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By Mr. Chihiro Okawa, EXDB
Associate professor at Kanagawa University

Tokyo, Japan, 15 July 2019 -- In the Salesian school and education institutions, parishes and social works, we have finally published a guide for all people who work for young people with Salesian Family members: "Let's educate them with the heart of Don Bosco!" The contents of this Handbook were prepared during the past 3 years, focusing on Don Bosco as a model (episodes of his life) and summarizing Don Bosco's Way of Education. This Handbook is for all (Catholics, believers of other religions or non-believers) who want to educate with the heart of Don Bosco, who want understand him better and guide the children and young people for a better future.

How did the idea (need) for the Japan province Lay Mission Partners Handbook come about?

The idea was born in the process of meetings on reshaping the Japan Province. First - The Salesians of Japan wanted to be consistent with the terms they used regarding Don Bosco's educational system, for better collaboration with lay mission partners in their offices. From 2016 to 2018, the training course for the Salesian Family teachers and staff (guided by Fr Urata Shinjiro with FMA, Caritas sisters and Lay coordinators including myself) has succeeded in covering almost all of the main points of DB's Education from 2016 to 2018. And from 2019 we have started the second cycle of the course! The Handbook is the fruit of the past 3 years efforts in education.

How many SDBs or Lay people were involved in the 'compilation process'?

A lot of them! The members of the SDB Provincial Project Team, the Coordinators and participants of the Salesian Family teacher and staff training course, and also many of the Salesian Family members in Japan with the young people. Their opinions are well reflected in every part of the book.

What is the aim of this Manual? (Who and will use this booklet and how? - for personal reflection only? for formation sessions in our Salesian works? Other?)

It is intended for the children and young people in today's Japan to receive better education and nurturing in SF schools, orphanages, and parishes and to live happier every day. In order to realize that, as assistants to the young in the Salesian educational environment, we have to share the educational principles and values better through Don Bosco's education methods. We hope this booklet would be useful both for personal reflection and for the formation sessions in each Salesian setting. I am going to talk in Miyazaki for the training of the Hyuga Gakuin (Salesian High school) teachers in August.

Is there any other similar project (volume 2) in the pipe-line?

This publication - handbook is a trial version, and will become a final version after listening to the voices of teachers and staff. This book deals primarily with Don Bosco's educational philosophy, so we will publish a separate casebook of practices in each field (school, kindergarten, nursery, orphanage, and parish) later on.




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