Bosco Volunteer Action (BOVA) is the overseas volunteering organisation of the Salesians of Don Bosco in the UK, a Catholic Religious order. It offers placements for adults to serve the young and the poor, living and working alongside Salesian communities around the world.
In addition it supports and encourages methods of raising awareness of development issues. This includes short term group experiences of the developing world for groups from schools and sixth forms, working with other groups who have had an ‘experience of poverty’ and instances of development education (justice and peace) within youth ministry.
In all aspects of BOVA’s work there is a particular focus on providing a well-planned educational experience; stimulating, preparing and encouraging a long term involvement with development issues, faith and the Salesian Family (see articles in the Tablet and Universe (on second page) for more information).
Continued involvement is key to the work of BOVA, below you will not only find stories of peoples experiences while on placements, but how their experiences have encouraged them to partake in other projects.
BOVA Website: http://boscovolunteeraction.co.uk
BOVA Resources Page: http://boscovolunteeraction.co.uk/Resources.aspx
Most Recent BOVA Stories
22nd-25th November Back to the Future took place at Savio House in Bollington, UK. Although the weather was wet and a little cold the participants were full of life, energy and enthusiasm to explore the idea of taking their voluntary experiences and building the future.
25 Participants from 8 countries took part. We were pleased to welcome Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Malta, Poland, Spain and UK. Together they had volunteered across Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
With these experiences they shared, contemplated and expanded on how they can continue to remain active and helping those in need. They explored the challenges young people face in their own countries. They looked at examples of local initiatives that have been set up and what kind challenges young people face. Together they formed ideas for local initiatives they could get involved with and even set up.
Active citizenship and Volunteering challenged their ideals. What does it mean to volunteer? What is active citizenship? How are they different? Working in groups they discussed their views and opinions trying to create a universal and agreed definition. Using Youth in Action and local initiative as a focal point they developed projects and ideas that they could do.
Our DBYN expert trainers from Malta (James) and Austria (Eveline and Kathi) delivered the program. With their skills, expertise and energy they enabled the participants to use their own volunteering experiences and develop new ideas for future engagement through local initiatives and with the help of Youth in Action. A BIG THANK YOU TO THE EXPERT TRAINERS
The UK Hosting team (Sue, Patrick, Ste and Marie) enjoyed Back to the Future and providing a very British service of tea, biscuits and socialising. “It was jolly good fun old chap”- Sue
Now Back to the Future has ended and the participants have left. They can now begin to engage in their local communities with some of the challenges young people face.
ON the 11th to the 14th October, myself and Partick Kerridge attended a DBYN network meeting in Logroño, Spain. The meeting was hosted by the Spanish youth ministry team, Confe Don Bosco, who were also holding their 17th congress of the Salesian youth centres at the same time. Confe Don Bosco were concentrating on how recent levels of youth unemployment has affected Spanish volunteers. DBYN saw this as an opportunity to work alongside Confe and discuss how DBYN can tackle youth unemployment as a network and to discuss what each partner organisation are doing within their provinces to reduce unemployment.
Two volunteers (Liam Parr and Alex Snee) from the United Kingdom have gone to America and help with Camp St. Francis. Here is a little update about how they are doing over there:
“So far in America, we have met so many amazing people, we have eaten a proper maccies, been to the ‘movies’, seen santa cruz, eaten in an ice cream palor that was in ‘up’, spent a fair amount in the converse shop, and then we possibly could be going to LA, seeing Hollywood and Disney land after work finishes but tomorrow: we are going to the jelly bean factory for a private tour love it soooo much! cant wait to start the camp either because it’s going to be amazing!”
The title may suggest that we arrived at this DBYN seminar in Vienna just to be told to leave, but thankfully not! After 14 or so hours of travelling, I arrived to the Studentenheim Don Bosco to a warm welcome from the Salesian community and the volunteers who had already arrived. The volunteers were getting to know each other with various games involving standing on chairs….it could only be a DBYN seminar!
LEAVE actually stands for ‘lifelong engagement after volunteer experience’. An amazing seminar aimed at young people who have done some voluntary service abroad for 3 months or more. (more…)