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CAMBODIA: Construction Continues, Donations Needed at Don Bosco Vocational Center Kep

(MissionNewswire) Earlier this fall, students returned to Salesian-run schools in Cambodia to start a new academic year. Eighty students commenced programs in social communication, front office assistance, housekeeping and tailoring and electricity at Don Bosco Vocational Center Kep. Close to forty of these students are in their first year of the programs. During most recent semester break, many new additions to the Center have been added including new coursework, ongoing construction of buildings and a new farm.

“We decided to open one-year-courses in computer, English, art and tailoring at the Vocational Center in Kep because many students from the nearby provinces are unable to join our Don Bosco schools in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh,” says Father Albeiro Rodas, who is in charge of Don Bosco Vocational Center Kep.

The students returned to find many of the construction projects almost completed including the Banteay Srei Women’s Hostel, Angkor Borei Center – a male student’s residence, Don Bosco Kep Radio Station and the Don Bosco Kep Farm.

The Banteay Srei Women’s Hostel, a house for female students and teachers, is almost completed. The gate and gathering place for the students is still under construction but on Sept. 29, 2012, the new residents moved into the house. The official opening of the Hostel is slated for Nov. 6, 2012.

While the facility is built, the students are in need of furniture.

“The first students are sleeping on mats,” says Fr. Rodas. “While we did receive a donation of some furniture from the Sawasdee Foundation, the public request for donations of beds and other items has not yielded any donations yet. Beds especially are needed for our students.”

The Angkor Borei Center is already a main feature on the school campus. The three story building’s main structure is finished and is slated to be fully operational beginning in December or January. The Salesians are in the process of working to acquire a license to operate the new radio station, which will be utilized as a method of education and cultural promotion.

Another significant new project of the Salesians in Cambodia is the Don Bosco Kep Farm. The farm itself is ready with the main farm house in place and the land for crops becoming more viable each day.

“Both the structures to grow animals and the pond to grow fish are still under construction,” reports Fr. Rodas. “But students are helping on the farm when they can. Most of the students come from rural areas and have a background that benefits the farm. What is grown on the farm will be used to feed the personnel and students at the school.”

The Salesians have a long history of teaching job skills to youth in Cambodia. Through the United Nations, they began providing technical vocational education to Cambodian refugees living in camps along the Thai-Cambodian border in the late 1980s. In 1993, at the invitation of the government of Cambodia, the technical School in Phnom Penh was established to republish, translate, and write books and educational documents that were destroyed during the Khmer Rouge regime. It contained the only working printing press in the country—and served as a model of hope through education.

“As more and more programs for youth are developed in Cambodia, donations are needed to help make the programs and facilities fully operational,” explains Fr. Rodas. “We are still in need of furniture for both our male and females residences, audiovisual and other radio equipment for our radio station as well as updated water and electrical systems at the facility.”

For more information, go to www.donboscokep.org.

The Salesians are widely regarded as the world’s largest provider of private vocational and technical training. To learn more, go to www.SalesianMissions.org.

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See related article: CAMBODIA: U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Provides Assistance, Expertise to Salesian Trade School

Sources:

Salesian Missions – Work in Cambodia

Photo courtesy Don Bosco Vocational Center Kep

 

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