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By Fr Dindo Vitung, SDB

Bangkok, Thailand, 30 November 2018 -- Three months after the respective ASEAN countries provincial meeting last August 24 in Manila, a Don Bosco-One TVET ASEAN first workshop was conducted by Mr Sebastian Schuster of Don Bosco Mondo in Bangkok (November 26-28), attended by representatives from Thailand (Mr Wichai, ASC), Philippines (Fr Lan and Fr Dindo), Indonesia (Br. Ephrem), Timor Leste (Fr Gui), Myanmar (Fr Bosco Win) and Cambodia (Fr Gigi).

Following the Vocation Training Centres (TVET) coordinating efforts by 'DB Tech' (South Asia-India, 2008), 'DB Tech Africa' (Africa-Madagascar Region, 2014) and 'Don Bosco-One TVET Philippines 2017) grants were approved last October from the German Ministry of Development (BMZ). Officially, the entire Project for the improvement of Don Bosco TVET started on 1st November, 2018.

Thanks to the cooperation of the THA provincial, Fr Theparat, and DBTC staff member, Mr Wichai Srisura, the 'Kick-Off Workshop' in Bangkok was helpful for tackling the following issues:

  • Discussion of the overall project proposal and logical framework with all country coordinators.
  • Discussion of initial options for coordination structures and the possibility for each country to register.
  • An overview of management demands (Don Bosco Mondo) and reporting on various activities to Germany.

The main focus of the Don Bosco One TVET ASEAN is capacity building for Salesians and Lay mission partners in the respective 10 countries covering almost 40 Don Bosco TVET arrangements. The project is not focused on development of new infrastructures or providing new equipment, but focuses on the quality of those involved in TVET education, planning and administration.

Fr. Dindo Vitung (Dindo), FIN province Coordinator of One-Bosco TVET Philippines, shares his satisfaction after the Bangkok meeting:

"The meeting went very well and it was encouraging to see confreres from 5 different provinces working for TVET. We gained a lot of information about the work in these areas. This time we were only missing Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia. Since it is just the beginning, we were able to do some work on an action plan, which we will be pursuing through continuous communication (WhatsApp group and Email). Provincials and in-country coordinators will always be kept informed.

We hope to have more details after our next meeting in February 2019, hopefully in Vietnam. But, collaboration in teacher training will start soon between Timor and Indonesia, and funds can be reimbursed when an accounting system has been established. Temporarily, certain administrative tasks will be handled by the One-TVET Philippines to support the One-TVET ASEAN so that we can already do certain collaborative works."

ASEAN (Association of East Asian Nations) has 10 country members: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore; with another two countries, Timor Leste and PNG, as observers.

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