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  • Isabella Saleu

‘Don Bosco Stap Wantaim Mipela Na Was Lo Mipela.’

Don Bosco be with us and guide us

Kumgi, Simbu Province: The students, staff and religious community of Don Bosco Simbu Technical College in Simbu Province, joined in mind, heart and spirit, their other Bosconian families across Papua New Guinea, as they began their annual Don Bosco Foundation Week on 16th – 20th August 2021.

With the theme, ‘Don Bosco Stap Wantaim Mipela Na Was Lo Mipela,’ the week-long program commemorated the 206th birth anniversary of St. John Bosco, Patron Saint of the Young and the 26th Foundation Day of the institution. A variety of activities organized by Fr. Clifford Morais sdb, Deputy Administrator of the college, coordinated and executed by teachers and student leaders, engaged the students in competitive and creative activities. It gave the students an opportunity to develop their talents as they worked together to prepare and conduct the different activities.

Each day had a theme under which different activities were coordinated. On Monday a Bosco Serenade was held in the Shrine of St. John Bosco whilst the Literacy, Talent and Fashion Shows were held in the school gym on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Concluding the week was the Don Bosco School Mass, which had Rev. Paul Sundu, Bishop of the Kundiawa Diocese as the main celebrant. Concelebrating with him was the Rector of the college, Fr. Dominic Kachira sdb and assisted by Fr. Edwin Genovia sdb, visiting priest from Port Moresby, Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb and Fr. Clifford Morias.

Processions were led by students from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the Highlands Region, whilst the Liturgy was animated by Bosconians from the Red House.

At the Eucharistic celebration twenty-three Catholic faithful consisting of students of the college and a few locals who were prepared by Sr. Alice Lonappan SCSA, received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the hands of Bp. Paul Sundu, Bishop of Kundiawa.

“The program was tailored to a high standard. Though it was a week out from regular classes, I must say it was an educative and informative week for students across the trades. All of us would agree that it was truly formative and informative in bringing out the best in our youth”, expressed Fr. Clifford.

He went on to express his gratitude to Fr. Dominic and Fr. Edwin for the support in endorsing the program and also thanked the Boarding students as well as the Student Representative Council for the hard work they put into the entire week.

Ms. Balphy Ulka, an instructor shared similar sentiments, saying the execution of the entire program was successful because it was mostly a student-centered way of learning and doing things rather than teachers and the students were fortunate to be part of it. “The celebrations offered the students a role model to live a good Christian, upright and honest life as a man or woman of character”, she said.

In an interview with the SRC President, Mr. Robert Gigimat said even though timing of each programs and movement of the students to and from venues was a little set back, he was proud of his SRC team and how they took initiative and went out of their way to plan the entire week and organise the programs for each day.

“Of course, the programs may not have turned out perfectly like we planned due to a lot of factors but I am so proud of the SRC, the teachers and all those who helped, especially other students, to get programs flowing each day. It was a great learning experience, and I am sure the first-year students got to see and experience first-hand what it is like to be in a Don Bosco institution trying to balance work, school, play and pray. I believe we truly promoted the Don Bosco Spirit during this time”, he indicated.

A two-day Media Education Seminar was also held from 17th-18th August, by representatives from the Social Communications Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

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