In this way, Don Bosco Kep will be a model for the Cambodian educative system to integrate children and youth who are physically challenged, including other Salesian projects in Cambodia that would prepare their own campuses for the physical access of disabled and elderly people. Just to change from stairs to ramps and include lifts to high towers, makes a big change, providing a real possibility for inclusion of people in any educative center.
It is also a Project that guarantees the preference of the Salesians of Don Bosco for the poorest, the most vulnerable and those at risk. Children and youth with special physical conditions belong to the marginal groups in Cambodian society. Many of them are kept in their poor homes, unable to attend school or prevented from getting a dignified job, while others are used as beggars in Cambodian streets, beaches and tourist spots.
Cambodian society has the duty to integrate all its citizens that are physically challenged and it can be done just with the construction of physical access in public places, schools and factories, while educating Cambodians on their acceptance and integration.
This is the message that Don Bosco is sending to Cambodian society with the Project “Transforming the Lives of Students with Disabilities” at the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia at Don Bosco Technical School and Children Fund of Kep Province. This is made possible by a donation of USAID through its Program “American Schools and Hospitals Abroad” (ASHA) and Salesian Missions of New York.
On Tuesday, January 31, during the Solemnity of Saint John Bosco, the Program starts at 7AM with the Mass presided by Fr Roel Soto at the Don Bosco Birth-House Monument. Fr Gianluca Tavola, parish priest of Kampot and Kep, will represent the Cambodian Catholic Church.
At 9AM there will be the official ceremony with the presence of Mr Sean Callahan, Deputy Mission Director of USAID in Cambodia, Fr Mark Hyde, Salesian Missions Director, Mr Jaime Correa-Montalvo, Director for International Programs and Fr Roel Soto, Superior of the Cambodian Salesian Delegation.
There is also a photographic exposition of Don Bosco Kep activities and Projects at the Multipurpose Hall, including graphic material about students that are physically challenged and have studied in Don Bosco.
At 2PM H.E. Khem Setha, Governor of Kep Province, will pay a visit to the Don Bosco Technical School and Children Fund. There will also be sports activities between students and teachers of Don Bosco Kep and Don Bosco Sihanoukville. The day will close with a Cultural Program led by the students and children from Don Bosco Kep.