We have been lucky enough to arrive when the 3 week induction programme for the applicants to the vocational training centre is in full swing...and what an induction! Rather than a baptism of fire, these students definitely get a baptism of mud!
These students are only at DBTC for one year, but the induction is considered important enough to dedicate time to. And this is no optional extra: all the students are on site for 11 hours a day, and they all do everything. It is, along with daily mass and morning and afternoon assemblies, the beginning of the “values formation” which is an integral part of the education here.
It is often all too easy for the pressure of academic results or getting through everything on the course to be would be such that the imparting of values gets squeezed out altogether, or paid lip service to, as something it would be nice to do properly but we don’t really have time for ... no such attitude here. Imparting a set of values, human values, Christian values, is seen as just as important as the academic or vocational skills. In schools and boys homes where the young people stay for much longer, these values can be imparted over time, but at TVED, it all has to be condensed into one year, and if you’ve only got one year, rather than water down what you want to get across, you have to make the experience more intense ... and intense it has been!
In a microcosm of a few days, we have already seen the Salesian window in action... and from where I am standing, it looks very good!