MYANMAR: Don Bosco Vocational Training Center graduates 43 students from seven different trade programs
(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Myitkyina, Myanmar recently held another graduation that included 25 boys and 18 girls who received their diplomas after completing their year-long program. Students graduated from carpentry, welding, electricity, automotive, tailoring, dressmaking and beautician programs.
Because the school is located in the northernmost part of Myanmar within the Kachin State which has a long history of armed conflict, some of the graduates were orphans and children from broken families. Salesian missionaries were happy to announce that 22 of the boys who graduated were immediately employed in their respective trades. Three of the remaining students went back to help their families in their rural communities.
Don Bosco Vocational Training Center has been in operation for more than 20 years. The school is operated by a small Salesian community with four Salesian priests, four sisters of St. Paul from the local congregation founded by Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon, and eight volunteer part-time teachers/instructors. The volunteers come from various religious faiths including both Catholics and Buddhists, who are working together to educate the students.
The school also provides room and board to its students and instructors. All of the buildings at the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center are wooden construction, with few walls made of bricks or cement. Salesian missionaries would like one day to be able to expand the boarding house to help graduates who already have jobs but have no place to stay in Myitkyina. They would also like to look at expanding the programs that are currently offered.
“We would like to increase one trade section each for boys and girls, possibly in computer science,” says Salesian Father Victor Nawki, who is in charge of the community. “There is also an urgent need for two buildings—a one-story building for the library and the study hall and another one for the new computer section. We also need more adequate textbooks for all seven programs offered at the school.”
“We also would like to upgrade the school to a secondary technical school. We are happy to receive any help through our Provincial Economer Father Leo Mang.” adds Fr Nawki.
While Myanmar is the second largest country in Southeast Asia and rich in natural resources, it is one of the least developed countries in the world, ranking 145 out of 188 countries according to the 2016 Human Development Report. More than a quarter of Myanmar’s population still lives in poverty with the poverty rate rising sharply to 70 percent for those living in rural areas.
Myanmar also has the lowest life expectancy and the second highest rate of infant and child mortality in the region. Just one-third of the population has access to the electricity grid, and only about half of school age children complete their primary education. Salesian missionaries operate 10 centers throughout Myanmar to help those who are poor, in need of education and are marginalized.
World Bank – Myanmar