The new Don Bosco reception center welcomes women with children in Tijuana
(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco Reception Center, a new space dedicated to the accommodation of women with children, was inaugurated in Tijuana, Mexico. The reception center was set up to help women at risk, especially migrants. Women can receive legal, psychological, medical and spiritual services.
Both the Salesian missionaries and the authorities responsible for assisting migrants have noticed an increase in the flow of migrant women in Tijuana. The Salesians developed the new reception center in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNICEF.
According to Fr Agustín Novoa, director of the Salesian Center in Tijuana, the reception center model promotes “social friendship” in which the international agencies involved in the project, government entities and the host community work together to support the women.
The common interest of the institutions involved is to work together without competition to provide a safe space for women and their children, and to put women, their dignity and the defense of their rights at the center of attention. Fr. Novoa said: “It is a great challenge that involves going out of our comfort zone, being open to dialogue, going out to meet others, learning to live with others and seeking our commonalities. “
This new reception center is one of several projects launched by the Salesian Center in Tijuana, which since 1987 has provided services to migrants and poor young people living on the border between Mexico and the United States.
The Salesian Center acts as a hub for migrants who, in addition to essential material help, are also offered a familiar and welcoming environment. They have access to haircuts, a change of clothes, a shower, and the ability to call and contact families. The Salesian Center also has a partnership with the Red Cross and local volunteer doctors who offer psychological and medical help and assistance.
Within the Salesian Center is the Padre Chava refectory which provides meals and other aids to migrants from Mexico, Central America and Haiti, as well as to the homeless, the elderly, the disabled and to those who suffer from extreme poverty. Dining room staff also help migrants obtain or manage their official papers and play a very important role in caring for migrants stranded at the border. In addition, Padre Chava’s dining hall serves as a hub for care packages, such as food and clothing, which were sent as aid to people in Mexico.
Fr. Nova added: “We are known and appreciated for the service we provide in the community. We offer food, nutritional, medical and psychological services, legal advice, and we also offer a reception service for men and now for women with this new center. We serve migrants, deportees, people in street situations, whole families and the elderly. For years we have seen many people suffer from the lack of opportunity, and during the pandemic the struggling population has increased. “
Photo ANS (authorizations for use and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
ANS – Mexico – Opening of the Salesian Welcome Center “Don Bosco” specifically for women
Salesian missions – Mexico
UNICEF – Mexico