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''Salesians 'shine' in Gujarat'' say impressed Mumbai youth


By Cl. Joyston Machado sdb and Fr. Brian Moras sdb
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Mumbai, Apr. 19. DBYS (Don Bosco Youth Services) Mumbai organised a Salesian Experience Camp to Gujarat, from April 12 - 17, 2012, for post X and XII boys. The 43 youngsters who participated in this camp, returned back impressed.  
Stop 1 was at Don Bosco Snehalaya, a house for youngsters in difficult situations.  The backgrounds and the stories of the boys alongwith added input by Fr. Steve Rodrigues, provided an overview of the Salesian street ministry, especially in Baroda.
Stop 2 at Don Bosco Tanakla witnessed Fr. Rosario Vaz along with the other Salesians inviting the youngsters to harvest onions! Later an outing to the  Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam and the privilege of visiting the Hydroelectric Power Plant added to the experience.  
Stop 3 was Don Bosco Kawant.  Visiting the villages and learning the culture of the people with Fr. Gregory Almeida, was an eye-opener to the Salesian works for the uplift of the villagers. The functioning of the 'Self Help Groups' was an innovative and effective learning.
Stop 4 was at Chhota- Udeipur and Narukot.  Cordial reception and frank interaction with the Salesians, the boys and the villagers, kept the youngsters eager for more. The personal testimonies of the pioneering Salesians made a deep impression on the young minds. Each day had a particular theme: Awareness, Service, Celebrating the Rathwa Culture and finally Gratitude and Vocation.  Each evening, was spent reflecting on the day's experience and the learning for life.
A visit to the places and works of the FMA Sisters, the Sisters of Missionaries of Charity and the Cloistered Carmel showcased varied apostolates of the Catholic Church.
The final stop was at Don Bosco Baroda.  A special interactive session with the youth of this place and the community was organised.
The camp was an enriching experience for each boy. Some of the group voiced thier eagerness to join the Salesians of Don Bosco and have been invited to another camp scheduled in May.
One of the youngsters quipped, '''Gujarat may not be shining, but the Salesians are definitely shining in Gujarat.''
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