Monday, October 31, 2016

BIS #4966 A THOUGHTFUL DIWALI

by Cl Chris Ferreira

 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, OCT 31, 2016: The students of Don Bosco High School celebrated Diwali – the festival of lights - in villages around the town of Chhotaudepur from October 16-19. 


Batches of 30 students from class 9 and 10 visited the villages of Tundva, Kavra, Malaja, Sengla and Pratapura with Brother Ramesh Durairaj.

 

The students purchased goodies with their own finances for the villagers. They bought sweets, firecrackers, notebooks, pens and other stationery. 


The students even staged a street play depicting the festival as pollution free and a prosperous one. A dance performance was also included for the occasion. 

 

Speeches were given by the students in front of the Sarpanches of the villages and the thoughtfulness of the students of Don Bosco High School was lauded by all.

 

The four- day programme was ingenious in its way of celebrating Diwali.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

BIS #4965 EAST ASIA OCEANIA CONGRESS OF PAST PUPILS

by Ketan Gala

 

TIMOR LESTE, OCT 27, 2016: Delegates from nine countries attended the 11th East Asia Oceania Congress of Salesian Past Pupils entitled 'Serving God through our fellows' by promoting good education, economic solidarity and social justice that was held at Dili, Timor Leste from October 4 to 8. 

 

This Congress is held every four years and in this edition 26 delegates represented the Indian National Federation (the biggest). Ketan Gala, the National President, Father Noel Madhichetty, the Salesian Family Delegate of South Asia joined other SDB Provincial Delegates and Past Pupils from the various provinces as participants at the congress. 

 

The participation and presentation of the Indian Delegation made an impact at the Congress. Father Jayapalan Raphael, Provincial of Chennai, attended the Congress as the World Delegate of the Past Pupils.

 

Michal Hort, the President of the World Confederation of the Past Pupils made a presentation of the Strategic Plan of the World for the next five years.

 

Presentations were also made on the four flagship projects, namely, the Permanent Secretariat, Business Platform, Exallievi Academy and Exallievi Voluntary Service.

 

All participating Nations also presented their reports and the report discussed by India's delegation was considered the best among all the nations.

 

The Various National Presidents and Secretaries along with the National Delegates then had closed-door meetings with the World President and his team. 

 

After two days of discussions, a resolution was signed by representatives from Australia, Cambodia, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and the World Confederation Presidency members.

 

The resolution stated, "We, the Alumni of Don Bosco of East Asia Oceania region commit ourselves to care about the world, making it a worthy dwelling place for us and for those coming after us, and with a clear social concern and justice, taking into consideration the seven key priorities of the World Confederation Strategic Plan."


"We resolve that every National Federation will prepare by 31.1.2017 their development or strategic plan, indicators and timeframe based on the seven key priorities of the Past Pupils Association."

 

"We resolve that every National federation will work actively on the networking of their Past pupils by completing the preparing of the database within one year based on the format suggested by the World Confederation of the Past Pupils."

 

The National Federations formulated seven priorities after the group discussions. They included formulating a growth and sustainable structure, networking in vocational and career guidance, formation in leadership, financial management, marketing and time management.

 

Gex Promotion was singled out as another priority. Funding and fundraising was also underlined as essential, while the need to tap Family formation was stressed upon.

 

They also prioritised the need to establish various communication channels using all available means such as online social media applications.

 

The Congress concluded with promises from all to attend the next East Asia Oceania Congress at Japan in 2020.

BIS #4964 SWACHH BHARAT MISSION

by BIS Correspondent

 

NAVI MUMBAI , OCT 27, 2016: As a part of the 'Swachh Bharat Mission' and a campaign initiated by the Rotary Club of Navi Mumbai, to beautify Nerul station, Don Bosco school, Nerul conducted a cleanliness drive on October 23 at the station, which is often found littered with garbage.

 

Twenty students of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), along with their teachers, and the rotary club members carried out the cleaning campaign at Nerul station. The students were divided into four groups and each group was allotted a different section of the station: the foot-over bridge, platform and the two entrances. 

 

The students began by picking up the dry waste like cans, wrappers, bottles, plastic bags and collected them in the garbage bags that were provided, followed by sweeping the area. While doing so, many good Samaritans also joined in the cleaning process and offered them a helping hand. 


The railway authorities appreciated the service rendered by the students. The participants of the programme hope that an initiative of this nature will help create a positive change in keeping Mumbai clean. Roshini, an SYM member said, "The change should come at the root level."  

BIS #4963 DIWALI DHAMAKA

by Father Kiran Salve

 

WALVANDA, OCT 27, 2016: Around 250 children – from Jawahar and Mokhada blocks - attended a three-day long Diwali Dhamaka that began on October 26 till 29 at Walvanda.


The Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) youth and career guidance team came up with the idea of starting Diwali Dhamaka. 

 

Father Anaclete D'Mello stressed on the importance of being happy in his opening address. The community of BSVS Walvanda has a dream of reaching out to people of the area and the mela helped them do just that.   

 

The main reason for organising the programme was to make children happy in the Don Bosco Spirit. The BSVS seeks to inform the youth of the work of Don Bosco and his system. 

 

The team also aims to give children the opportunity to express themselves at various levels. By cultivating a spirit of friendship with children, the community wants to reach out to people efficiently. 

 

Father Rixson Nigrel and Sebastian Francis were instrumental in planning the event.

BIS #4962 ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRAINING FOR TRIBAL WOMEN

by Father Kiran Slave

 

WALVANDA, OCT 27, 2016: Sixteen tribal women from Jawahar and Mokhada blocks of Walvanda attended an income generation skill programme organised by Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) Walwanda on October 24 and 25.

 

Father Anaclete D'Mello spearheaded the programme in a bid to make tribal women economically sound and to build confidence with the appropriate resources available at their surroundings.

 

Meena Padvi and Seeta Sambar, the main resource persons for the programme are themselves from tribal backgrounds and successfully run their own businesses. 

 

To kick-start the programme as a business venture, BSVS gave participants an opportunity to make 800 flowers. BSVS also contacted various schools and made them aware of the project, which these women seek to initiate. 

 

The schools in turn agreed to co-operate with the venture. Now, at an appropriate time the women will be introduced to RAAHA Foundation for direct marketing.  

 

During the programme, the women were given theory and practical lessons. Father Rixson Nigrel and Prakash Wagh also shared some tips on entrepreneurship.  

 

At the end of the second day, the women who attended the course were confident to start their own small-scale business.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BIS #4961 FAMILY DAY UNITING PARISHIONERS

by Jasmine Filipe

 

KUWAIT, OCT 26, 2016: Eight months of meticulous planning and 450 volunteers made the Theresian Family Day, celebrated to aid the Bahrain Cathedral, possible on October 24 in the North Arabian Vicariate.

 

The Parish Council of Saint Therese joined forces with the army of volunteers to plan the event, which began at 9 am with an Opening Prayer by the Parish Priest, Father Blany Pinto. 

 

After lighting the inaugural candles, the Saint Joachim and Ann Children's Choir Group sang the Saint Thérèse hymn. The Salesian Provincial of Mumbai Province, Father Godfrey D'souza addressed the crowds with inspiring insights and then declared the Family Day open.

 

The fete was thoughtfully spread out in the entire premises of the venue. The basketball Quadrangle hosted games of skill and action for the young and not so young. 

 

The Quadrangle was creatively designed and managed by the Altar Server Ministry boys and the small Christian community members. Parishioners of all age groups moved from game to game – winning some and losing some but never giving up! 

 

The "Buy a Brick for the Cathedral" and the "White Elephant Stall" were also crowd pullers. Winners visited the Gift Stall to select their prizes which were generously donated by the parishioners. 

 

For the very young, a Kid Zone was set up in the other quadrangle. The voices of excited children filled the air as they rushed from Face Painting and Body and Nail Art to the huge Bouncy Castle. The magic show amazed everyone big and small.

 

The indoor auditorium hosted cultural programs by the various communities of the parish – from skits to dances, from sing-a-alongs to perfectly choreographed sound and light shows. The talented parishioners regaled one and all with their lively programmes from across India. The highlight was the performance by the differently-abled children of the Faith and Light Community.

 

The three Live Bands – The kid's band "The Soul Stirrers", the teenage band "The "Zodiac" and the youth band "The Gravity", rocked the floor all day. All through the event, one could not ignore the mouth-watering aromas wafting from the food court. Treats from all over India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines kept the visitors coming back for more.

 

Family Day brought all the parishioners together for a great cause. Nelvis and Anita Sequeira summed it well, "Our parish family is a circle of strength and of love, with every union the circle opens." 

 

As the day came to an end, the coordinator of the 'Theresian Family Day' Wilfred Vaz, invited the council members to take centre stage. He thanked them for working as one cohesive family and organising the event. 

 

He expressed thanks to all the donors and volunteers. The grand finale was the much-awaited Raffle Draw. The crowd held their breath as the winners were announced. The Theresian Family Day drew to a close at 9pm with a Hymn to Our Lady of Arabia.

BIS #4960 SHELTER DON BOSCO MELA ON NUTRITION AND FOOD

by Father Roshan Gonsalves

 

MUMBAI, OCT 26, 2016: Shelter Don Bosco, Wadala, hosted the Monthly Mela themed around Nutrition and Food for 72-street boys on October 20.

 

The Mela began with a prayer service with registrations and breakfast thereafter. Father Gregory Almeida, Rector, Shelter Don Bosco welcomed all present and informed them about the topic of the day and gave them a few tips on how to maintain good health. 


Thereafter a powerpoint presentation was done by Raymond, the coordinator of Saksham Project,  where he explained that roadside food, though cheap, can be harmful to the body and does not provide the necessary supplements and nutrition that are required by the body. 


He talked about the importance of Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Vitamins and Minerals. The children then broke up for various activities such as hair cutting, nail cutting, bathing, medical care and distribution of clean clothes.

 

Shabra, Monali and Gracy, shelter staff, taught the street boys how to make kandeels (lanterns) and lamps (diya) for Diwali. 

 

Salesian Cooperators from Our Lady of Dolours Parish, Wadala came forward as volunteers to help out at the mela.

BIS #4959 DON BOSCO GIRLS TO REPRESENT INDIA AT TARGETBALL

by Cl Chris Ferreira

 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, OCT 26, 2016: Saraswati Bawla Rathwa and Ankita Ishwar Rathwa did Chhotaudepur proud by being selected to represent India at the International Target Ball Tournament slated to be held in Singapore.

 

Shailesh H. Darji, the coach for the team, received the news about the selection of the Girls for the International Arena in Target Ball on October 19. 

 

A month ago, six girls and five boys from Don Bosco High School and College, Chhotaudepur made it to the headlines of local newspapers when they were selected to represent Gujarat in U-19 Target Ball at the National Level. 

 

Both the Girls' and Boys' team for the State of Gujarat performed splendidly in the National Event held at Warangal, Telangana. 

 

The Boys' team entered the League of the final four and lost it to Delhi at the fourth place. 

 

But the girls, like at the Olympics made us proud by losing to the state of Andhra Pradesh in a fierce battle in the final. While Andhra Pradesh lifted the title, the Girls of Gujarat won the much-desired Silver in the Tournament. 

 

"This was given to me as an opportunity to play for my district and now I get to play for India. May God be with us and so also the Gold," Ankita Rathwa said. 

 

"Girls from humble villages such as these as Jamla and Sajauli will exalt Chhotaudepur," Vijay Kharadi, the Collector of Chhotaudepur, said recently. His words have come true today. 

 

We thank Don Bosco for setting his heart in this God given place.

Monday, October 24, 2016

BIS #4958 SAVIO FOOTBALL CLUB ARE WINNERS

by Cl Chris Ferreira 

 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, OCT 24, 2016: Savio Football Club (SFC) narrowly beat Bosco Football club (BFC), 1-0 in the final of the seven-a-side Savio Football Tournament that was hosted by the Past Pupils of Chhotaudepur Association under the guidance of Brother Ramesh Durairaj, the Director of Lok Seva Kendra, Chhotaudepur at the Salesian Institute of Chhotaudepur on October 13.

 

Nineteen teams from Salesian schools in the Gujarat Region of the Salesian Province of Mumbai participated in the competition. Both team's put on an impressive display in the final. However, Vechat Rathwa's strike was the difference between the two sides and handed his Savio FC the title.

 

Father Brian Boothello, the Rector of the institution, handed the victors Savio FC a cash prize of Rs 5001 and a trophy. Rathwa took home the title of the Best Player of the Tournament and a cash prize of Rs 501. The runner ups also received a cash prize of Rs 3001. In his address, Father Boothello lauded Brother Durairaj for his efforts in reviving sport in the region.

BIS #4957 DON BOSCO CHHOTAUDEPUR GIRL'S ARE HOCKEY CHAMPIONS

by Cl Chris Ferreira

 

CHOTTAUDEPUR, OCT 24, 2016: Don Bosco High School and College in Chhotaudepur lifted top honours by beating Aravalli, 3-0 in the girl's Under-17 State Hockey Tournament that took place in Chhotaudepur on October 12.

 

Aravalli, time and again attempted to enter the Chhotaudepur D, but failed to convert. Their opponents seized the initiative and counter attacked with a vengeance. Sejal Rathwa scored a brace for Chhotaudepur, while Bhavna Rathwa sounded the board once to complete a comprehensive win in the final.

 

Twenty two teams from the different districts of Gujarat participated in the tourney, with Aravalli, Baroda city, Chhotaudepur and Navsari making the cut for the final four.

 

While talking about the pride brought to India by her daughters at the Olympics, the District Collector of Chhotaudepur, Vijay Kharadi, expressed his hope that the youth would someday do the country proud, "Girls from humble villages as these will exalt India," he said.


On the other and, in the boys Under-17 State Hockey championship played at Don Bosco School and College in collaboration with the District Sports Office of Chhotaudepur on October 11, Sports Authority of India (SAI) edged out Don Bosco High School Chhotaudepur, 8-7 via a sudden death shootout in the final.

 

Twenty eight teams from across the state - that included Valsad, Navsari, Baroda, Modasa, Chhotaudepur and SAI – participated in the tourney. Lalit Rathwa opened the scoring for Rathwi early. SAI struck back to even scores. A late strike from Jigar Mahesh Rathwa handed Don Bosco's the lead.

 

However, in the last five minutes of regulation time, Lalit Rathwa was suspended. SAI took advantage of the one-player less and netted the second goal to even scores 2-2. Even a penalty shootout failed to produce a winner as both team's remained level. SAI's players held their nerve in the sudden death shootout to claim the title. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

BIS #4956 REGIONAL COUNCILLOR MEETS THE SALESIAN FAMILY

by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, OCT 19, 2016: Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Salesian Regional Councillor of South Asia, while meeting the Provincial Council of the Salesian Cooperators, Past Pupils and ADMA on October 15 at the Don Bosco Provincial House in Matunga, stressed on the need for Salesians to expand their scope of service from being institution-centric to work for the good of society.

Father Vivian D'Souza, the Delegate for the Salesian Family, greeted Father Kanaga and presented a report on the three branches of the Salesian Family. Jacinta D'Souza, Provincial Coordinator for Cooperators, then spoke about the various units and activities of the Cooperators. Amar Prabhu represented the Past Pupils and Marian D'Souza touched upon ADMA. Sister Catherine, FMA Delegate of the Salesian Family was also present.

After listening to the reports being presented, Father Kanaga stressed on the need for the Salesian movement to be more inclusive in its approach and that the numbers of Cooperators, Alumni and ADMA should increase steadily. He said the Salesian Alumni should be tapped in more effectively to achieve this goal.

He added, there was a need to move from just being groups within the Salesian community to a movement in the Province with each unit contributing in terms of numbers and quality, in all sectors of the Salesian Family.   

Father Kanaga maintained that he was aware of the constant change of delegates, but pointed to the importance of the Salesian Family being independent and vibrant and not being totally dependent on the delegate or the Institution.

After the appointment of Father Pascal Chavez as the Salesian Rector Major, attempts were made to promote lay groups of the Salesian Family, but the initiative was not successful. The Councillor for the Salesian Family was handled by the Vicar of the Rector Major; but he had several other portfolios and so he could not devote much time to this important sector.  

In the last General chapter, the Salesian Family was given its due importance when it was put directly under the charge of the Rector Major as the Father of the Family. He instituted a separate Secretariat with Heads appointed for the various branches of the Salesian Family, like the Salesian Cooperators, Alumni, VDBs and CDBs, ADMA, among others. These heads were to visit the different regions of the Salesian World to animate the different sectors of the Salesian Family.

The meeting of the Provincial Delegates held in Hyderabad at the end of September had the Delegate of the Rector Major, Don Eusebio Muñoz together with Heads of World delegates for the Cooperators, Alumni, VDBs & CDBs and ADMA making their presentation and formation plans available to all the delegates of the different sectors. This had to be disseminated at the Province level to the Councils and the different units.

The meeting of Provincials and Heads of the different branches of the Salesian Family, held at Bangalore in August this year, was aimed at strengthening the bonds of the Salesian Family. It was stressed that more work needed to be done for the upliftment of Migrant youth in India, Ecology and for Women and Girl child protection and prevention of child trafficking.

Father Kanaga said that the Salesian groups at present are like ponds, a 'Small stable, but within the Institute. We should gear towards making our groups a movement, like rivers'.  He also encouraged every Province to set up a migrant desk, where youngsters, who are new to the state can approach the desk for help.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BIS #4955 EMPOWERING THE POOR

by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, OCT 18, 2016: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) held a graduation ceremony for 368 students - from the slums of Mumbai - who completed their vocational training in Computers (Basic and Tally), Beauty Care (Skin and Hair), Tailoring, Mehendi and Spoken English, on October 15 at Don Bosco International School, Matunga.

Father Rolvin D'Mello, Executive Director of DBDS, welcomed the Chief Guest, Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Councillor of Don Bosco, South Asia and Father Glenford Lowe, Rector of Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga. 

The event began with a short prayer service. In his opening speech, Father Kanaga congratulated the students and applauded the visible Nari-Shakti (women power) for their perseverance. 

He expressed his joy at the developmental initiatives of DBDS in the city of Mumbai. He also mentioned that Don Bosco facilities and infrastructure are not only meant for the elite class but also for the poor sections of the society.

Four graduating students then shared their experiences with the gathering. All expressed appreciation to Don Bosco for giving them top quality training, free of cost. 

Sabiya Shaikh who completed the beauty care course said, "If not for Don Bosco it wouldn't have been possible for me to do this course outside, given the high fees charged in other places."

Father D'Mello exhorted all the students to put their skill to use, by either finding a job or setting up a small scale enterprise. He also thanked the staff of DBDS and the teachers for their outreach to such a vast number of students.

A small cultural programme comprising a fashion show, dances and skits followed. There was also a exhibit of the handiwork of the graduating class. Enthused and skilled, the new students set out to make a mark for themselves, with deep gratitude to Don Bosco. 

BIS #4954 EXTRAORDINARY VISITOR AT BORIVLI


by Lynette Sequeira

MUMBAI, OCT 18, 2016: The campus at Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Borivli was filled with grace on October 17, due to the presence of an extraordinary visitor, Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional Councillor of the Salesians in the South Asia region. He brought with him the love and blessings of the Rector Major of the Salesians, Father Angel Artime Fernandez.

Father Kanaga celebrated the Holy Eucharist in the parish and met various groups working in Saint John Bosco Church, on Sunday, October 16. The staff and students of all the sections of the school, the Junior College and the NIOS, met and listened to his address the following day.


After a short felicitation programme, Father Kanaga shared his message beginning with 3 W's in which he urged everyone to 'Wake up' and be alert, to 'Work hard' without thinking that any job is inferior or superior and to 'Worship' and pray at all times. It was a special moment for the students, as an 'Extraordinary Visitation' is a very rare event. Most of them will probably experience this visitation only twice during their school life, as it happens only once in six years.

Father Kanaga also addressed all the sections of the staff and thanked them in the name of the Rector Major, for carrying on the Mission of Don Bosco and for keeping the spirit of Don Bosco alive in the way Don Bosco wanted it to be. He urged every educator to be a 'Reflective Teacher', a 'Social Thinker' and a writer who forms the minds of the students, rather than merely being a Subject Teacher.

His words of wisdom to the management and staff were peppered with a dash of humour, which ensured that there were smiles all around. He encouraged everyone present to think about the reasons why India finds it difficult to compete and do well at the international level, like at the Olympic Games.

Citing examples from the words of Swami Vivekanand, Father Kanaga urged the members of the staff, to think about the various reasons why we lack and how we can talk to our students about bringing about a change in the way we think, in the hope that this change of mindset would then help us become a stronger nation.
   
In order to express his love for nature, Father Kanaga also planted a sapling within the campus. As it grows, this tree will continue to remind every member of the staff and the students to 'Care for Creation' and to be united as one, just as all of creation works in harmony at all times.

Friday, October 14, 2016

BIS #4953 WORLD WATCHES DON BOSCO SKILLING INDIA

by Karen Laurie 

 

MUMBAI, OCT 14, 2016: Six German delegates in top leadership positions back home, stepped out of their comfort zone, to experience the simple life of the poor in India, through a homestay experience. 


Government officials, bankers, public relations officials, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) leaders from Germany were among those, paired together, to live with families in Pune for three days and nights. 

 

Ulrich Fechter-Escamilla from Exposure and Dialogue Programme, Susan Franke and Sabina Weinstock from Don Bosco Mondo, Peter Hoppe from the German Fedral Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Joachim Nagel from KfW Group and Cordula Rinsche from Deginvest were the German participants of the programme in India from October 2-8. 

 

"They swept and mopped the floor with me, washed the vessels, tried their hand at making chapattis and other meals, came shopping with me. They lived like our family members," Alka Pandit, a host family, said.

 

The families were chosen from among the students of Don Bosco Industrial Training Institute, Chinchwad that provides vocational training to underprivileged youth. They were briefed that no special treatment was to be given to the guests. 


"EDP Organisation Germany and Don Bosco Mondo, Germany joint hands with the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS), Mumbai for skill training. The aim of this venture was to bring about policy changes in the German Federal Ministry and hence the officials responsible for this came down from Germany to India and stayed with the students from Don Bosco Chinchwad," Father Rolvin D'Mello, Executive Director of Don Bosco Development Society, said.

 

"They experienced their lives and their world so that they could have a better idea of the grass root situation while making funding policies for India and other developing countries."  

 

DBDS raises funds for societal development initiatives of the Salesians in the Mumbai province. Don Bosco Chinchwad and DBDS, were the local organisers of this homestay experience called the Exposure and Dialogue Programmes (EDP) – run globally by a German NGO by the same name.  


Don Bosco Mondo – a German partner of the programme - acts as a middleman between European companies and Don Bosco institutions, mobilising support for them in India to overcome skill shortage and fight poverty among lesser-privileged youth. 

 

After their experience with the host families, the foreign delegates returned to Don Bosco Chinchwad. They then reflected and ideated on ways to better assist poor students and devised mechanisms to help them. 


Following the  'exposure' and 'reflection' part of the programme, the 'dialogue' session began between Don Bosco institutions like DBDS, Don Bosco Chinchwad, their corporate partners like Mercedes Benz, SKF, Lorch, Sandvik Asia, Indo- German Chamber of Commerce, Knorr-Bremse and the German delegates.


They engaged in an experience-sharing session through a panel discussion. The German delegates informed the corporates how their funding helps students and what could be done to better their situation. 

 

It was highlighted that good trainers to teach students at the vocational centre were hard to find, as most prefer working for corporates at a higher-pay packet. They suggested that an increase in remuneration and encouragement of retired teachers to join the initiative would be a way to solve the issue.

 

It was also stressed that the media should be used to reach out to more people in a bid to create awareness about Don Bosco Chinchwad and its work, so there would be additional investment.

 

"The German delegates told the corporates present to employ the students and not just contract them, after experiencing their lifestyle first-hand, " Father Corlis Gonsalves, Rector- Don Bosco Chinchwad, said. 

 

"The German participants swing into Action back in Germany by influencing policies within the scope of their field. Media participants of the programme publicise the policy in the media, bankers encourage their banks to give low-interest loans for schemes helping the poor get quality vocational education in India, government officials influence policy makers by creating awareness through their stories back in India."


"The result has been an increase in the flow of finances from German corporations to Don Bosco institutions working with the poor," Ulrich Fechter-Escamilla, from EDP – also a participant of the programme - said.

 

EDP is now in its fourth year in India. The tie-up between German companies Lorch and Knorr-Bremse with Don Bosco Chinchwad for skill training has been an outcome of the past editions of the EDP. 

 

The German government has supported this initiative through Don Bosco Mondo for two reasons: "The prestige of the Salesian work in the area of social development is very high in Germany and on the other hand India is giving business to German companies. Germany is an export-oriented economy. It cannot survive if it does not have markets where it can put its products," Fechter-Escamilla added.

 

Several German companies have a presence in India; but they struggle to find skilled workforce for production and maintenance of their high quality standards. Thus they prefer to follow the 200-year-old vocational training model of German, where practical training is combined with theory, thus allowing students to apply what they are learning on a daily basis. 


To enter a trade, in Germany, all trainees are first contracted by corporates as apprentices. They then go to school to learn the trade. Over 1500 trades are taught through this model with a fixed curriculum certified by the government. No institute can provide trade training, without being contracted by a company.  


Through its VETnet programme, Don Bosco Chinchwad has partnered with German companies and is following the same model for vocational training. 

 

"Seventy-five per cent of our training is practical and 25% theory. In fact the institute has German trainers present on campus to provide world-class training for our students," Father Gonsalves said.

 

The same students and their families become trainers through the Exposure and Dialogue Programme. "This is a business leader-training programme and our poor people are the real trainers," Fechter-Escamilla said.

 

So what was it like for corporate leaders to make the transition to a modest way of life in India? A month before they arrived in India, participants met in Germany and were briefed about what to expect, about food, mosquitoes, how to use toilets and other concerns. They were also shown images of the living conditions. They had the option of opting out at that stage. 


"It is a frustrating process to convince big leaders to go through this experience. This year we were expecting more, but finally got six on board. This shows that it is not an easy task but its also not survival training, so we provide bottled water and mattresses and chose a family that is not very precarious," Fechter-Escamilla said.


"We call our participants 10-years-later and they still remember their house lady and these kind of personal interactions, have lasting impressions and are very durable. Decision makers do not have the time to repeat this kind of a training experience, so if we do it, it has to have a long term effect," Fechter-Escamilla said.


EDP 2016 proved that all German participants were content with the provisions at Don Bosco Chinchwad, as they stressed that the centre was thinking from the perspective of both the students and the corporates, as it adapts services to the needs of the companies.

 

While the corporates in Germany benefit from the programme by getting access to a skilled workforce, the biggest beneficiaries are the underprivileged youth, as they learn skillsets that would stand them in good stead not only today, but through life.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

BIS #4952 WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

by Eustace Fernandes

 

MUMBAI, OCT 12, 2016: Former American President, Bill Clinton once said, "Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all." In keeping with the theme of Mental health, Bosco Boys Home, Borivli celebrated 'World Mental Health day' on October 20.  The residential boys, technical students and staff were present for the programme. 

 

Nizamuddin Shah and his team, Jannat Media Work Production in collaboration with Bosco Boys Home students Chetan Nanaware, Sunil Kamble, Arjun Panjge, Vishal Suravanshi and Feroz Khan enacted two stories themed on Mental health. 

 

The skit raised awareness about Mental Disorder and other pressure related diseases which are hampering the development of all human beings and how as a civilized society, we should come together to help another become fruitful citizens.  


Datta Gade, a social worker from Bosco Boys Home explained the statistics of the people suffering from mental disorder. Statistics show that almost 45 crore of the total of population suffers from mental illness. 

 

One of the actors, Sunil Kamble - a class 10 student - said, "It was an amazing experience to perform in front of the audience and I was entirely into the character. The skit has made a deep impact on my life."


Another actor, Feroz Khan - studying in class eight – said, "It was my first experience on stage and it has helped me to conquer stage fear and face the crowd." 

 

Father Solomon Rapol, Rector of Bosco Boys Home, gave the vote of thanks, lauding the efforts of those involved in the production of the skit. He stressed on the need to have 'empathy' toward people suffering from mental illnesses. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

BIS #4951 SALMIYA PARISH YOUTH CELEBRATE 11TH ANNIVERSARY


by Madonna David 

KUWAIT, OCT 10, 2016: The Salmiya Parish Youth (SPY) invited all the Catholic youth in Kuwait to celebrate the eleventh birthday of their youth group at their parish, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus on October 6.


The evening began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Father Derek Misquitta followed by an hour of Praise and Worship in co-ordination with God's Love Community, a Charismatic group of the parish. The event was organised to bring the Catholic youth of Kuwait together for an enjoyable evening of faith, service, formation and fellowship.  

The theme chosen for the event was, 'Our Lord is Praise-Worthy.' The group praised and thanked God for granting them more than what they deserved. They thanked God for all the wonders He is working in and through them. They experienced an outpouring of God's love in the Spirit through His Word: Ask and it will be Given to you, Seek and you shall Find, Knock and the Door will be Opened to you.  

Jayson Serrao, a youth member said, "Little deeds of love and selflessness along with joyful praise and worship bore much fruit. The exuberance of the youth truly enriched the hearts and faith of many at the Salmiya parish youth 11th anniversary".

After the Praise and Worship, a fun introductory game session enabled all to get to know each other better; followed by a fellowship meal. Aldrich Fernandes, a youth said, "The spirit of togetherness is what inspired me. Everyone is bound to each other and this helps us unite as one in fellowship with God." 

Rocky D'cruz, another youth added, "It is a wonderful experience! We came to know how God works in mysterious ways to protect youngsters from evil. "

Parish Priest, Father Blany Pinto SDB, Father Xavier Fernandes OFM, in charge of the youth in Kuwait, Father Lionel Braganza SDB, Spiritual Director for SPY and Gaspar Baptista, the youth animator along with the SPY team worked tirelessly for the event.

Friday, October 7, 2016

BIS #4950 CELEBRATING THE MARATHI LANGUAGE

by Ashwini Gupte

 

MUMBAI, OCT 7, 2016: Don Bosco High School, Matunga celebrated the Marathi language through the staging of one-act plays in the Don Bosco International School's Bianchi Hall. The judges who graced the occasion were all praise for the boys, lauding them for their diction, performance and attention to detail.

 

The Red house staged 'Sada Ranadecha kay karaycha?' showing us the upheaval in a small 'chawl' when they learn that one of their own is HIV positive. The ostracised, Sadashiv Ranade, retorts during the climax, "You are not worthy of living, as you don't respect a person as a human being."

 

He brings tears to their eyes as he shares the condition of people affected by HIV, the problems they have to go through, the heartless world they live in- a telling statement about the society we live in today.


The Yellow House through 'Pratidnya' raised a pertinent question- Though we take the Pledge everyday in school, do we act according to the values enshrined therein? They depicted how, though the real values required in life are what the Pledge teaches us, we do not put into practice what we recite.

 

The Blue House with 'Jeevan Ek Rangamancha' explained how life is a stage and we need to choose wisely, be on the side of the good, oppose and end evil, forget frivolous enmity, learn to be positive and intrepid in order to overcome difficulties; make a choice between becoming virtuous like Lord Rama or demonic like Ravan.

 

The Green House took us through 'Khudu nako ga Aai' and made us see people's abominable attitude towards a girl child even in today's times. The play, through thought-provoking questions urged the viewer to think about the archaic mindset of patriarchal society, one that still refuses to accept girls and boys as equals.

 

While all groups aimed at instilling positive change, the Red house won top honours for their play on an HIV-infected person. Aarnav Marathe and Harsh Mehta - from Red house - were awarded the best actor award for their roles in the male and female performance category.