Queen Beatrix gave medal to director of the Don Bosco schools
Amsterdam. The director of the Don Bosco schools and Children Fund in Cambodia, Dutch Fr. John Visser, 78, was honored by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands with the Medal as Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau. Fr. Visser received the honor from the hands of the Queen on August 31 for his commitment and work for education to unprivileged children and youth in Thailand and Cambodia. The founder of the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia with Italian Br. Roberto Panetto, came to Thailand in 1956 and was involved in the development of technical schools in poor provinces of that country. In 1992 he was about to go in pension, when the Order of the Salesians of Don Bosco asked him to move to Cambodia to answer the request of the government to help Cambodian youth with technical schools. Since then, Fr. John Visser has opened with the support of a network of benefactors, mostly from the Netherlands, Italy and US, technical schools in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Battambang and Poipet and several literacy centers in different provinces. The Don Bosco Children Fund, also his creation in Thailand, has attended more than 40 thousand Cambodian children since 1993, helping them to return to school. Currently, the DBFC is developing the Don Bosco Vocational Center of Kep and it accepted an invitation of the governor of Stung Treng to open a technical school in that northern province of the Kingdom.