GEX (Giovani Exallievi) Timor with an etnhusiatic leadership
Dili, Timor Leste, 11 March 2018 -- Interview with Mr. Americo Valentim, National Coordinator of GEX Timor-Leste. Mr. Americo is 26 years old, fresh University graduates and works as Regional Marketing Manager in Long Ping Agriculture Development in Timor Leste.
How did you know Don Bosco?
I have known Don Bosco since I was 10, most of my family are past pupils of Don Bosco. My Grandfather from father side name Valentim Francisco was one of the first teachers in Fatumaca Don Bosco College and both my parents were students in Fatumaca and Fuiloro. When I finish my elementary school, I decided to entered the Aspirantate of Blessed Philip Rinaldi in Venilale (2004-2007. I am very luck y that I was experience the education from the Salesian of Don Bosco’s school. Some valuable aspects that I learn from Salesian school are Responsability,Self discipline, Hard work particularly in academic , ,prayer life ,Animation and Sense of serving others. Don Bosco education truly shape me become who I am today. I learn a lot more even only three years with the Salesian in Venilale. When I finish my junior high school and continue to the Diocesan Minor Seminary in Dili, I still feel the spirit of Don Bosco and I say to my self that once become a past pupil of Don Bosco always past pupils of Don Bosco. Don Bosco education is different from other Congregation, it is the education that combine the academic and faith in the same direction, strongly help someone to grow and become useful person for their family, society, local church and to serve the nation as Don Bosco said “ Pro Patria et Ecclesia “. So, I could say that my education journey with Don Bosco was fantastic.
How I become actively involved in the GEX Timor-Leste?
By accident, on Sunday , October 8th 2017 when the monthly gathering of National Federation of the Don Bosco Past pupils held in Comoro, there were only four of us the youngest past pupils among the others. After the meeting, Our best brother and Mentor Mr. Alberto Piedade ( Who is the World Councilor for GEX Asia-Oceania ) approach us and chose us ( Me, Mario Martinho, and Antonio Sales ) to become GEX national Coordinator in Timor-Leste, and I am very grateful to carry this mission because I know that it is not accidentally, It is the calling from Don Bosco himself to collaborate with him closely to do and continue his mission. And most importantly is that to serve others to bring them to one Very Important person is JESUS. Through GEX I believe that we will do more and reach far to give a positive impact for many more youth and help them grow to become a good christian and honest citizen. I know it is not easy things, but I am optimistic that only with determination, willingness, sacrifice, love, sense of belonging, and work as a team with the Don Bosco spirit that guiding us we will surely do the mission smoothly; as what we did two months ago to hold Don Bosco National Youth Conference for 150 youth from all across Timor-Leste and let them have a chance to flourish, empowering them, let them learn and experience something different in order to prepare themselves to be the next leader for the church and the nation. So, like Mother Mary, I also want to make my self available to say FIAT VOLUNTAS TUA to serve others youth through GEX.
How is the Salesian accompaniment of GEX in Timor Leste?
So far I think, our accompaniment is good, The Salesian always support all the activities we do, they collaborate with us and give us spiritual guidance. We have a very active National Delegate like Father Mario do Rosario, SDB and The Youth Pastoral Delegate Father Joao da Costa SDB and all the Salesian that will always work together with GEX team to continue Don Bosco’s dream to serve the needy and the poorest one. Team work makes a dream work.
What about the GEX Timor formation experience?
As we know that GEX has three principal activities such as School of Leadership of Asia-Oceania, Youth Exchange program and Youth Volunteers. These three activities are very helpful to apply in today’s youth life. We strongly want to give the youth chance to grow, learn and at the same time teach them to have a sense of serving others, give back to the community. Prepare them to be the a responsible and wise leader in the future that can be an agent of change for their country and their people. Help them to gain more valuable chances where they can eventually use in life, We also want them to become a role model, be active, creative and contributive in Timor-Leste society and most of all are become a children of GOD, who live the christian life and practice Don Bosco’s teaching.
Pray for us, so we will work tirelessly and hoping to implement the annual plan that has set up by National GEX team. We will continue to cooperate with the National Federation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco Timor-Leste and the Salesians to give the best for our youth.