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Samoa's Don Bosco School gives students a 'second chance'

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 Contents - Dec 2008AD2000 December 2008 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Another Christmas and New Year edition - Michael Gilchrist
Novus Ordo: Vatican approves new Missal translation - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Pub life: Young adult Catholic ministry: ingredients for success - Br Barry Coldrey
Bishops' Synod on Bible concludes: Pope working on Apostolic Exhortation - AD2000 Report
The decline of British Catholicism: the future? - John Haldane
Missions: Samoa's Don Bosco School gives students a 'second chance' - Br Michael Lynch SDB
FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH: Which Church did Jesus establish with his authority? - Frank Mobbs
'Catholic literature': what does this mean? - David Birch
Letters: Strange 'bedfellows' - J. Loring
Letters: Pro-Life - Chris Hilder
Letters: Evolution conference - Grahame Fallon
Letters: The Leonine Prayers - Kevin McManus
Books: The Life of Saint Joseph, by Maria Cecilia Baij, OSB - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: Down in Adoration Falling, by Gareth Grainger - Br Christian Moe, FSC
Poetry: Genealogy - Bruce Dawe
Books: The Scope of Philosophy, by John Young - John Whitty (reviewer)
Schools: Blessed Mary MacKillop Colleges: 2009 enrolments (Jindera, Wagga Wagga)
Books: Books available now from AD2000 Books
Reflection: Benedict XVI's Christmas homily: how God became a child for us - Pope Benedict XVI

The Don Bosco Technical Centre at Alafua (near the capital Apia), established more than 20 years ago, gives a second chance to students who are 'drop-outs' from the Samoan educational system.

The Technical Centre caters for young men, aged 17 to 23.

The Centre is staffed by Samoans with Fr Petelo Vito Pau, a graduate of Catholic Theological College in Melbourne, its Principal.

Initially set up for 150 students, the current enrolments are 270. Each year the number of applicants wishing to attend Don Bosco exceeds the places available. With additional facilities and equipment the Centre will be able to accept more students.

The students who come to Don Bosco have had unhappy educational experiences. The challenge for them is largely to learn 'how to learn' and to overcome the discouragement and fear of failure that dominated their previous schooling.

At Don Bosco they have the opportunity to acquire skills in trades, viz carpentry, cabinet making, metal work, welding, and automotive mechanics.

'Upon completion of their course, the overwhelming majority of the students secure jobs. And that is a significant achievement in a country with a very high rate of unemployment!' Fr Petelo said.

'Right now, in Samoa, with a good deal of building being undertaken - both dwellings and commercial enterprises - there is a greater demand for those skilled in the building trades, especially plumbers,' he added.

Fr Pelelo is very keen to widen the curriculum at Don Bosco and include the teaching of plumbing. Of course, additional facilities will be required.

To construct a new classroom and obtain the equipment to teach plumbing, outside support is needed and it can be forwarded via the Salesian Missions Office.

Donations (tax deductible) for the Don Bosco Technical Centre in Samoa can be sent to: Salesian Missions Office, PO Box 264, Ascot Vale, Vic 3032. (Confirmation: Br Michael Lynch, (03) 9386-6302).

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 21 No 11 (December 2008 - January 2009), p. 9

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