Oratories together in Manouba

(ANS - Manouba) - In Manouba, a city on the outskirts of the capital Tunis, the first “Tunis Oratory Ensemble Day” was held in the Salesian house founded about 30 years ago and now a primary school and youth center oratory. Young people, animators, and managers of the new oratory in the center of Tunis, built at the "Don Bosco" ex-Marianist school, made their first outing and went to share a day of sports, games and group activities with the oratory of Manouba, the "firstborn", established in 2013 thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of the Salesian brother Roberto Lionelli, currently serving in Madagascar.

His testimony was then picked up by his confreres working in Manouba: Fr Domenico Paternò, Fr Bashir Soukar, and Sebastien Anasambla Levilo, who continued the path they had undertaken by expanding the educational offer and also opening up oratory activities to girls.

In the meantime, the Salesians of the new presence in the center of Tunis, the "Ecole Don Bosco" - Fr Faustino García Peña, Fr Josè Antonio Vega Díez, Ferdinand Nadjikan Ropou - active in a presence taken over in 2016 from the Marianist brothers, after having well studied the terrain, started the new oratory in the city center at the end of November 2021, thus fulfilling, with a few months delay, due to the pandemic, what they would have already liked to do in the summer.

In the days that have just passed, taking advantage of the winter school holidays in December, the Salesians and the animators organized a day to spend together with the young people of the two oratories. The day was set at the end of the two weeks of holidays during which the two oratories of Manouba and Tunis carried out various days of activities and sports, involving many boys and girls.

On Wednesday 29 December, about 90 people including young people and animators and Salesians gathered in Manouba from 9:30 am to 4 pm for singing activities, bricolage, football tournaments, five-a-side football, volleyball, bingo, group games ... in a climate of great joy, fraternity, sharing.

The welcome of the Rector of Manouba, Fr Paternò, inaugurated the day, which was then closed by the thought of the evening given in Arabic by Fr Soukar, together with some songs prepared for the occasion by the nascent Manouba choir.

“Everything took place under the banner of fraternity, as the letter from Francesco Fratelli Tutti dictates,” Fr Paternò commented at the end of the day. “Muslims and Christians together, united for the good of children and young people, to build together a better future for all, also through gestures like this, which give importance to daily life as the sowing of a better world. Thanks to Don Bosco, who never created fences, but has always been, in today's language, ‘inclusive’ and supportive.”