Don Bosco Family, the biggest Child Protection agency in Sierra Leone have succeeded in bringing the voice of the most vulnerable girls of Sierra Leone to the highest placed European office, after they were given an opportunity to meet with the President of the European Parliament, His Excellency, President Antonio Tajani. The event took place in the European Parliament, on 19th February 2019 and was graced by the presence of six MEPs from diverse nationalities, many representatives of civil society and church authorities.
Speaking to NewsWatch, the Public Relations Officer for Don Bosco Fambul in Sierra Leone, John Emmanuel Ngegba, said that in an event organized by Don Bosco International, together with the Commission of EU Bishops’ Conferences (COMECE) and hosted by the Spanish Member of the European Parliament Mrs. Teresa Jiménez-Becerril, Fr. Jorge Crisafulli, Director of Don Bosco Fambul, and Augusta Ngombu-Gboli, a young beneficiary who is now the organisations Goodwill Ambassador, were able to share what they do in Sierra Leone and the opportunity that Don Bosco Fambul is providing for young girls like Augusta through education, therapeutic care and vocational training.
He said The Goodwill Ambassador, Augusta, shared her terrifying and touching story about how Don Bosco saved her life and gave her a new opportunity to start again, and how she is now a young entrepreneur on catering services and works as volunteer trainer with Don Bosco Fambul to support girls that went through the same traumatic experience.
Mr Ngegba said that in the same event, Mrs. Barbara Terenzi, Human Rights Office coordinator of VIS, shared the campaign called Stop-Tratta and the joint efforts with other Salesian organizations to prevent this dramatic phenomena as well as promoting the circular migration and in addition, Fr. Michael Czerny, undersecretary of Pope Francis in the Migrants and Refugees section, presented the recent document “Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking” that establishes some pastoral policy guidelines to face modern slavery, stating how this shoul reminds us of Pope Francis.
According to John Ngegba, the group also met with the research parliamentary services and with some public servants in charge of development policies for Africa in the European Parliament; as well as a private meeting of Fr Czerny with several catholic organizations that work on both migration and the fight against human trafficking in the EU institutions.
In conclusion, Mr Ngegba said that the immense joint work of Misiones Salesianas and Don Bosco International to overcome the bureaucratic and migratory burdens and make Augusta’s trip to Brussels possible is a great opportunity to show the huge discrimination faced by young people like Augusta in today’s world, a phenomena which requires Salesians to be present both at the grass-roots level and in the Institutions and International fora, adding that that they are very much encouraged by the way the work in Sierra Leone was appreciated by the EU President and are very thankful for the promise he made to support their advocacy for girls in vulnerable situations across Sierra Leone..