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(ANS – Kep City) – Last October the “Don Bosco Vocational Centre” in Kep City, began some experimental projects and is now working on formation programmes for needy young people, with 40 students (including 17 young women) in social communication & journalism and hotel skills (housekeeping and front office) programmes.
Students were selected from the applicants to the Don Bosco Technical School in Sihanoukville. Among the 300 selected, preference was given to those young people coming from the provinces of Kep, Kompot and Takao, because 50 percent of the Don Bosco Sihanoukville students' population comes from this south-east area, bordering Vietnam. Two young men studying communication are from Kompong Thom, a very populated Cambodian province with the lowest educational capacity (availability of facilities) in the country. Two young men from the Kreng indigenous communities of Ratanakiri province were also accepted.
So far lessons have been held in the old buildings of the institute but work is in progress on the main building that will be for the social communication & journalism section (ground floor), secretarial section (first floor) and male students residence (second floor). In November work also began on the construction of the female residence building.
The new centre is being well received by the local people. “We appreciate all the support we are receiving in order to develop this new educational project for the good of Cambodian young people, “ – says Fr Albeiro Rodas, Vice Rector of the community in Sihanoukville – “We expect that the Don Bosco Vocational Centre in Kep will have a positive impact in this region made up largely of fishermen and farmers.”
In the meantime the first fruits of the work can be seen: various audiovisual media and organizations are requesting students from Kep as cameramen and audiovisual editors and local hotels also looking for skilled personnel from the hotel skills programme.
The Salesians therefore are looking ahead: to developing an audiovisual centre, similar to the one in Sihanoukville and constructing bungalows by the seaside that can be a place for the training of students, while also providing some income.
It is possible to keep in contact with the Kep centre in various ways: through their site, on Facebook (Don Bosco Kep) and on Twitter (SDBofCambodia), while on YouTube there is a video showing the activities and explaining the purpose of the Salesian centre.