It was 24 May, 2004, under the sign of Mary Help of Christians, when 5 past pupils of the Salesian vocational training schools of Thailand, a teacher, and Fr Tito Pedron – an Italian Salesian missionary at the service of the Salesian Province of Thailand (THA) for over 40 years – rented a house to start the Laos Project. They started with 12 students: the year after, there were 24. When the inspectors sent by the Ministry of Labor visited, they were very impressed by the professionalism of the teachers and the level of learning of the students.
Given that the country is governed by a communist government, the Salesians, while enjoying the esteem of the authorities for their work in the field of formation, cannot spread the Gospel. But they can spread the Don Bosco Preventive System through education.
For this reason, and always with the aim of providing local youth with more opportunities for the future, the local "Don Bosco Center" has decided to carry out a project in cooperation with the Youth Union - the youth organization of the Laotian Communist Party - of the Vientiane capital and Vien Kham, the rural site of the initiative. The course being offered is an intensive vocational training course to train mechanics specialized in servicing motorcycles.
"Here, where the most popular means of transport is the moped or scooter, it is certainly a winning choice from an occupational point of view," commented the Salesian Fr Patrizio Maccioni, also an Italian missionary for decades in the Thai Province, asking for help from the Salesian Missionary Office of Turin, "Missioni Don Bosco."
The course, of brief duration, shall be attended by 25 youths, selected among the poorest in the area, due to their not being able to take longer courses in more distant cities; many will also be hosted in a boarding school. In this organizational phase, they are also trying to raise funds to support the expenses related to food, accommodation and training of future students.
Further information is available at: www.missionidonbosco.org