CAMBODIA: New Shelter Provides Housing to Young Women Pursuing Vocational Education
(MissionNewswire) On Nov. 7, 2012, the Salesians of Don Bosco in Cambodia celebrated the opening of the Piet de Visser House, also known as the Banteay Srei Women’s Hostel, for female students and teachers at the Don Bosco Vocational Center Kep. Among the dignitaries included in the opening ceremonies was the program’s benefactor, Mr. Piet de Visser, the namesake of the house.
The name ‘Piet de Visser House’ honors Mr. de Visser who has supported Don Bosco projects for several years, most specifically those that offer youth opportunities for education and hope for a brighter future.
The opening ceremonies began at ten in the morning at Rua Hall with honors to the National Flag and speeches by H.E. Ken Sotha, Fr. John Visser and Mr. Piet de Visser. The students at the Center performed two traditional dances for the occasion.
Construction on this residence and other new facilities at the Don Bosco Vocational Center has been ongoing throughout the students’ school break. Students returning to start a new academic year this past fall found many new additions to the Center as well as new coursework. New buildings include the Banteay Srei Women’s Hostel, the Angkor Borei Center – a male student residence, Don Bosco Kep Radio Station and the Don Bosco Kep Farm.
Although the new facilities’ construction has been completed, the students are in need of furniture.
“The first students are sleeping on mats,” says Father Albeiro Rodas, who is in charge of Don Bosco Vocational Center Kep. “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 has already become 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.
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 female 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.
Salesian Missions – Work in Cambodia