Environmental Fraternity Highlighted in Wantok Bosco Camp
Updated: Nov 4
Gabutu, Port Moresby: 220 participants from the Salesian Institutions in Port Moresby gathered at Don Bosco Technical School, (DBTS) Gabutu, for the yearly celebration of WANTOK BOSCO 2020. The fun filled faith and formation event had the participation of young people from Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu, Don Bosco Technological Institute, Boroko, Caritas Technical Secondary School, Boroko and Mary Help of Christians Parish, Sabama.
The theme for the event was the Strenna for 2020: ‘Good Christians and Upright citizens.’ Caring for the environment, learning to manage waste using the 3Rs (Reducing, reusing and recycling), experiencing and participating in intense moments of prayer were objectives that the participants dwelt on and engaged with while at the program.
Interactive group sessions by the speakers kept the participants attentive. Sessions dwelt on the theme, the documents of the Holy Father and opened the participants to possible outreach activities. Concrete resolutions of caring and protecting the environment was the highlight of the event. Participants have taken on the task of planting trees and caring for them down the years.
Group building activities gave the participants the opportunity to interact with each other and connect with like-minded persons who are deeply interested in witnessing to their faith. Practical activities harnessed their creative talents and enabled the participants to turn waste materials into something useful. Moments of prayer, the rosary and reflections were occasions to help the participants deepen their connection with God and celebrate their faith through the sacraments.
The loving animating presence of the Salesians, the sisters and facilators highlighted the family spirit. The event was made special by the presence of Fr. Alfred Maravilla, Councillor for the Missions and of Fr. Gregorio Bicomong, Provincial. The animators at the different sessions were Fr Alex Garces, Youth Ministry Delegate; Mr Martin Dai, DBTS Principal; Fr Ambrose Pereira, CBC SOCOM Secretary; Fr Srimal Priyanga, PGS Economer and Mr. Clement Kemokemo.
The well-planned event was organized and coordinated by Fr Pedro Sachitula, Rector of Don Bosco Technical School together with the dedicated Pastoral Team of the school. It concluded with the Eucharistic celebration on the Solemnity of All Saints. According to Fr. Pedro Sachitula, Rector of DBTS, the sessions for the entire camp were crafted to educate and involve students and the general public to develop firm convictions about the need to take care of the environment. “As a way of living and coexisting with the environment, we need to learn ways of managing our waste through reducing, reusing and recycling,” he said.
Comments from the participants:
"The most significant moment of the Wantok Bosco were the talks and reflections. I was enlightened by the session on Laudato Si and Fratelli Tutti” - Theresa, Sabama
"The 3R activities were most significant experiences of the camp as I realized that I can turn trash into something useful" - Ernest Ovia, Don Bosco Technological Institute, Boroko
"I enjoyed the content of the talks and above all the group sharing" - Mecklyn Okil, Pari
"I was touched by the motivational talk of Fr. Srimal on Youth and solidarity" - Ryan Miwasa, Gabutu Youth group.
“The walk to Ela Beach gave us the chance to reflect and appreciate the environment. We picked up rubbish lying in the streets and disposed of it in bins. It is my hope that this will become our daily practice”, said Ms Vanessa Siori, Student Animator of Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu.
"I enjoyed the entire program, especially meeting new people. I learned a lot from the 3R challenge” - Amy Kapil, Caritas.
"The moments of prayer, the Rosary, the silence and the Mass on Sunday were very significant highpoints for me” - Emmanuel A, Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu
WANTOK Bosco is a yearly gathering in the vice Province of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (PGS). It brings together catholic participants for a celebration of their Catholic faith in the style and manner of the Bosco Way. Solomon Islands has its own celebration due to distance and travel. Participants look forward to the event as the climax of the Salesian Youth Ministry of the entire year.
The insightful talk was presented by Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb, Social Communications Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference, to students who gathered in the AV hall of DBTS.
The retreat driven toward upholding its 2020 strenna: ‘Good Christians and Honest Citizens’, had the participation of more than 200 Salesian students and youths attending Catholic Schools, Institutes, and Parish Groups across Port Moresby. Participants came from Don Bosco Araimiri, Don Bosco Technical School, Don Bosco Technological Institute Boroko, Caritas Technical Secondary School, Mary Help of Christians Parish Sabama, and the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians.
Reflecting on the Holy Father’s Encyclicals, Fr Ambrose stressed that there was an urgency for fraternity and comradery to protect the environment and that each person had an individual yet crucial role in protecting the environment. “We need to connect and bring people together because there is an urgency, and it is the cry of the Earth and of the Poor. With the vast technology and resources at our disposal, each of us has to embrace and form a creative response that addresses the severe issues affecting the Earth,” he said.
According to Fr. Pedro Sachitula, Rector of DBTS, the sessions for the entire camp were crafted to educate and involve students and the general public to develop firm conditions about the need to take care of the environment. “As a way of living and coexisting with the environment, we need to learn ways of managing our waste through reducing, reusing and recycling,” he said.
A Motivational Talk was also presented to the youngsters and religious by Fr Srimal sdb, Provincial Economer, that dwelled on the role of youth and solidarity in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Ms Vanessa Siori, Student Animator of DBTS, recalled an enriching walkathon to Ela Beach that gave students a chance to reflect, bond and appreciate the environment. “Also incorporated into the walk was a cleanathon where students picked rubbish lying in the streets and disposed of in bins as they made their way toward the beach,” she said.
36 students also had the opportunity to participate in film making facilitated by the SOCOM Team, where they acted in short one-minute videos aimed at raising awareness in Recycling, Reducing, and Reusing.
Grade Eleven student of CTSS, Amy Kapi, said that through the various team bonding activities and the use of media she was now more confident in taking a proactive approach in preserving and caring for the environment.
The occasion was a time for Salesians and members of the Salesian family to unite, reflect and renew their Salesian core values and attributes of saving the environment, while taking heed of the COVID-19 Pandemic.