South Sudan: Fr. Boccuccia (International Solidarity), “Between Hunger and Fear That Future Possible”

South Sudan: Fr. Boccuccia (International Solidarity), “Between Hunger and Fear That Future Possible”

“There is apparent calm in all major centers of the country, in reality this is a bomb about to explode.” writes from Juba Fr. Bill Firman, Lasallian, including the leaders of the Solidarity Project with South Sudan since 2007 operating in the country, supported by more than 220 male and female religious congregations, with 5 specific training projects with a great future.

distribution of water

“People are scared and hungry. Many have no shelter, no food. The cousin of a deacon was executed by soldiers at a check point on the sole ground that he was from the Nuer tribe. The border with Uganda remains closed. Many seek escape in vain. The airport, packed yesterday, is open, but only fly charter. Red Cross,Doctors Without Borders and many others have evacuated their staff. Yesterday twenty national security guards raided a hotel where they were several Australian and European and girls have been raped there. An American who tried to help them was shot in the foot. The decline of public order and the growing anarchy are huge problems. There is nervousness in other cities.”

Fr. Bill has still hears the blows of rifles in recent days: “around our house, the rockets in the sky, the compound of the Combonian Missionaries in the middle of a shootout; so around the cathedral in Kator and elsewhere. A story announced writes.

This is confirmed by, Br. Amilcare Boccuccia, 2007-2011 the project manager, “a Sudanese priest had told me years ago: “no doubt, we will vote the referendum, but it will  be followed by 100 years of civil war till we become a people. Sins of colonialism — which used ethnicities, already traditionally divided, in order to remove them further and control them; and then, the oil curse in a country that appears hardly explored, with proceeds used to placate the leaders of different factions and the people are hungry  of everything”, insisted Br. Bill: “The peace process has broken down. Reprisals will resume in other parts of the country where the rebels are the strongest. The government of South Sudan is bankrupt. It does not pay the soldiers and many other public employees, who end up stealing out of desperation. And we? We want to stay, to continue giving answers of life and a possible hope.”

dsplaced Mum

The invitation to visit South Sudan addressed to the Union of Superiors General comes from a bishop, and it was in 2006, after the signing of the Naivasha peace treaty that ended the second Sudanese civil war. An inter-congregations team explores it carefully. “Then  emerged the clear priority,” explains Br. Amilcare: “training.” Two areas were selected: “Education — served over 100,000 teachers — and health.” Today there are 264 qualified teachers. 175 currently engaged in training in the fourth year, 114 in that of the two-year period. Those involved in training a total of 3,443 that has seen teachers move to more distant communities to offer courses of study. Among the paramedics graduated 70 nurses and 19 midwives. In formation, another 100. Five training venues of the project in cities like: Malakal for education, to the north, now occupied by the Dinka, Wau, for health care, where the Comboni Sisters manage the Training Hospital; on the border with Congo, Rimenze for the advancement of women and thriving center of agricultural teaching and Yambio, for the training of teachers, an aspect which Lasallians are responsible. A team also for the pastoral care runs across the country to alleviate the trauma of conflict and offer new paths, with a further center, opening soon, at 16 km from Juba.

Over 5 million euro were collected to support the project in the first phase alone, between 2007 and 2011. Among the donors, the CEI, Italian parishes, but also many individuals and organizations in Spain, Ireland, Germany. “There is no  tradition in the past that gave these people the consciousness of being a people. We cannot run away. Only then we will have an equal relationship with them. We are called to invest, risking our life to sow the future.” (Laura Galimberti).

Recent Solidarity Group photo

Solidarity with Sudan South (SSS)  is a response to an invitation from the SCBC, the Episcopal Conference of Sudan. Advanced earlier by Bishop Joseph Gasi from the diocese of Tambura-Yambio and then by all the Bishops of the South of Sudan. After the visit of the delegation sent by UISG (International Union of Superiors General) and USG (Union of Superiors General) in March 2006 was established a new initiative called Solidarity with South Sudan. The initiative currently has more than 260 religious institutes supporters of the project, and 31 members in the field. 

Laura Galimberti

Lasallians in Turkey

Our thoughts and prayers are with all our Lasallians and their fellow citizens at this time in Turkey as the country comes to the terms with the recent failed coup attempt.


There are three Lasallian colleges in Turkey, two in Istanbul, St Joseph’s and St Michel’s, and one in Izmir, St Joseph’s. In accordance with an agreement between the Turkish and French Governments, these three colleges function as French lycées with the Directors of the colleges appointed from France.

M. Michel Bertet, the MEL Co-ordinator for the Sector of Turkey, has been in touch with our Lasallian colleagues in Turkey and with Brother Fadi, Visitor of Proche Orient, and he assures us that the situation with regard to our Lasallian colleges is quiet as of now although the future clearly remains uncertain. There are two elderly French Brothers, one in Istanbul and the other in Izmir, who presently support the Lasallian mission in the country.

We join the Turkish people in praying for a peaceful resolution to the present crisis.

Br. Aidan Kilty
General Councillor for RELEM

Bethlehem University – Graduation Ceremony of the First Tourism Vocational Training Program

Wednesday, 1 June 2016, Bethlehem University held the Graduation Ceremony of the First Tourism Vocational Training. A large number of representatives from the tourism sector, supporting institutions, and from the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities were present, as well as the families and friends of the 90 graduating students.

The ceremony was held at the Bethlehem University Auditorium under the sponsorship of the Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Her Excellency, Rula Ma’ayaah. Dr. Michael Sansur, Executive Vice President, then gave the welcome speech in which he congratulated the graduates and their families. In addition, he thanked the World Bank, PADICO HOLDING, USAID/Compete and the Palestinian Market Development Program (PMDP) for their support of the program; which came into existence as a response to the needs of the Palestinian based on research by the Bethlehem University Institute of Tourism Training (BUITT), The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and the Palestinian Tourism Sector.

BUITT Graduation 2016

Prior to distributing the certificates, a short film was screened in which students from the Tourism Vocational Training Program shared their experiences and reflected on the knowledge and skills they came to learn from their time in the program. 

Mr. Ahmad Awedet then presented the results of the Research Findings Dissemination: HTS mapping and Job Analysis Study, which tackled the necessary steps to take to fill in the gaps within the tourism industry and further decrease unemployment.

The courses offered within the program are only possible due to the collaboration among the various institutes at Bethlehem University, specifically, the Institute for Hotel Management and Tourism (IHMT), the Institute of Tourism Training (BUITT), and the Institute for Community Partnership (ICP).

A reception, which was organized by students from the Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism, was then held in honor of the graduates.

Equipo MEL de RELEM en Madrid

En la reunión ordinaria del equipo de MEL de la RELEM se han tratado diversos temas para dinamizar la formación y los aspectos de misión en la Región.


Una parte importante de la jornada ha estado dedicada a la elaboración de propuestas para la organización de la primera Asamblea de la MEL regional.

En este encuentro el Hno. Aidan en una intervención grabada agradeció la colaboración y participación activa del Hno. Jean-François en el equipo regional durante estos dos últimos años animando y participando en diferentes equipos y comisiones así como su habilidad y delicadeza en las traducciones.

El Hno. Jean-François el próximo curso tomará otras responsabilidades en su Distrito de Francia.

Entrega de Premios LSDreams en La Salle Campus Madrid

Una emocionante jornada en la que tuvimos el placer de contar con la presencia de:

Rvdo. Hno. Pedro Luis Rodríguez Álvarez, presidente La Salle Campus Madrid.

Rvdo. Hno. Aidan Kilty, consejero General de la región RELEM

Rvdo. Hno. Aquilino Bravo Puebla, visitador sector Madrid

Excmo. Sr. Musa Amer Odeh, embajador de Palestina

Sr. Aytaç Yilmaz, consejero de la Embajada de Turquía

La 6ª edición del concurso LSdreams ya tiene ganadores. El concurso, iniciativa de La Salle Universities, y abierto a estudiantes pre-universitarios de centros lasalianos de Europa y Oriente Medio, de entre 16 y 20 años, ha premiado propuestas de Zaragoza y Las Palmas de España, y en otros países han ganado equipos de colegios de Egipto, Turquía y Palestina. Su objetivo principal es motivar la inclusión de los valores éticos en el desarrollo de proyectos de investigación que mejore su entorno social. Los proyectos ganadores tratan temas amplios como el control vía domótica de ventanas, medidas de seguridad para los aviones, temas más sociales de inserción refugiados, los trastornos alimentarios o el reciclaje y mejora energética.


El objetivo del concurso es fomentar entre los jóvenes la sensibilidad y la capacidad de reflexión en torno a las implicaciones morales y éticas en las cinco áreas de conocimiento propuestas por la organización. Los proyectos presentados deben pretender la mejora de su entorno más cercano, siendo proyectos innovadores de investigación y desarrollo en los ámbitos de arquitectura, ingeniería, salud, gestión empresarial y ciencias de la vida y la Tierra.

En la edición de este año, el concurso ha otorgado cinco primeros premios, un accésit, un premio extraordinario y el premio ASSEDIL (Asociación Europea de Directores Lasalianos) y un accésit, otorgado por esta misma institución.

  • Mejor proyecto en la categoría de Ingeniería y Premio Extraordinario LSdreams: grupo “Smart Window” de l’Ecole des Frères de Belén, en Palestina. El equipo está formado por los alumnos Nora Marzouqa y George Khalilieh y con la tutora Ekhlas Bannoura. El proyecto se refiere a la domótica en hogar y concretamente en las ventanas. La tecnología desarrollada se incorpora al funcionamiento normal de la ventana pero además incluye una aplicación para el teléfono móvil que permite su control y además incorpora un detector de gas que en caso de fuga abre de forma automática la ventana evitando la intoxicación de sus ocupantes.
  • El jurado ha decidido otorgar un Accésit en el área de Ingeniería al grupo “SavePlanes” del Colegio La Salle Palma de Mallorca, formado por los alumnos Lucas García Bennetty, Oliver Zidouh Jiménez y Omar Ntifi Matarín y por el tutor Pedro Bartolomé Conde Riera. Su proyecto contempla la inserción de cabinas extraíbles con paracaídas en la parte superior de los aviones, para que en caso de accidente de aviones comerciales, las cabinas se extraigan automáticamente y aterricen establemente.
  • Mejor proyecto en la categoría de Gestión Empresarial y Acessit ASSEDIL: el grupo “Green Asylum” del St. Joseph Fransiz Lisesi de Estambul (Turquía). El equipo está formado por los alumnos Ece Ari, Sinan Onukar y Ece Ercanli, y por la tutora Maral Basma. El proyecto desarrollado trata de un tema tan actual como los refugiados. Los alumnos han diseñado un modelo de negocio sostenible e integrador para los refugiados en zonas urbanas que les ayuden en su capacidad de recuperación, rehabilitación y sostenibilidad. Se ha diseñado un espacio común verde en estas zonas urbanas, en las que se integren la hidroponía, la permacultura y agricultura urbana. Sería un espacio donde compartir de forma colaborativa y obtener productos que pudiesen vender en el mercado.
  • Mejor proyecto en la categoría de Salud: el grupo “Healthcare”, del colegio La Salle Santo Ángel de Zaragoza. El equipo está formado por los alumnos Natalia Melero Valero, Alba Mascarós Ibáñez y Alba María Amorós Ginés, y por la tutora Pilar Pascual García. El tema del proyecto son los trastornos alimentarios y el diseño de una aplicación que ayude a superarlos.
  • Mejor proyecto en la categoría de Ciencias de la Vida y la Tierra: el jurado decidió otorgar dos primeros premios que recayeron en el grupo “Pisgriculture” del Collège Saint-Marc de Alejandría (Egipto), formado por los alumnos Ibrahim Ayub, Samuel Abou Elkher y Youssef Elias y por el tutor Ihab Ghobrial. El proyecto consiste en la explotación de los recursos disponibles que de forma habitual se desperdicia como el agua sobrante en la cría de peces en un tanque, o el agua de los aires acondicionados. Contempla que se puede reciclar esta agua, utilizar el espacio disponible más eficientemente, y proporcionar alimentos, especialmente en los países en desarrollo.
  • El premio fue compartido con el proyecto Neoteric E- unit, presentado en la modalidad LSdreams Proyecto Colaborativo (colaboración entre dos equipos de diferentes colegios) realizado por un equipo del Collège des Frères de Jerusalem (Palestina), formado por los alumnos Rand Khoury y Wassef Daher y por el tutor Amer Qaisy; y otro equipo de La Salle Palma de Mallorca (España) formado por el alumno Rafel Llobet Tur y por el tutor Pedro Bartolomé Conde Riera. En este caso además del primer premio compartido en la categoría también consiguieron el Premio ASSEDIL. El proyecto añade mejoras a las unidades de energía solar y eólica, así como a las baterías de larga vida, con recursos sostenibles muy simples, que se pueden utilizar para el hogar o en vehículos mecánicos como barcos
  • En la categoría de arquitectura el jurado ha declarado desierto el premio.

RELEM Visitors’ Conference – París 2016

The 2016 RELEM Visitors’ Conference took place at the Maison La Salle, in Rue de Sèvres, Paris, from Monday April 25 th to April 29 th . The Conference was hosted by the Brother Jean-Paul Aleth (Visitor) and the District of France and was presided over byBrother Aidan Kilty, the General Councillor with responsibility for RELEM. 23 Visitors, Auxiliary Visitors and Delegates attended the Conference from the 8 Districts and Delegation of the Region of RELEM.

foto conferencia (2)

The opening days of the Conference were devoted to a reflection on the future restructuring of the Region in the context of the changing demography of the Districts and the need to ensure the sustainability of the Lasallian mission in the Region into the future. This part of the Conference was facilitated by Brother André-Pierre, former Auxiliary Visitor of France, and after much reflection and discussion the Conference put in place the mechanics for a Regional MEL Council with a key responsibility fo organising the first Regional MEL Assembly. The Conference also decided to change the composition of the Regional Council by reconstituting it as the Council of the Titular Visitors with the aim of collaborating and reflecting on crucial Regional issues with the General Councillor for the Region.

Following the opening days of reflection, the Conference then addressed its normal business such as attending to the financing of the Regional structures, including the Regional Novitiate in Madrid, and receiving the reports of the various groups or councils working on behalf of the Region – such as MEL, Assedil, NGOs, Universities, the Administrative Council of the Novitiate, and the Young Lasallian Council. The French representative on the RELEM Young Lasallian Council, Bérengère Pichelin, presented this latter report. The financial challenges of the international Institute were presented to the Conference through a video link by the Institute Bursar, Brother Ambrose Payne. The Conference also had the opportunity to discuss future plans for the Lasallian centre in Parmenie and through a presentation entitled “Project Adrian Nyel” the Conference explored the Regional response to the 45 th General Chapter’s propositions with regard to the creation of international communities for vocational discernment in areas of social deprivation. One of the final sessions of the Conference explored the responses of the international Institute and the different Districts of RELEM to the on-going migratory and refugee problems affecting many parts of the Region particularly in the Middle East.

Thanks to the hospitality of the District of France, the participants of the Conference enjoyed a recreational afternoon and evening taking in some of the sights of Paris on a cruise along the River Seine followed by a celebratory meal hosted by a Parisian Lasallian family.

Con la Palestina nel cuore

Tra il 7 e il 19 marzo di quest’anno si è svolto, presso l’Università di Betlemme in collaborazione con Occhi Aperti, società cooperativa sociale ONLUS, un simposio di arte contemporanea, il primo simposio organizzato dalla Bethlehem University.

Quella di Betlemme è l’unica sede universitaria cattolica in Terrasanta, la prima registrata in Palestina nel 1973 e s’ispira alla tradizione educativa e spirituale Lasalliana.
Frequentata per il 25% da cristiani e per il 75% da musulmani, l’università provvede a fornire:
. l’educazione cattolica ai Cristiani di Palestina
. un campus che costituisce un’oasi di pace in un territorio travagliato
. un importante ed effettivo luogo di incontro dove Cristiani e Mussulmani s’incontrano, studiano, costruiscono amicizie ed imparano a vivere insieme.
L’università fonda la sua esistenza sulle donazioni in quanto solo il 35% delle spese è costituito dalle tasse pagate dalle famiglie di studenti e studentesse. Queste ultime costituiscono il 70% dell’utenza.

La proposta del simposio è stata fatta da Enrico Muller, presidente della cooperativa Occhi Aperti, a Peter Iorlano, docente e coordinatore dei valori dell’università, nel 2014.
Come a Scampia le artiste e gli artisti hanno lavorato a contatto con la popolazione studentesca. Samar Ghattas, Mohamed Harb e Ramzi Abu-sway, palestinesi Susanne Muller, tedesca, Titi Neacsu, rumeno, e Antonella Prota Giurleo, italiana, hanno potuto costruire, attraverso l’azione e la parola, relazioni tra loro e l’ambiente.

Particolarmente interessanti, dal punto di vista relazionale, professionale e della comprensione dei problemi dell’area, sono stati i rapporti con studenti e studentesse, con le artiste e gli artisti palestinesi, con alcune istituzioni, l’università Kalima di arte e la Bank of Palestine per quanto riguarda la collezione di arte palestinese.

Peter Iorlano ha organizzato per la compagine europea (artiste e artisti palestinesi non hanno libertà di movimento all’interno dei territori occupati) alcune visite sia a luoghi sacri per la cristianità che ad altri di interesse storico e archeologico.

Enrico Muller e Antonella Prota Giurleo sintetizzeranno, per le persone che vorranno intervenire, l’esperienza vissuta.

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