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By Fr Juna Ola Amang SDB

Araimiri, PNG, 7 June 2024 -- Don Bosco believed in a pedagogy that went beyond the classroom walls. He believed that education should encompass not just academic learning but also the nurturing of character, values, and virtues in young individuals.

"We came here as strangers; we stay here as brothers and sisters; we will go away from here as Bosconians." This is the very sentence that is always repeated as part of any 'tok save' or public speaking from any boy done in front of the Boarding House boys at Don Bosco Araimiri Secondary School, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea. As the boys and girls begin their journey living in the Don Bosco Boarding House, they typically encourage each other by using this kind of philosophy.

In today's bustling world, where distractions are abundant and values often seem to take a backseat, there is a place where students come with a dream of becoming better people. This place is none other than the Don Bosco Boarding House, a haven of growth and transformation for young minds. Here, boys and girls from diverse backgrounds come together, not as strangers but as brothers and sisters, bound by the shared aspiration of becoming Bosconians.

The journey of a boy or girl student begins by stepping foot into the Don Bosco Boarding House, leaving behind the comforts of home, and embarking on a new adventure. The allure of this place lies not just in academic excellence but in the holistic development of young individuals. The Don Bosco Boarding House serves as a melting pot of culture, where boys and girls from different ethnicities and regions come together to learn, share, and grow.

The dream that accompanies these young people is inspired by the spirit of Don Bosco, the visionary educator who dedicated his life to the betterment of youth. Don Bosco believed in a pedagogy that went beyond the classroom walls. He believed that education should encompass not just academic learning but also the nurturing of character, values, and virtues in young individuals.

The Preventive System of Don Bosco forms the cornerstone of this pedagogy. It is built on three pillars: Loving Kindness, Reason, and Religion, which serve as guiding principles that shape the lives of the boys and girls at Don Bosco. Loving Kindness fosters an environment where compassion, empathy, and respect for one another are paramount. Reason encourages critical thinking, intellectual growth, and the pursuit of knowledge. Religion, as the third pillar, instills in these boys and girls a sense of spirituality, grounding them in their faith and providing them with the moral compass to navigate life's challenges.

Within the Boarding House, these students immerse themselves in a community that is more than just a place to reside. It becomes a home away from home, a place where friendships are forged, bonds are strengthened, and memories are made. It is through this sense of belonging that they find a support system that guides them through the triumphs and tribulations of their journey.

The dream that they have is not just limited to personal growth. They aspire to become ‘good Christians and honest citizens’ of Papua New Guinea. Education at the Boarding House goes beyond the individual, instilling in these boys and girls a sense of responsibility towards their community and their nation. They are taught to be aware of the needs of others, to serve selflessly, and to be advocates of positive change in society.

As these boys and girls embark on their path towards becoming better persons, they are nurtured by a dedicated team of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), the MSI Sisters, and the teachers who serve as role models, guiding them on their journey. This team not only imparts knowledge and wisdom but also provides a nurturing environment that encourages open dialogue, self-reflection, and personal growth.

Ultimately, the dream of becoming a better person is not just a distant goal but a continuous process. It is a never-ending quest for self-improvement, where the lessons learned in the Don Bosco Boarding House stay with these boys and girls long after they leave its sanctum. Armed with the values and virtues instilled in them, these Bosconians go forth into the world, carrying the torch of Don Bosco's vision and striving to make a positive impact wherever they go.

In conclusion, the Don Bosco Boarding House serves as a beacon of hope for boys and girls who come with a dream of becoming better persons. It is a place where diverse individuals come together, bound by a shared aspiration to grow academically, morally, and spiritually. Inspired by the spirit of Don Bosco and guided by the pillars of Loving Kindness, Reason, and Religion, these student boys and girls embark on a transformative journey that shapes their character, values, and beliefs. The Don Bosco Boarding House in Araimiri is not just a place of residence; it is a community that nurtures the dreams and aspirations of these young individuals, molding them into good Christians and honest citizens of Papua New Guinea.


 

 

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