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Don Bosco National YaR Forum Reflects on the Post-COVID-19 Situation of Young-at-Risk


By Father Thomas Aquinas
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Chennai, Jun. 18. An online discussion was organized by DB YaR Forum with the Regional Councillor for South Asia Father Biju Michael, Father Thathireddy Vijaya Bhaskar the provincial in-charge of YaR along with the YaR coordinators of all Indian provinces. The main focus of the discussion was adapting to the post COVID-19 situation work with the young at risk, revisiting the annual calendar of YaR, and felicitating Father Thomas Koshy on the completion of his 06 year term.
''A New commandment I give you, love one another, as I have loved you'' (Jn13:34). Sharing a reflection on the words of Jesus Father Thomas Koshy concluded his 06-year tenure as secretary of Don Bosco National Forum for the Young at Risk (DB YaR Forum).

Joining through online platform Father Biju, addressed the members of the forum for the first time. Congratulating the team for its service to the young at risk he quoted from GC 28 saying ''the Congregation is enjoying good health as our priority and radical option is in the defense of the children and young people at risk''. 'focus on migrants', 'Salesian presence' were emphasized throughout the chapter, He Said. DB YaR Forum is well ahead with its program ''Imagine YaR Ministry - Journeying together into tomorrow''. He requested the members to keep in mind the emphasis of GC 28 in their visioning exercise.

Discussions under various topics were moderated by Father Tony Pellissery, the new secretary of the Forum, who took charge from Father Koshy.

Father Koshy is one of the founding members of the forum. Under his leadership many programs such as child friendly cities initiative, participative action research, national juvenile justice alliance, migrants desks were initiated. On the technology front Child PPA (mobile app for biometric identification of children), Child MISS mobile applications were introduced. YaR Media, YaR research wings also were started. On the personal front Fr. Koshy was a member of the drafting team of JJ Rules 2015 at the invitation of the Government of India and he also participated as a panelist in one of the side events of United Nations on ''Youth Homelessness'' in February 2020.

Father Koshy proceeds to serve young children at Ramanthapur, Secunderabad as Director. He leaves behind a great legacy. The members also congratulated Fr. Tony Pellissery and thanked him for his generosity to lead the forum.

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