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By James Touva

Henderson, Solomon Islands, 19 June 2024 -- Over 200 youths gathered at Don Bosco Technical Institute, Henderson, from 7-9 June to participate in the 5th Wantok Bosco camp in the Solomon Islands. In 2023, the Wantok Bosco was not held due to World Youth Day Celebration, which was hosted in Tetere at Don Bosco Rural Training Centre. This year’s theme, “Let your dreams be your wings,” was taken from the Rector Major’s Strenna, “The dream that makes you dream, a heart that transforms wolves into lambs.”

Participants came from Good Shepherd Parish, Tenaru; Christ the King Parish, Tetere; the Laura Vicuna Hostel girls (FMA); DBTI Henderson students; DBRTC; and a few young lads from the Don Bosco Learning Centre, Ranadi (young boys living in the Ranadi dumpsite in the eastern part of the town who attend the Don Bosco Learning Centre at DBTI Henderson).

The Rector of DBTI Henderson, Fr Raffy Galve, SDB officially welcomed the participants on Friday. This was followed by a presentation about this year’s Strenna by the DBTI Spiritual Moderator, Fr Sonny Fajardo. His presentation concluded with a skit about the dream of Don Bosco at the age of nine, performed by the Aspirants from the Savio House together with the Aspirants from the FMA sisters. The night ended with group sharing and discussion about the Strenna.

On Saturday, all the participants started the day with a Zumba session led by two of the FMA sisters, Sr Joan, and Sr Keith. Participants then had the opportunity to confront their past through the Sacrament of Confession and partake in the Eucharistic celebration.

The first session for the day was presented by Ms. Camari Bainivalu, former Principal at DBTI Henderson and the first Co-operator in the Solomon Islands. She spoke on the Strenna and the Dream at 9. She outlined practical ways for young people to live good Christian lives. The second session featured talks presented by Bosconian past pupils, encouraging the young people to dream big. The participants were divided into their group colors and listened to the Bosconians as they shared their experiences as students of Don Bosco. The past pupils challenged the participants to make their dreams a reality. The participants were attentive and inspired by the talks. During the third session, Ms. Adi Lydia Tenakanai, SYM Coordinator for PGS, challenged the youths to dream and build a stronger, better community by contributing with small acts of hope. She shared Don Bosco's dream for Oceania, and emphasized, that Don Bosco heard the cry of young people in the PGS vice province. “Now, as Bosconians, we must contribute to Don Bosco’s dream,” she stated. She then concluded her presentation with a video from a Wantok Bosco Camp in PNG.

After lunch, the participants engaged in a variety of sports activities and competed for top spots. They enjoyed volleyball, soccer, tug of war, and parlour games. The participants then had a spiritual encounter with the Lord in Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Following Adoration and Reconciliation, the youths had dinner and then embarked on a journey with Our Blessed Mother through the Rosary. The night concluded with a Vocation Promotion by the SDB and the FMA Sisters. Sr Anna Maria Gervasion began by explaining a brief history of the FMA Sister Congregation, followed by a few FMA Sisters and SDBs from Tetere and Henderson sharing their personal vocational stories and testimonies.

The final Sunday Eucharistic Celebration was celebrated by Fr Peter Van from DBRTC, Tetere. It was attended by the participants and animators together with their families and friends from the Henderson community. With Salesian joy in their hearts they returned to their villages.







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