DB Past Pupils and Salesian Cooperators
Don Bosco Past Pupils Center, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 28 September 2019 -- Since the arrival of the Salesians in Mongolia in 2001, the SDBs have always been helped by many lay people. In view of the 20th anniversary of the Salesian Mission in Mongolia (2001-2021), the two main lay groups of the Salesian Family are coming together to make Don Bosco more Mongolian. During the animation visit of the EAO Regional Councilor in Ulanbaatar (25-28 September ) the leadership of the Don Bosco Past Pupils and four Salesian Cooperators from Ulanbaatar held a good encounter with Fr. Klement in the Delegation house.
We shared our path as Don Bosco Alumni since the official foundation of our UB Center (January 2018) and our steadfast growth. Since 2001 about 800+ students have graduated from DBTISC in Ulanbaatar, many more young people have received a Don Bosco education at the Darkhan Don Bosco, UB Caring Center (former Amgalang) and now also in Shuwuu Don Bosco (near UB). The large Past Pupils meeting in May 2017 (some 400 of us gathered there!) was a starting point. Now we are accompanied by Br. Andrew Phuong and focus on the following efforts: to contact as many DB Past Pupils as possible (Facebook, phone numbers), collect some scholarships for the DB students from poor families, volunteer to assist Past Pupils families in need; give a good morning talk in the DB school, help to employ our graduates or find the most suitable workplace for them in OJT (On-job-training) or, as we have done recently, also prepare counselling sessions as a help to youth from broken (divorced) families, a growing phenomenon now in Mongolia.
In the joint dialogue between Salesian Cooperators, Past Pupils and the EAO Regional Councilor we have gained insight into the current situation of the Salesian Family and and the Past Pupils, especially in non-Christian countries like Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. Our interest has also been in how to involve, animate and better organize our fledgling DB Past Pupils Center in Ulanbaatar. With 3 centers we can have a Mongolia Federation of DB Past Pupils, like the Salesian Cooperators may one day form a Mongolia Province if they have at least three local centers in our country.
It was a good chance to get know Boscolink (EAO Salesian Family website: www.bosco.link), the ANS channel with the Rector Major who communicates also in Mongolian ('Dear confreres' or 'Strenna') thanks to the translator from Darkhan. At the end of our meeting we took a photo with the scroll of the 2020 Strenna of the Rector Major 'Good Christians and Upright Citizens' (in Mongolia we translate this as 'People of good will and upright citizens). Some of us also dream and have begun preparations to join the 2020 EAO Past Pupils Congress in Japan (4-6 December) or the 2020 EAO Salesian Cooperators Congress in Vietnam (23-26 July). We believe that the more connected we are with the other Salesian Family members in the world, the better we can grow here in Mongolia! Please, pray for us!