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By 12th Asia-Oceania Congress
Past Pupils of DB

       Asia-Oceania (Past Pupils), 7 July 2021 -- Among the 28 countries of Asia-Oceania Region where the mission of Don Bosco is flourishing, there is a good number of very young or mostly new groups of Past Pupils. The occasion of the 12th Regional Congress has brought a good opportunity for enriching each other and mutually inspiring many 'starts-up' local Associations like: Samoa, Solomon Islands, Australia, Laos, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mongolia, Indonesia or Vietnam.

      What is common to our Past pupils in these countries? Common enthusiasm, nostalgia, similar challenges and opportunities: many treasure their experience 'with Don Bosco' in their Salesian Oratory, School, Boarding house, Oratory, Youth Group (SYM) or in some Social work.

      Each country's report offers many uplifting experiences to inspire: When the Past Pupils come together regularly for their formation and planning of activities (Pakistan), when they raise funds for their 'younger brothers' from their Alma Mater (Samoa), starting with a new young generation of Past Pupils (Vietnam), coming together by any means (pandemic times 'online homecoming') Philippines, or community services in many countries - addressing the needs of less privileged citizens.

      At the same time some challenges or difficulties that some country or Association has overcome may also inspire other 'Bosconians' far away: How to form the first group? How to communicate effectively among scattered young alumni? How to start a new 'Union' made up of some former aspirants or former Salesians? How to rejuvenate the 'old folks' in our groups by launching a GEX (Young past pupils) branch?

      But at the end of the day, each Association or Federation is unique: We are grateful to the Salesians SDB who invited us to come together, who accompany us with patience and dedicate their time in the initial stage of our 'Old Boys' Association. Indeed the role of the past pupil 'Delegates' can't be emphasised enough. We pray and hope that the recently published 'Delegate's Handbook' or 'DB Past Pupils Leadership Handbook' based on grass root experience will animate more Salesians to give their time and energy for our Past Pupils!

      Each Congress brings fresh impetus to the life of each Association, but this online Congress with all reports available on the internet (FB: GEX Asia-Oceania) brings even more opportunity to learn from each other! Viva Don Bosco and his Past Pupils!

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