PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Don Bosco Technical School graduate credits the education he received for later success in life
(MissionNewswire) Xavier Loipio, 33 years old, credits the success in his life to the time he spent at Don Bosco Technical School in Gabutu, an area within the city of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. He graduated from the school in 2009 with a degree in maintenance fitting and machining. Loipio started his career as a marine fitter at PNG Dockyard Ltd and has worked in the industry successfully for 10 years.
Life wasn’t always that easy for him. Loipio explained, “I dropped out of high school, lived the life of a drug addict for three years and had an attitude problem. Then to make ends meet, I resorted to selling betel nut. As the days rolled on, I often wondered, ‘What will I do with my life?’ One day I was encouraged by Father Jess Escala, the former principal at Don Bosco Technical School, to enroll in the school, so I did. At Don Bosco, I received what I needed to succeed including punctuality, counseling and time management. Don Bosco was the light at the end of my tunnel to become an outstanding citizen, a successful and professional skills person and a role model in my community.”
With the skills he acquired at Don Bosco Technical School, Loipio went on to obtain his tradesman certificate at Port Moresby Technical College, certificate III in machine fitting in mechanical trade at the Australian Pacific Technical Coalition, and an advanced diploma–I.V.Q Level 3 in oil and gas maintenance at Kumul Petroleum Academy, South Pacific Employment Institution.
“One of my greatest accomplishments has been as president of the Australia Pacific Technical Coalition Alumni PNG from 2017-18. During my time there, I met educated professionals in the technical and vocational training and educator sector,” said Liopio. “These are the people who have inspired me to become someone in life. I am grateful to all of them. I am also one of the pioneers of Kumul Petroleum Academy/South Pacific Employment Institution as well as part of the fourth graduating class from the ExxonMobil training program. With my leadership qualities, I am presently working as a mechanical technician team leader with Comlek Electrical Engineering Ltd, an Australian-based company.”
Loipio added, “Without Don Bosco, I would not have been able to accomplish these things. I am eternally grateful to Don Bosco for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”
Papua New Guinea has a population of approximately 7.5 million. It is a resource-rich country with oil, gas and gold reserves as well as fertile land capable of producing high crop yields. Despite this, an estimated 40 percent of Papua New Guineans live below the poverty line of $1.25 per day, according to the World Bank.
Close to 50 percent of adults are illiterate and 25 percent of children are unable to attend school in Papua New Guinea. Part of the problem with getting to school, work and hospitals has to do with the country’s infrastructure. In rural areas, where nearly 88 percent of the population resides, there are few roads or means of transportation to get to schools or places of employment.
Salesian missionaries in the country provide primary and secondary education as well as technical skills training to prepare youth for the workforce. Missionaries also help to ensure that basic needs like shelter, food and water are met so students are able to focus on their studies.
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Salesian Missions – Papua New Guinea
World Bank – Papua New Guinea Poverty