16 August 2019
Salesian missionaries of the Don Bosco Technical Institute are teaching English to the children living near to the Ranadi dump site.
I was really pleased to have been able to report a good news story the other day when I learned of the promise of a CT-Scan for the National Referral Hospital and today, Friday, I have learned of more good news related to the children living near the Ranadi dump site in a suburb east of Honiara.
The story, I will quote, comes from a news release by missionnewswire.org and re-published in the Solomon Times on Line.
Here is the story.
“The Don Bosco Technical Institute Henderson, located in Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands, launched a new project in 2019 to provide education to children living near the Ranadi dump site.
“The families who live there experience high rates of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy and most spend their days at the dump collecting materials that can be recycled.
“Children are very often working with their parents which prevents them from regularly attending school and receiving an adequate education. Due to the unsanitary conditions of the dump, the hygiene of these children and their families is precarious and negatively impacts their health.
“Since March, Salesians missionaries have been teaching courses to children, between the ages of 4 and 13, to read and write and to refine their calculation skills. Upwards of 70 students attend these lessons. Courses are also organized for older children who want to specialize in welding or manufacturing or work in the hotel sector. To date, there have been about 25 applications to participate in these lessons.
“The Salesian courses are aimed at raising awareness among parents so that they understand the importance of giving their children a proper education and are motivated to send them to school instead of working in landfills.
“In order to help the families replace the income that the children made while working, the Don Bosco Technical Institute has also created a program aimed specifically at mothers which allows them to use the institute’s land to grow vegetables which they can then sell back to the market.
“The Don Bosco Technical Institute has been providing education and skills training in the electrical, automotive, carpentry and machine fitting maintenance trades as well as life skills training and employment assistance for more 250 students over the last 16 years.
“While the majority of students are male, the institute has been working to increase the enrollment of female students by encouraging them to take courses in more typically male-dominated trades as well as providing opportunities for those who previously left school due to marriage or pregnancy. Currently, most young women begin at the institute with life skills training followed by courses in teaching and nursing.
“Most of the students at the Don Bosco Technical Institute are from poor families and many have dropped out of traditional schools,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “There, they are getting a second chance by learning skills that will enable them to find employment to support themselves and their families.”
I thank all at the Don Bosco Technical Institute for creating the programme referred to and for all the years of life skills training and employment assistance given to many socially disadvantaged students in the Solomon Islands for nearly two decades.