It is nearing the end of our second full day at Don Bosco Technology Center (or DBTC) and so far it has been excellent. We have been made to feel incredibly welcome and included by the community here, which, with 11 members, is the largest in the Southern Philippines province.
On the site here is an elementary school (age 6-12), a high school (age 12-16) a college (16plus) and a vocational training centre, which is where we will mostly be working. The training centre offers one year courses in Industrial Electricity, Mechanical Technology, and Carpentry, and a three month handyman skills course, all of which offer opportunities to out of school youth who could not afford to study in other settings. Alongside their practical training, they learn basic English and maths, and follow a values formation course.
The community are hoping we will create and implement an English and Maths skills programme for the trainees here, which will also be used in the other vocational training centres in the province. With 8 sections having two hours a week of each subject, and everything to be created more or less from scratch, that should keep us fairly occupied! With the students on site from 6.30 for mass, until closing prayers at 5.30, there should be plenty of scope to get involved with some of their other activities too.
Some 65 of the 1500 elementary and high school students are boarders during the week as they come from too far away to travel daily, so we are also expecting to have some involvement with the them, which so far has meant joining them each evening after dinner for their evening prayers.
So there you have it, a brief introduction to our host community here, and if things continue as they have begun, we should have an amazing experience!