Fr. Roel Soto, Provincial Delegate for Cambodia, and Dr. Ang Koon San, Schneider’s General Manager for Cambodia, signed the agreement on 7 July in a ceremony that took place at the Don Bosco Institute in Phnom Penh; attending the event were members of the education and pastoral community and representatives of the multinational firm.
Schneider Electric develops technologies and offers solutions for managing energy and energy-related processes; hence, its contribution means significant support to the technical-educational projects of the Salesians in Cambodia, including a contribution to the latest programs and equipment in the electrical sector, improved equipment, and ongoing training of both teachers and students. The project, furthermore, introduces a source of sustainable energy via the solar-powered water pump to the Salesian community.
Sustainable energy supplies are becoming an important option for a country like Cambodia, highly dependent on importing energy from neighboring countries, why many rural areas are energy-poor or isolated. The training of Don Bosco students in this field will make a great contribution to the development of Cambodia as well as helping the Salesians guarantee a high-quality vocational program for children and teenagers who are most vulnerable and at risk.
“Schneider Electric shares the same objectives as the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia: to develop individuals and society through education and vocational training so people can improve and support themselves,” said Fr. Roel Soto.
At the signing, Fr Roel spoke of a former pupil of the Salesian center's electrical department. On completing his studies, the student started his own business. He began with a motorbike with which he and his collaborators would go from house to house to do small electrical repairs. After five years, this small firm grew to become a company that coordinated electrical installations and work in large construction sites. In this success story, the training program offered by the Don Bosco Foundation played a central role, allowing young people from the impoverished rural areas to break the vicious circles of poverty.