Cambodia - Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, together for the salvation of young people

14 November 2017

(ANS - Kep City) - These are days full of important events the Salesian Family is experiencing in Cambodia: first and foremost, the animation visit of the General Councilor for Social Communication, in the country to learn more about the many successful activities of youth promotion being carried out in the country through the media; and the two important anniversaries Cambodia's Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are celebrating.

Fr Filiberto González, World Councilor for Social Communication, paid a visit to Cambodia to know more about the Social Communication department. He was joined by Fr Drans Nolasco, SC delegate for the Philippines North Province (FIS) and SC coordinator for the EAO region.

The Social Communication program of Cambodia's Salesian delegation began in 2007 in Sihanoukville with the construction of an audiovisual studio and the engagement of nine young people from rural areas. Within the context of Cambodian development, media became a key to the reconstruction of the country and its economy. Television channels, radio stations, newspapers, and related were all in need of qualified personnel. In 2011, in Kep, a new technical school opened.

Between 2007 and 2017, nearly 1,000 young people from different Cambodian provinces received an associate degree in Media Communications and were able to work in different companies. The project also became a way to promote the charism of Don Bosco through activities like the translation of Salesian documents and messages into the Khmer language, the dubbing of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello  films, and reporting news from the Cambodian Salesian Family.

The Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, 25 Years in Cambodia

Phnom Penh. In 1992, Cambodia was going through an important time of building peace between bitter enemies, and looking for new ways to develop a country that had been literally destroyed by decades of wars, violence and cruelty. The years leading to the end of the 20th century were years of big social challenges to defeat poverty and rebuild an entire society, especially with - and for - children and young people.

Such were the conditions wherein the SDB and the FMA brought Salesian charism to the Cambodian people. On 8 December, 1992, four sisters arrived to Phnom Penh: Colombian Sister Teresita Garcia, Thai Sister Lakana Yawasang, Filipino Sister Maria Elena Estacio and Indian Sister Mary Aayila. They were the first cornerstones to building the pastoral-educative project of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello in a land when many young people and girls were struggling to survive and find ways for a better future.

Twenty-five years later, the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco keep growing not only in number, but in the quality of education and the power of faith. Cambodia itself is the center of the FMA Province of Cambodia and Myanmar (CMY) under the current leadership of Sister Jessica T. Salvaña. A joyful Salesian Family.

In a Buddhist country, where Christians are a minority, but a joyful minority full of love, union and ecumenical inspirations, the Cambodian Salesian Family is taking a lead. Alongside the SDB and FMA in this story of love are the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Salesian Cooperators, the Association of Past Pupils and the Volunteers with Don Bosco.

During the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco in the Kingdom of Cambodia (1992-2017) was the presence of this rich reality of persons and groups from all Cambodia, but also from abroad: volunteers, benefactors, official representatives, past pupils from the different branches, other Catholic religious and missionary groups, and the presence of the three apostolic bishops of Cambodia: Mgr Olivier Schmitthaeusler, Apostolic Vicar of Phnom Penh, and the apostolic prefects Mgr Enrique Figaredo and Mgr Antony Sami. Mgr Olivier dedicated his homily to highlight the historical moments of the arrival of the Salesian Sisters to Cambodia, and the positive impact of their apostolate.

Fr Filiberto Gonzalez, World SC Councilor, also attended the anniversary of the Salesian presence in Cambodia.

After the Mass, there was a cultural program with all of the spirit of Salesians, including music, dance and animation between the FMA and their pupils, children and young people. A group of children performed the historical moment of the arrival of the Salesian fathers, brothers and sisters to the Cambodian land.

On the evening of November 14, the 29 FMA sisters gathered in the Phnom Penh provincial house to give thanks and relaunch the missionary commitment of the first missionary expedition in 1877. The first FMA missionaries were sent to Uruguay. For the occasion, the General Councilor for Youth Ministry, Sr Runita Borja, former missionary in Cambodia, was also present.

The CYM province of the FMA Sisters has five communities in Myanmar and three communities in Cambodia, where the great majority are missionaries ad gentes coming together from 16 different nationalities.



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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