Great Britain – Paul and Alan: new BOVA volunteers

(ANS – London) – Paul and Alan are two BOVA volunteers (Bosco Volunteer Action). Alan is the first volunteer BOVA project has sent to Don Bosco Ashalayam, Kolkata. He is spending 2 months initially with the community in Kolkata and hopes to return for a longer term placement over the course of his career break. Paul is currently on his gap year before beginning university this September, and he joined Angela, another BOVA volunteer, at the community of Don Bosco Hotel School Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Motivated by putting his faith into action through service, Paul will spend 6 months with the community initially assisting at the “Gelato Cafe” run by the community and their students.

This is how the new BOVA volunteers introduced themselves some days ago:

My name is Alan, 38 years old, about to volunteer with the Salesian Community in Kolkata, India. I am taking a career break from my role as a Police Officer in London and wanted to explore the possibility of assisting within communities overseas.

I heard about the Salesian Community through a work colleague and the thought of helping and supporting children in India really appealed to me. I’m hoping my positive attitude, communication and life experience may give those children some added support and motivation as they develop.

I’m really looking forward to experiencing the different culture in Kolkata and meeting and engaging with the children and community as a whole.

My name is Paul Clark. I am 19 years old and I am about to embark on a volunteer mission experience to Don Bosco Sihanoukville in Cambodia. I am a devout Roman Catholic and am an active member in my local Parish in Saint Mary’s Brigg. I live in North Lincolnshire with my parents, my older sister and my two brothers and have just finished A-levels in Chemistry, Physics and Biology. I will be taking up a place at the University of York in September to study Politics.

I decided to go on a mission with the Salesians of Don Bosco because I believe that God has graced me with many gifts and I want to show my gratitude to Him through service. I also want to develop spiritually and religiously as I start a new phase of my life. I have always believed in the power of education and its power for social mobility and this is a belief that I think I share with the Salesians of Don Bosco. I have also been blessed with excellent parish priests from whom I have been fortunate to learn. They are men who have seen the world and understand that we must meet people where they are if we are to spread the good news of Christ; I share this view with them and, I believe, Don Bosco himself who understood that people must be able to relate to us before we can pass on the word of God effectively. Overall, I believe that the Salesians are a good fit for my faith outlook and relationship with Christ, which is exactly why I decided to go on a volunteer mission experience with the Salesians of Don Bosco.

I am most looking forward to living and working in a close-knit spiritual community and starting a new challenge. From a more selfish perspective, I am looking forward to experiencing a new culture and seeing, first hand, what I am told is a very beautiful country.

“Please keep Paul, Alan and our volunteers currently on placement, Angela in Cambodia, James and Peter in Vietnam, in your prayers,” says Anita Morais, from BOVA project.


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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