For the first time in company history, FedEx has donated a Boeing 727 aircraft to a Salesian university and Salesian Missions is proud to have helped make it happen. After a year of collaborative effort, this plane will now serve as a hands-on training tool for hundreds of students in El Salvador -- putting into practice one of the key principles of Don Bosco.
“Don Bosco was a man who was a ‘doer,’” says Adam Rudin, director of the Salesian Lay Missioners program who traveled to El Salvador to represent Salesian Missions when the plane was delivered.“He was a professor of faith in action, and if he had the choice between theorizing or doing, it’s safe to say he would have chosen ‘doing’ on every occasion.
“Sooner or later, in the course of vocational education, students need to stop studying and get their hands dirty.” Rudin added. "Thanks to FedEx, hundreds of students at the Universidad Don Bosco now have the opportunity to practice what they have been taught -- just like Don Bosco himself.”
Practical education is more important now than ever for El Salvadoran youth. While the country ranks highly for economic indicators, 12% of youth aged 15-24 are unemployed, and 41% are underemployed. This chronic lack of opportunity can cause frustration and disenchantment -- forcing many young men and women into gangs and other detrimental behavior.
By teaching skills such as aircraft maintenance, mechanics, electronics and engineering, Salesians at Universidad Don Bosco offer advanced educational and employment opportunities for vulnerable youth students, which in turn prepares students for participation in their country’s continued economic development. The newly donated FedEx plane will further support the university’s goal.
Each year, FedEx receives more than 300 requests for donated airplanes. In choosing the Salesian university as a recipient -- and working with the Salesians to bring this gift to fruition -- FedEx demonstrates a commitment to El Salvador’s youth. Together, they are helping students develop into productive citizens who can make valuable contributions to their own, and their country’s, future.
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