Vientiane, Laos, 4 March 2016 - The humble education work for the poor youth of Laos started as a collaboration between the Don Bosco Foundation of Thailand and the Lao Youth Union in 2004 brought also Fr. Angel F. Artime, as the first Rector Major to the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR) capital Vientiane on March 3, 2016.
Lao PDR is a landlocked country with 7 million of population, majority Buddhist, characterized by a fast growing economy (6%) and very young population, where every year about 65.000 young people are looking for jobs.
The Salesian Family of Thailand brings ahead for past 12 years a humble but meaningful Don Bosco Technical Vocation Training Center offering to the young people basic technical skills and human growth in order to become honest and responsible citizens of their country. Until now more than 600 young people passed through Don Bosco technical training.
In the afternoon of March 3rd, the whole Educative - Pastoral Community honoured by the presence of Lao Youth Union Assistant of Secretariat Committee, Mr. Vilakone Keodouangthong and five other Lao officials the 10th Successor of Don Bosco was welcomed in the VTC hall in a truly Salesian way. After the initial greetings, personal wishes of Don Bosco and Lao Youth Union dignitaries the 84 students performed their songs, dances and vibrant short sketch about Don Bosco within the Laos context.
During the evening time the Salesians dedicated their time for a family meeting with their Father - sharing the joys and challenges of their life, while projecting the future of this small, humble but symbolically very meaningful presence in Laos. The THA province of Thailand, Cambodia and Laos cares very much about this newest mission frontier, being the SDB community present only since 2012. The presence and sharing of both pioneers - Fr. Tito Pedron and Mr. Sannya Boonprasert - was appreciated by four Lao based confreres and all visitors from Thailand and Rome.
We accompany this small and still fragile community in their tireless effort to bring more light and hope to the disadvantaged youth from rural areas of Laos. May the Don Bosco Way of education be more rooted in this wonderful country for the benefit of many!