Standing for Education to Life

Don Bosco Battambang on August 2013 aBattambang. In an open hall, which was once the entirety of Vithayalai Don Bosco Battambang, the first Official Graduation Ceremony took place on the 9th of August 2013, and was attended by the schools staff and students, as well as the students’ parents. Invited to attend and take part in the ceremony, having arrived from Phnom Penh the day before, were Fr. Cef Ledesma and Fr. Leo Ochoa. Fr. Leo Ochoa there to witness the First Opening of the School in 2000 and now the First Official Graduation Ceremony in 2013. Continue reading

For those who think governments should be run like a business

This video of MBA is a good illustration of why governments should not be run as a business and it is of course a great temptation, especially in our time of globalization. Common good is the purpose of any government – it is the ideal – while business is made in order to get profits. A government thinking its citizens such as customers or shareholders is then far from the real purpose of it.

Kep Province Governor presided Don Bosco Kep Graduation Day

Kep Governor Khen Satha gives the certificate to Lyheng, Front Office senior graduating. At the center Fr. Albeiro Rodas, Don Bosco Technical School Kep's Rector.

Kep Governor Khen Satha gives the certificate to Lyheng, Front Office senior graduating. At the center Fr. Albeiro Rodas, Don Bosco Technical School Kep’s Rector.

Kep Province — CAMBODIA – Friday, September 06, 2013. The governor of Kep Province, Mr. Ken Satha, presided the first graduation day of the new Don Bosco Technical School in this Cambodian region, 164 kilometers south of Phnom Penh over the Gulf of Thailand and near the Vietnamese border. The technical school opened in October 2011 to attend young people from Kep, Kampot and Takeo provinces and began with a group of 40 in the sections of social communication and hotel skills to lost only 4. The group that left at the end of June for training, has been engaged in different jobs especially in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville in hotels, radio stations, television channels and web development companies. Continue reading

Cambodia’s Education System

Cambodian schoolProfessor Kenneth Wilson of the Royal University of Phnom Penh brings us a deep reflection on the Cambodia’s Education System in an article at The Cambodia Daily, A System Utterly in Need. The time is greatly appropriate when we are few weeks away from the next national elections and parties are discussing on the meaning of development. Continue reading

An agricultural technical center to fight child labor in Battambang

Don Bosco Battambang 2013Battambang. It is common to see several constructions sites in modern Cambodia. It is as the former war destruction is already over and everyone is building something to recover the lost time. Unfortunately, the building of schools, hospitals and community areas is much less than the fever for hotels, restaurants, casinos and resorts. Unemployed young people find easily jobs in construction this time, but in many occasions many of those workers are as young as 7 and 10 years old. In Battambang it can be also a norm to see children in construction sites and the brick factories. Continue reading

Kep Province, rising from the ashes

The official opening of a residence for young women studying at the Don Bosco Vocational Center in Kep City was the opportunity to remember that the tiniest Cambodian province was few decades ago a scenery of violence under the action of the Khmer Rouge guerrilla. ‘Our province was sadly a place of violence. We remember for example the regrettable fate of three foreign young men kidnapped and murdered by people without mercy in 1994, not far from this place, where now we see the growing of this technical school for a more peaceful and progressive future of our nation,’ said Kep Province‘s governor Ken Satha during a ceremony at the school last Wednesday 7th November. Continue reading

Digital volunteers?

This week we were reflecting about volunteer work that, most of the time, means to move from your own country or region and spend time far from home in another culture. This morning of Saturday I had with my students of communication a video conference offered by a Colombian photojournalist from Medellín, Diego Andrés Sánchez-Alzate. He made a valuable introduction to photography and photojournalism for those who love it, by showing his own works on Flicker. Photography is a composition and a story told by images, colors, lights and textures, he mentioned, while photojournalism is a careful attention to events. Thanks to the Skype, 18 Khmer students of communication could enjoy the exposition of a young Colombian journalist, far from them more than 18 thousand kilometers (11 thousand miles.) Diego offered his conference, then it is also a great way to be a volunteer online. Just you need a computer, Internet connection, someone ready to translate and the will to share with other communities in any corner of the planet.

IT in Cambodia, opening the doors to knowledge

Very often we get this question: Is it prudent to teach IT in schools and other centers of education for children in Cambodia? Of course, questions like this come from benefactors of humanitarian organizations or their leaders. We can find benefactors open to donate books, computers and Internet access, but some leaders show hesitation over the idea of teaching IT to Cambodian children. Continue reading

Donate a computer, donate a library

I have this idea that in what is related with donations and aid, education is a superior tool to contribute to a developing nation like Cambodia. If you come from an industrialized country, it is easy to feel pity for impoverished families and child beggars. Then it seems a good action to give money to them, without the idea that by doing that, the only outcome is the production of more beggars. Then beggars do not have a real future. Building schools, at the other hand, is a better option. It is possible to build a school in a rural area with 40 thousand US dollars – it is the cost of a car, many of them running throughout the Cambodian roads. Then a school opens another doors for poor Cambodian families. It needs the support of many others to guarantee that children will continue their education. Continue reading

Social Communication past pupils meeting in Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville. Cambodian TV Journalist Huy Bunleng, invited to the second Don Bosco social communication and journalism past pupils, is among Kin Kroch, senior leader of the Don Bosco association of past pupils and Albeiro Rodas, director of the social communication project of Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia last Friday evening. Some past pupils give a gift to Kroch. Down some beach children of Sihanoukville and the next photo is of a Don Bosco student of TV camera recording the cultural program during the thanksgiving day. ‘Be trustworthy journalists to help in the improvement of life of your own country,’ said Bunleng to the young communicators. The social communication and journalism section of Don Bosco Sihanoukville was open in 2007 by Albeiro Rodas to prepare sensitive communicators to the Cambodian reality under the ideal ‘Khmer helps Khmer.’ It has already more than 60 past pupils. In October 2011 a number of 40 new students will join the program, 20 in Sihanoukville and 20 in Kep.

Man accused of sorcery fears for his life

Ratanakkiri. A man of 56 years old, Rocham Cha of the Jarai ethnic, in the North Easter province of Ratanakkiri, fights to demonstrate to his community that he is not a sorcerer. The event has a more serious context. In the last years, human rights organizations such as Adhoc and Licadho, denounce the dead of persons who have been accused of practicing magic, specially in this very natural province, but in other Cambodian provinces as well. Continue reading

Peter Woznica, Polish scholar about Khmer language

Peter Woznica, a Polish scholar doing a volunteer in the Don Bosco school in Sihanoukville, speaks about the Khmer language and education in Cambodia.

Sihanoukville in Medellín

Well, my vacations in Medellín, Colombia, has not been properly tropical at the best style of what it could be in Cambodia. First, because Medellín is on an Andean valley, more than 1,500 meters above the sea level (4,921 feet). Second, La Niña took umbrage with Colombia (it is predicted that there will be rain all the year). Third, Medellín is really huge (a population of 3 million persons with cars everywhere) and has not yet a real organized urban transport with the exception of Metro de Medellín that, for me, still one of the most beautiful and clean of the world (however, the Metro of Hong Kong is amazing.) The city is building a new system of urban transport, Metroplus, that is expected to make the most modern and organized urban transport in a South American city… we hope. Continue reading

Sawasdee Foundation and Don Bosco open new basic school in Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville. Last Wednesday, February 9, the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia celebrated the opening of a new primary school in the Keo Pos Village, Tom Nop Rolok District, in the area of the Sihanouk Province. The ceremony was presided by the governor of the province. Mr. Meas Vuthy, the DBFC country representative, Fr. John Visser and the president of the Sawasdee Foundation, Mr. Hector Loontjens. The chief of the village, Mr. Ban Sarom, was also in the ceremony at the side of students and teachers of the Don Bosco schools of Sihanoukville. Mr. Ban Saron said in his speech that the new primary school is made by six classrooms, 12 toilets and 2 washing rooms. The work had a cost of 16,000 donated by the Sawasdee Foundation, which headquarters are in Holland. Governor Meas Vuthy gave to Mr. Loontjens a gold medal as a thanksgiving to the Sawasdee Foundation and Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia for their commitment to the development of education in the country and especially in the Sihanouk Province.

Report and photos by Mr Chhin Sieng & Mr. Sokken

DonBoscoTalk| A Dutch benefactor of Cambodia

On January 6, 2011, Mr. Gerard A.M. van Hal visited the Salesian works of Don Bosco in Cambodia and shared with Don Bosco Talk Youtube program in the Audiovisual Center of Sihanoukville.

Planning a major event

Looking now for scapegoats of the Koh Pich tragedy will not lead to peace at all. If guilty, all of us. Education, prevention and social discipline are elements that do not come out from night to morning. We should remember that Cambodia is a developing country and that we are three decades away from the nightmare of brutality and violence. The Koh Pich tragedy is a historical and sad lesson, but we all should concentrate now in avoiding the next tragedy. To do so, we must work in the formation of a safe mentality that is in general lacking if we just see for example how people drive a car or a motorbike in Cambodia. How to plan a major event? Let’s see. Continue reading

The relic of Don Bosco will cross the former Khmer refugee camps this Thursday

Last November 17 a curious guest arrived by plane from Seoul to Bangkok and visited all the Don Bosco schools in the Southeast Asian kingdom where the Salesian educational community has been working for underprivileged children and youth since the 1930s. Continue reading