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Heart touching story of Mr. Usky – Papua New Guinea

By Mr. Martin Dai, EXDB
Principal of Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu
From the Salesian Bulletin PGS, ed. 2018 issue 2

Port Moresby, PNG, 8 august 2018 -- Martin Dai belonged to the first batch of 120 students who graduated from Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu in 1988. Faithfully married to Rebecca Dai for the past 17 years, he is the proud father of seven beautiful children. He is the present principal of his Alma Mater and is personally involved in the lives of nearly 1000 students at the school. He shares with us one of his many transforming experiences.

“There was a time when two teachers came to me commenting on the same child. The first teacher said, “This boy in my class is always so distracted.” While the second teacher had this to say regarding the same boy. “This boy is a very fast learner and I give him extra work”. Yes, we all look at the universe through our own ‘inner windows’.

I would like to share with you the encounter of a simple journey of Listening and Accompaniment. My wife, Rebecca, as she journeyed to and from her work, saw a young man, aged 19 years, waiting at the main bus stop from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Everyone who knew him said, “He is one on the lookout for an opportunity to snatch bags and carry away market parcels”. It was frightening to get to know him.

Let me share with you his story. It all started with a greeting, then by offering a betel nut. The young man opened up and offered his help to accompany her from the bus stop to the school where her residence was. It was a risk, but it paid off. Every afternoon around 5:30 pm he would patiently wait for Rebecca to be dropped off by her company transport at the bus stop and then he would accompany her to the school gate and leave her. Often he would offer his help to carry her bag and parcels. Soon, Rebecca began to trust him fully. He had a good heart and protected her always.

As time went on, Rebecca introduced him to me. She said, “This young man is very honest, trustworthy, very respectful to women, dedicated and happy. Can we help him?” She suggested that we could help him be enrolled for the Employment Oriented Skills Development Training (EOSDT) Course at the school, if he so desires. And so one afternoon we met him.

“They call you UKs. What’s your real name.”?

“Aaa just call me USKY, I like it that way.”

“Where do you live.”

“I live at the bus stop... (he laughed). Sometimes I stay with my cousin”

“Have you been to school?”

“Yes a very long time ago”

“What Grade have you completed”

“Grade 6”

“Did you work before?”

“Yes! Bus stop work!”

“Your mum and dad?”

“I don’t know”

“How do you survive?”

“Ahh you know., life is like that”

“OK. I see you are helpful and gentle. Can I ask you something more?”

“Yes... Yes.. Yes”

“How about going to church?”

“Eee.. It’s been a long time ago, but I will try now”

“Is it ok for you to come and attend the Short Term Course at Don Bosco?”

“Ahh... it’s an opportunity to help myself”

“Ok it’s a deal, come along at the beginning of July”

Then he was sponsored by Don Bosco Technical School and took up training in Welding Trade. Through the training the instructors found him very responsible, honest, hardworking and trustworthy. The school became a home for him. He would even assist teachers during extra-curricular activities. After the graduation he was recommended to work as a Shop Assistant for the General Workshop. Mr. Usky is today a full time employee at Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu.

‘Who we are’ is more important than “What we do”. We don’t go to heaven alone; but we take the young along with us. We fly on the wings of each other. We listen to them, identify their needs and accompany them through life. Don Bosco modelled himself on Christ the ‘Good Shepherd’. We imitate Don Bosco as we search for the sheep, that are lost. We create a simple youthful environment of listening, accompanying and journeying with the young. We then manage to be that “Who We Are” and offer a direction to every young person.

Like this young man ... it is up to us to find attractive, innovative ways and make the initial contact on their own playing field and establish a relationship of care and trust. It is up to us to avoid putting them in a ‘box’, listen to each of them and journey with them. Jesus is our perfect example. The meeting of the Samaritan women at the well gives us the inspiration on how we meet, start relationships and find ways of developing them. It is then that they will grow to greater heights. Every praise, encouragement, challenge and motivation give our young people hope.”

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