Kokopo, PNG, 26 September 2023 -- Don Bosco Technical Secondary School Kokopo (DBTSS) hosted the Wantok Bosco 23, from 22 to 25 September 2023. 260 youth from DBTSS Kokopo, Mary Help of Christians Parish Rapolo, from Utmei Secondary School, St. Peter Chanel Teachers College, Salesians sisters Tapo youth and young people from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Secondary School. The theme for the event was on the 2023 Strenna of the Rector Major: “As the Yeast in Today’s Human Family. Be human, Be Real and Be a Saint.”
On the first day, Fr. Moise Paluku, SDB Rector of DBTSS Kokopo and PGS Youth Ministry Delegate welcomed all the participants. He insisted that this should be an occasion for everyone to build friendships with God and with one another. “Let us make sure that we are true friends here, so we live in mutual appreciation, love and respect outside to battle against the hate and unforgiving spirit growing among youngsters,” he said. In the evening the participants were involved in moments of prayer, adoration, and worship of the Eucharist, while the Sacrament of Reconciliation was celebrated. “This moment was very touching. I was in tears because I felt the presence of God and saw myself. Luckily, we had a confession to open up to God. Many other youths were touched by the adoration experience as prepared by Sr. Maria Yen, FMA and her team,” said Catherine a youth leader from MHC parish.
The following day the participants were awakened by games and Zumba. During the day there were three sessions. Firstly: Be Human; Mr. Jerry Kato, a teacher at OLSH Secondary highlighted the values of the family, and self-care as young people against all toxic agents to real life. Sr. Juliet, FMA spoke on Be Real. She reminded us to be agents of change through social media. She called young people to be themselves and not fake, to spend time on positive news and not consume all negativities and destructive information. In the third session, Fr Joseph Thanh sdb challenged the youths to: Be Saints. He explained that the key to holiness is what Don Bosco told Dominic Savio: “Do your ordinary duty in an extraordinary way.” He instructed us on the role of prayer, love for the holy eucharist and regular confessions as best ways to holiness. The night was filled with fun with youthful festival dances. The second day was concluded with the Good Night talk by Mr. Harold Argante, a Salesian Cooperator. On Sunday the camp concluded with a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr. Moise, sdb. He highlighted the sense of responsibility, of volunteerism, vocation and personal encounter with God.
Here are a few comments from the youth. Joshua Kabu of DBTSS said “I have learnt a lot. This was my second Wantok Bosco. It had a lot of diversity. It was a moment of reunion but also of building new friendships.” Bonaventure, a year 2 student in Channel College, expressed herself: “Since I started joining Don Bosco activities, I feel that I am growing day after day. This Wantok Bosco helps me to discover the sense of leadership and the friendship of the Salesian family.” Melchy Utmei, a teacher, said “Our students are happy to be a part of the camp. The flow of the activities touched them. They feel empowered and satisfied.” Melanie from OLSH added:” I was able to make my choices during this camp. I am thankful for the presence of the FMA sisters who have inspired me and many other girls with their presence.” In general, the joy was immense, and we hope the participants will live up to the challenges given to them by our facilitators and the organizers.