One of the teachers, Chou Sokly, was asked by a visitor: what makes you happy here in Don Bosco? And he surprised all with an unexpectedly joyful and emotional, even tearful response: "I'm happy here because we feel like we are in a family here; we are like siblings to each other. We are helping our disadvantaged youth with professional education to stand up in society."
Almost 20 years ago, in 1999-2000, a small Don Bosco literacy center opened in Salabalath with the assistance of the Don Bosco Children Fund of Cambodia. Only a few kilometers from here is the FMA Sisters house and Vocational Training Center in Battambang City and also another Don Bosco (Academic) School in Andaugh Chenh where the small SDB community is based. Thousands of children have received their basics in education thanks to Don Bosco.
Reshaping the Salesian presences in Cambodia means focusing on the essential and possible, according to the needs of poor young people. After almost 20 years, the Salabalath Don Bosco school with a few hundred students was phased out and we focused on vocational training through agro-technical education.
The well-established adjacent farm focused not only on rice production and raising animals, but is specialized in seeds. There are four lay mission partners in charge of the main sectors - PDO, Don Bosco Children Fund, Vocational Training Center and Farm. We are proud to strengthen the self-sustainability of our center with hard work in production in the shops as well as on the farm.
"We are proud to strengthen, through our hard work, the self-sufficiency of our center," say the heads of the vocational training institute, who also promise to continue working for a long time still, always with renewed energy, to offer young people in need of a high quality professional agricultural training.