Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) are fostering fraternity among Christian and Muslim youth at an Oratory in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria in Egypt.
In a report published Tuesday, October 18, SDB officials say that both Muslims and Christians meet at the Oratory to connect with each other by participating in events that Salesians organize.
“The Oratory has become a place where Muslims and Christians come together to connect with their peers and participate in activities organized by the Salesians,” SDB officials say.
The Oratory that based at the Salesian House in Alexandria, they add, “is attended by many youth, most of whom are Muslims. Many of the staff and volunteers who work with youth there are also Muslim.”
In the October 18 report, Salesians’ General Councilor for the Missions, Fr. Alfred Maravilla, says that the coming together of the youth in Alexandria despite diversity in their religious background makes the Oratory a true place where “fraternity is built”.
“Today in the world many consider anyone different from themselves as a threat. Instead, here in the Oratory, you show that differences lived with respect and friendship can become an enrichment for everyone,” Fr. Maravilla is quoted as saying.
In the report, SDB officials say that in the over 120 years that they have been present in the Northern African nation, they have served all people irrespective of their religious affiliation.
They say, “Today, the Don Bosco School in Alexandria educates close to 900 students, mostly Muslim, in classes ranging from primary school to vocational training.”
“The courtyards and playgrounds of the Salesian House are filled with students after school who connect with their peers in a safe and supportive environment,” SDB officials further say, adding that their Alexandria institution is recognized, and partially funded, by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In the October 18 report, the Director of the U.S development arm of the SDB, Salesian Missions, says Salesian programs across the globe are meant to benefit all young people indiscriminately.
“Youth, regardless of faith and religious background, are able to access the Salesian program and gain assistance with homework, connect with their peers, and be connected with adults who provide mentorship and support in their lives,” says Fr. Gus Baek.
Fr. Baek adds, “Salesian programs across Egypt provide education and social development services for youth and their families living in poverty.”