Updated: February 09, 2011 04:27 AM GMT
The construction of a vocational training complex in Thecho, a developing suburb in southern Kathmandu, is about to fulfill the nearly 20-year-dream of the Salesian Fathers of Don Bosco in Nepal. As the Salesians were looking ahead in 2000, they had bought a two-hectare chicken farm to supplement the expansion of their work, said Father Benjamin Pampackel, rector of the Salesian community in Kathmandu. Since 1992, when the first Salesian priest started working in Dharan in eastern Nepal, the Nepal Don Bosco Society had only been providing formal education through high schools, hostels, tuition centers and student scholarships. After the Don Bosco Vocational Institute complex that is currently being built is scheduled to be finished in July, the Salesians can provide vocational skills training at the center which will also host a hostel for students and staff quarters. The main building will include nine laboratories, six classrooms, an assembly hall, offices, a conference hall and a library. “We will provide vocational and technical skills and also give hope to the poor or even school dropouts who may be talented in technical work. The complex will provide a one-year training to boys and girls in eight trades,” said Father Pampackel. The eight vocational training areas comprise of modern office management, fashion designing and dressmaking, electronics, electrical maintenance, welding and fabrication, computer training and automobile mechanic and driving. Around 270 youths aged 15 to 25 years are estimated to benefit from the vocational complex each year. The hostel will house 80 girls and boys, perhaps from remote villages, said Father Pampackel. “Even before this construction started we have been running an informal computer training program under tin sheds for youths and some training in welding and carpentry. Now with the new buildings we will start a formal vocational technical training program with government recognition.” Apart from that we have also been operating a tuition center for over 200 children in the neighborhood to ensure that they do well in their schools, said Salesian Brother Polycarp Ekka, who is involved in supervising the carpentry and welding of chairs and computer tables for the new institute. We have been providing textbooks, schools fees and even school uniforms for the poor ones, Brother Ekka said. “We will send out notices for appropriate trainee admissions to all parishes and Catholic institutions of Nepal as we are scheduled to start in July,” said Salesian Father Jaison Nedumkallel, who is overseeing the construction work in Thecho. “I am very impressed and cannot help thinking of my own home in Rautahat district where Tharu tribals really need both formal and informal education very badly,” said Gopi Choudhary, a staff of the Nepal government’s Social Welfare Council who is currently evaluating the Salesian’s technical project. Related reports Don Bosco vocational school extends outreachHigh-school girls hope to enter Salesian-run vocational school NP13140.1639
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