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By Mr. Alberto Sequeira Alves Piedade, GEX

Vientiane, Laos, 1 September 2017 -- After the visit to Thailand, Mr. Angel Gudiña (World Vice-President of GEX) and Mr. Alberto Piedade (Councilor of GEX for Asia) traveled to Vientiane through the border between Thailand and Laos (Friendship Bridge). They received a warm welcome by Fr. Patrizio Maccioni, SDB together with the current President of Past Pupils of Don Bosco, Mr. Bounpithak and one of teachers from Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Laos, Mr. Sida Saiphiavong.

Salesians were showing us the city of Vientiane around whilst also introducing Mr. Gudiña and Mr. Piedade to two of our young past pupils of Don Bosco, Mr. Nai Khaiy Zae Tern (who has been running his own workshop) then we moved to visit Mr. Thanouthong Sikhamlay (a past pupil who is running his own water filtering and gallon bottles for sales and delivery) - Mr. Sikhamlay's business is growing from day to day. Belows are some photos taken on the visits.

Then, we were taken to visit also FMA Vocation training center - sewing section for girls before visiting the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center. In the DB Training Center, Fr. Maccioni was introducing different departments of mechanics for motorcycle, melding and electrical. Some of our students are boarders and the teachers are mostly past pupils from the Don Bosco Center itself.

For the meeting with the past pupils was organized to occur on 1st September at 6.30pm in the center; attended by around 20-25 past pupils including Mr. Zae Tern and Mr. Sikhamlay. Mr. Gudiña and Mr. Piedade delivered several presentations on: 1) World Confederation, 2) Estatute and 3) How to Establish a Local Union to the past pupils with the assistance from Fr. Maccioni with the translation.

The reality of past pupils association is quite young and not-yet well established. However, they showed a firm will and enthusiasm to continue their friendship and mutual bonds as Bosconians.

The meeting ended with handover of souvenirs and Laos. Don Bosco Past pupils (Bosconians) will be in touch through Fr. Maccioni with the Asia - Oceania World Councilor regarding the progress of local association.

The Don Bosco Vocation Training Center in Laos started in 2004 in a very humble way through the initiative of Bangkok Don Bosco Technical School past pupils with the assistance of Fr. Tito Pedron (former provincial of THA). Until now more than 1000 students graduate different and contribute to the development of Lao society.

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