PHILIPPINES: Salesian missionaries launch new technical-vocational training facility at Don Bosco Mati thanks to the BDO Foundation
(MissionNewswire) Hundreds of disadvantaged and out-of-school youth will benefit from a new technical-vocational training facility built on the grounds of the Don Bosco Training Center Mati which is located in Mati City within the Davao Oriental province on Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines.
The new center was built by the BDO Foundation which provides disaster response advocacy including relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction initiatives. Donations pooled by BDO employees enabled the construction and also provided tools and equipment for student training.
The project is in response to the destruction that was caused in 2012 by Typhoon Pablo which battered Davao Oriental devastating thousands of residents in coastal areas. One of the strongest storms to have hit Mindanao, the typhoon damaged homes, infrastructure and school buildings.
Over the next three years, 560 senior high school students from Don Bosco Mati and neighboring public high schools are expected to learn technical-vocational skills through workshops conducted in the new facility.
Don Bosco Mati was entrusted to the Salesians in 1998 and over the years has established itself as a resource for the community which is made up of mostly poor and marginalized families. The Don Bosco Training Center in Mati has served more than 2,000 youth since its launch in 1992. Graduates are hired by some of the biggest industries and companies in the country.
The new two-story structure was presented to Salesian school administrators and students in an event led by BDO Foundation president, Mario Deriquito, BDO Foundation program director, Rose Espinosa, and BDO Davao-Mati branch head, Gail Lawas. The new training facility was accepted at the ceremony by the Cebu Province Provincial Superior, Father Godofredo Atienza, Don Bosco Mati Training Director, Father Rex Carbilledo, and the center’s Rector, Father Rey Jude Albarando.
At the event, Fr. Albarando said, “We Salesians work hard, but we know that without the assistance of others, we could only go so far. We are grateful to people who have a heart for the needy. Thank you to the BDO family for your support. You have given us Salesians not only the reassurance that God never abandons us. You have also given hope to hundreds, even thousands, of youth in Mindanao.”
Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines—working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. According to UNICEF, there are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent.
Salesian missionaries, supported by funding from Salesian Missions, were on the forefront of disaster relief during reconstruction after the Nov. 8, 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) devastated the country. According to United Nations estimates, 11.5 million people were affected by Haiyan and close to 1 million were displaced. More than half a million were homeless and living in the streets among the debris. Salesian missionaries mobilized all resources and efforts to aid the victims of this and other disasters.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
UNICEF – Philippines