The two Don Bosco Schools in Samoa were established to provide young people with work-related skills. Their country experiences high levels of youth unemployment and many do not complete a formal education.
However, through these challenges the Samoans retain their strong family based cultural identity. The Don Bosco schools encourage students to deepen their understanding of who they are through music, dance and sport.
One of the pioneering Salesians at Alafua in 1985 was Fr Peter Carroll. In building the initial school premises, valuable guidance was given by Mr Marco Pradel, a Master Builder from Dandenong, Vic, and a group of Australian volunteers, directed the overall construction. Fr Peter recalled that, as a means of reducing costs, they made the concrete bricks for the building on site. The Technical Centre Alafua was set-up in 1988.
Students from Don Bosco Alafua
The Salelologa Co – Educational College Vocational Centre (on the island of Savai’i) was opened in 2011 after the community identified that the local youth were educationally disadvantaged. Fr Mosese Tui, a Samoan who had been stationed previously at Alafua, was responsible for overseeing the development at Salelologa and stayed on as Principal for eight years. His “Walk-For-A-Bus” and other fundraising endeavours have been a means of offering places in the school to girls and boys from economically poor families.
Sustaining the schools has been a challenge over the years as the parents of students are, in the main, subsistence farmers many of whom struggle to pay school fees.
Both Don Bosco schools are providing students with job skills and preparing them for employment, with most securing work soon after graduation. Your assistance through scholarships can provide an education to a student that would otherwise go without.
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