"What attracts young people most of all is a good welcome"

After 150 years, these words of St. Giovanni Bosco still resound today in hundreds of meeting and welcoming places: the oratories and Anspi associations of Emilia-Romagna, whose presence has marked and markes the history of thousands of children, young people, families, seniors.

It is in these stories that the oratory enters as a place for meeting and sharing, for training, for personal and collective growth.

It is here that the educational passion translates into activities that concern the areas that best lend themselves to support educational pathways and to develop relationships between people: tourism, music, theater, sport, volunteering, training.

In Emilia-Romagna  ANSPI – the National Association of San Paolo Italy - is a reference point for 450 clubs and oratories, which every day receive almost 90,000 people.

It is with these figures that one of the strengths of the National Association is the Association which, in 1963, in Bologna, accepted the invitation of Pope Paul VI for a stronger pastoral action of the church aimed at children and young people.

It is precisely starting from this attention to the person in his entirety and to his uniqueness and respectful of each identity that over time have developed and articulated the activities of the speakers, the clubs and the association itself.

Anspi oratories and associations are present throughout the Emilia-Romagna region; a capillarity of experiences that corresponds to the capacity for initiative and the desire for the aggregation of people, parishes, communities, families, small urban contexts. The activities that develop in the oratory, as we said, are functional to building relationships and start from the daily needs of families and young people.

This includes, for example, summer groups, after-school activities and leisure time entertainment.

Structured activities, always based on the principle of volunteering, are constantly developed in these sectors:

• Sport to promote physical activity, aggregation and team activities that ensure everyone's participation;

• Music and theater, to encourage the learning of new expressive languages ​​and the development of creativity;

• Group tourism to promote new human relationships in sharing environments marked by beauty, history, art and culture;

• Training, constantly aimed at educators, to develop their listening, planning and animation skills.

The management of these activities would probably be unsustainable if the clubs and speakers did not have services able to lighten and support them in the labor, insurance, administrative, legal and legislative aspects that are linked to the various events.

The risk, in fact, would be that of a commitment no longer concentrated almost exclusively on educational paths.

It is then here that the supports guaranteed by the ANSPI come into play and, even before and every day, from the 12 territorial, committees that are active in Emilia-Romagna.

This integration allows the acquisition of the best advices, the most effective services and the development of common strategies in which each can find an answer to their specific need, thus creating homogeneity on criteria and methods that guide the activity of each association and oratory.

Also in this network we are educated then to listening, to respect for each identity, to mutual formation and above all to that welcome which, as Don Bosco said, attracts young people and

people of all ages.




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