SAMOA: Plumbing student encourages other young women
Don Bosco Technical College has its highest enrollment with 40 girls among 180 first-year students
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Technical College in Alafua, Samoa, currently has its highest enrollment with 40 girls among 180 first-year students. Since 1988, Don Bosco Technical College has been known for offering quality skills-based education to disadvantaged youth. Many of the students have not been able to complete mainstream educational due to poverty, family and social issues. This is a second chance at education for them.
Over the years, the college has become well-known throughout Samoa and the Pacific for its excellent technical training and focus on integral student development. Originally established as a school for young men ages 16-22, the college opened enrollment to girls in 2020.
Ms. Farene, a second-year student, is happy with her choice to specialize in plumbing. She said, “I felt that plumbing is my calling. I want to get a job to help my family as they’re not well off and I want to help them in any way I can.” Farene encourages young girls who want to become plumbers in the future to not hold back.
The college provides both classroom and hands-on learning to ensure students are prepared for the workforce. In 2019, the college extended the duration of the work experience for students from two weeks to four weeks.
The importance of a work-study experience has been backed by a study conducted by the Samoan Qualification Authority, which also found that the Salesian college has the highest number of graduates that go on to be enrolled in the private sector. The college places an emphasis on building confidence, self-esteem and teamwork, as well as a love of culture through singing and dancing.
Most recently, with the assistance of the Australian High Commission Office in Samoa, 20 sewing machines were purchased, and the college introduced a successful 10-week evening sewing course open to the local community. The first course was organized after school hours and had a large number of participants. This was followed by two additional 10-week courses which recently finished. More than 40 women have already signed up for the next course.
Although Samoa has made impressive progress in social development, many rural communities in the country grapple with an unequal distribution of wealth and benefits. Poorer communities in remote parts of the islands are particularly vulnerable, especially in areas most likely to be affected by cyclones or other natural disasters. Gender inequality is apparent as women strive and often fail to find the same work and income opportunities as men. Youth find it increasingly difficult to find livable wage employment in the country.
Photo courtesy of the Australian Salesian Missions Overseas Annual Report 2020
Salesian Missions – Samoa
World Bank – Samoa