Laos - Concrete help to young people and families in difficulty

08 January 2019

(ANS - Vientiane) - From 2004 to today over 1000 young people from every corner of the People's Democratic Republic of Laos have received a good education and formation useful for life thanks to the "Don Bosco" Vocational Training Center (CFP) in Vientiane, the capital of the country. As the Director, Fr Patrizio Maccioni, illustrates, the center is the only Salesian presence in Laos, and began in 2004, thanks to the zeal of Fr Tito Pedron.

Given the country's political situation, the Vientiane Center had a humble beginning, one not without difficulty. The center, however, was soon recognized by the governing body "Youth Union Department" (Laotian Youth Union, youth organization of the Communist Party) which showed great interest in this nascent reality.

In 2008, the Don Bosco Center moved into what is its current location and the collaboration with the "Youth Union" was ratified by a contract for 5 years, renewable every five years.

Currently, the Salesian center receives about 150 students each year, mostly poor children from every province of Laos.

According to the contract, the "Youth Union", together with the Salesians, selects the students, who, in addition to economic difficulties, also often have insufficient school preparation, perhaps having dropped out of school just after elementary school. Students are selected after a written test and an oral interview.

Once admitted to the CFP, they can choose from a wide range of courses, all aimed at providing young people with a professional skills and vocational preparation that allows them to enter the world of work: courses as mechanics and electricians, which last one year and accommodate about 40 students for each section; and courses on welding and motorcycle repair, which have a six-month duration.

The Don Bosco Center has proved to be a great and important help for the poorest families in Laos.

Government agencies and many local authorities often express their appreciation and encouragement towards the Center because here students not only learn technical skills, but also grow at the human level.

According to data from the "Youth Union Department", about 75% of the boys who completed their studies at the Don Bosco Center found work.


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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