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By Sr. Ma. Elena Estacio, FMA


Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 17 June 2016 -- In the afternoon of June 17 the Sisters, teachers, non-teaching staff and student body of Don Bosco School -Teuk Thla received with warmth and delight H.E. William Heidt, the United States' Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia. He arrived punctually with his family, followed by his staff. In her welcome address, the CMY Provincial, Sr. Jessica Salvaña, said that the school community greatly appreciated the somewhat surprise visit of Amb. Heidt who had taken interest in Don Bosco School and its realities.


Remarkably, Amb. Heidt was not a stranger to the school, having paid a visit to the Don Bosco grounds way back in 1992 with officials from the United States’ funding agency, USAID. This was followed by financial assistance from the USAID for the first skills training center of the Sisters in Phnom Penh, the capital.


On this his second visit, the newly-appointed Ambassador was amazed to see how the place had developed over the years. What once was a grassland and open field is now teeming with 1,142 children and young people enrolled in our four levels: kindergarten, elementary school, high school and food technology department. He expressed his appreciation for what the Sisters had done these past years, and their courageous choice of remaining in Cambodia especially during the turbulent clashes in 1997 when many people and organizations packed up.


Ambassador Heidt is known for his strong management abilities and his great ability to relate with people. His creative, innovative leadership and deep knowledge of Cambodia and the region is an advantage in promoting positive and good relations between Cambodia and the United States of America. Another interesting note about Ambassador Heidt is that he is married to Mrs. Sotie Heidt, herself a Cambodian, whose heart beats for the Khmer young women and vows to provide them with opportunities to grow professionally. No wonder that the Ambassador himself has a heart for Cambodia and its people.


After being entertained with songs and dances by a selected number of students, the Ambassador and his delegation toured the Don Bosco School campus. He expressed how impressed he was by the quality of education being offered to the Cambodian children and young people.





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