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What are the Salesians doing at Expo Milano 2015?

2015-07-05

Expo Milano 2015 has drawn nations, organizations, and companies from all over the world: from Angola to Argentina, and Coca Cola to Caritas.

But one of the most surprising participants may be the Salesians of Don Bosco and their pavilion, Casa Don Bosco.

The Salesians was founded in the 19th century by Saint John Bosco, with the purpose of helping young and poor children. The 200th anniversary of Bosco's birth is in August.

FR. CLAUDIO BELFIORE
Delegate of the Rector Major to Expo 2015
"Casa Don Bosco at the Expo was a surprise for us. Many wonder: What is Don Bosco doing at the Expo? We like this question because it is provocative.”

The theme for this year's Expo is "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Following that idea, the Salesians have created their own theme, "Educating young people, energy for life.”

The project has been years in the making. Visitors to Casa Don Bosco will be able to experience a wide variety of activities like vocational training and spiritual exercises.  

FR. CLAUDIO BELFIORE
Delegate of the Rector Major to Expo 2015
"It is a very simple experience. The person enters, feels welcome, delves into something, learns something about Don Bosco and then can continue visiting the Expo.”

Expo 2015 comes to a close on October 31st. But that doesn't mean that the work of Casa Don Bosco will end. In fact, the structure will take on a whole new life after the Expo.

FR. CLAUDIO BELFIORE
Delegate of the Rector Major to Expo 2015
"We knew that at the end of the Expo everything would need to be dismantled. The architects thought of making a sustainable structure that could be disassembled and reused. The structure is made of wood and steel panels that make walls. It looks like a house because it's so simple.”

Once the Expo ends, they will dismantle the house and ship it to Ukraine. There, it will be reassembled and used as a shelter for young people. There will be a school, chapel, and vocational training center.

Belfiore said, "We want this house to be a gift from the Salesian pupils.” And with that gift, the good that is being done at Expo will continue for years in one of the parts of the world that needs help most.


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