SAMOA: Students fill community employment needs
Don Bosco Technical College constructs new hospitality and cooking classrooms
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Technical College in Alafua, Samoa, has constructed classrooms for the hospitality program to ensure students have equipment that replicates a commercial kitchen and café. This will provide students with a better quality and more cohesive educational experience. The development of these classrooms was made possible thanks to NCOBF Pty Ltd. and St. John Bosco Parish Engadine.
The new facilities were developed after research and consultation with the community. Salesian missionaries discovered that resorts in Samoa were having difficulty acquiring suitable employees with the appropriate hospitality skills. Qualified local staff are preferred rather than hospitality staff from overseas. Don Bosco Technical College is working to fill the void.
The hospitality program aims to introduce students to a variety of skills, while increasing their literacy, math, interpersonal and communication skills. After completing the program, students will come away with a variety of skills including preparation and serving of food, beverages, and alcohol; business technology; customer service and communication; and environmentally sustainable tourism.
Students are also preparing food that is available for sale for students and teachers. The funds collected are used to buy food and supplies for the course. When the facility is not utilized by the school, the space can be rented in conjunction with the college’s existing event space for private functions. This also provides an income stream for the course and school to ensure sustainability.
“Youth unemployment in Samoa is high, and this course enables students to find and retain employment as they fill a need within the community,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The goal of Salesian education is for students to learn a skill that enables them to become self-sufficient and contributing members of their community.”
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 Mission Overseas Aid Fund
Don Bosco Technical College Alafua
Salesian Missions – Samoa
World Bank – Samoa