Cambodia, a predominantly Buddhist country, is home to the magnificent Angkor Wat however the real treasure of Cambodia is the Khmer people. Cambodians suffered enormously under the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge during the seventies. Despite the atrocities of its recent history and its ongoing impact, the Khmer people have a remarkably positive and peaceful spirit.
Life in Cambodia is tough for most Khmer people. The major social problems include corruption, poverty and gender inequality. Young people experience the harshest consequences surrounding these issues, which often seriously impact upon their health and ability to access basic education. Cambodia is an area of priority for the Cagliero Project as its many Salesian programs and schools remain severely understaffed.
The Salesians of Don Bosco in Cambodia work under the NGO: Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia (DBFC). DBFC started working in Khmer refugee camps in Thailand during the 1980’s. In 1990, DBFC was invited by the Royal Government to open technical schools in Cambodia. One year later, it opened Don Bosco Technical School, Phnom Penh. In 1991, the Don Bosco Children’s Fund was created by DBFC to support children from vulnerable communities to be able to attend schools and assist with their basic needs. The Don Bosco Hotel school was opened in 2007 to train young people in the ever expanding hospitality and tourism industries.
The Cagliero Project seeks volunteers to work for Don Bosco Technical School, Don Bosco Hotel School and Don Bosco Children’s Fund.
Samoa is one of the most beautiful islands in the South Pacific. There are only 190,400 people that inhabit Upolu and Savai’i, the two islands that make up Samoa, a predominantly Christian country. Samoans have a very strong cultural identity and take great pride in ‘Fa’a Samoa’ - the Samoan way. Their culture puts a great emphasis on family and the ‘Fale’ (house) as the centre of their lives.
Samoans enjoy a relaxed pace of living, however there are many things that threaten their way of life, including natural disasters such as tsunamis and cyclones. Major social issues in Samoa are poor nutrition, domestic violence, alcohol abuse and a lack of employment opportunities. The country’s economy is extremely limited, with most money coming from foreign aid. Due to these and other contributing factors, Samoa has one of the world’s highest rates of youth suicide. These ongoing social problems have presented great struggles for the people of Samoa. The Cagliero project works closely with Samoa as it is one of our closest neighbours in the pacific.
The Salesians of Don Bosco first came to Samoa in 1981. In that year they established a technical school for young men that had not succeeded in mainstream education. Today, Don Bosco Technical Centre is one of the most respected schools in the country. Salesian Priests, along with the Salesian Sisters, now run: parishes, youth centres and primary and secondary schools throughout Samoa.
The Cagliero Project seeks volunteers for Divine Mercy Primary School, Malololelei, Don Bosco High School, Saleleloga and Don Bosco Technical School, Alafua.
Solomon Islands is a beautiful country located in Melanesia full of diversity and rich in culture. It consists of nearly 1000 different islands, each with its own traditions and unique language. In order to communicate with those who are not their 'wantok' (someone who shares their language, and who is therefore regarded as family), Solomon people speak pidgin - a mix of English and their native languages.
The Solomons have been the home of many recent conflicts. From 1998- 2002 the people of Guadalcanal and Malaita were involved in a brutal civil war known as ‘The Tension’. In an effort to rehabilitate the country, in 2003 Australia and the neighbouring Pacific Islands formed the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). This presence has led to a large ex-pat community in Honiara. While many Solomon people live quite western lives the majority live in villages in a more traditionally cultural way.
There are many problems that impact upon the youth in Solomon Islands. In particular the lack of access to education and health care limits their prospects in life.
The Salesian Sisters have been working in the Solomons since January 2007. They opened a girls hostel to give young women a safe and supportive environment to pursue their studies. In 2014 they opened a brand new Development Centre to cater for young mothers.
The Cagliero Project supports the Sisters in the Solomon Islands by providing volunteers for the Laura Vicuna Hostel and the Maria Mazzarello Development Centre, both located in Henderson.
Thailand is a proudly Buddhist nation known for its incredible hospitality that is extended to all visitors. Thailand is famous for its wonderful cuisine and exquisite beaches. The Thai cultural identity is very strong which is predominantly due to the fact that they are the only country in Southeast Asia that was never colonised.
There are however some difficult realities in Thailand that are passed over by the eye of the tourist. Significant social issues include limited access to education and gender inequality. There are also many problems in the north of Thailand with the marginalisation of the hill tribe people. Young people in particular are often left extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged as a result of these issues.
The Salesians of Don Bosco first came to Bangkok, Thailand in 1927. The Salesians now run parishes, youth centres and primary and secondary schools throughout Thailand. Today, the Salesians continue to work with orphaned young people and also hill tribe youth who are commonly placed on the periphery of Thai society.
Thailand is an area of priority for the Cagliero Project as it remains a place of effective outreach for disadvantaged young people. The Cagliero Project seeks volunteers for Don Bosco Home in Bangsak and Don Bosco Home in Chiang Mai.
Zambia is a large country found in the southern part of Africa. It is marketed to tourists as ‘the real Africa’ and is known for its amazing landscapes, wildlife viewing and the magnificent Victoria Falls. Zambian people are renowned as some of the friendliest and hospitable in Africa. Zambia is a predominantly Christian country that is home to seven major different tribes. Unlike many of Zambia’s neighbouring countries there is very little tribal animosity.
Despite the vibrant spirit of the Zambian people the average Zambian lives in dire poverty. The biggest issue for Zambian young people is the prevalence of HIV/AIDs. Poor access to health and education are additional factors impacting negatively on the lives and welfare of young people. The cycle of poverty has no end in sight as over half of the population are unable to secure employment and there is widespread corruption on all levels and in all facets of society.
The Salesian Sisters first began work in Zambia in 1984 and have since established a strong presence throughout the country, working in schools, orphanages and oratories.
The Cagliero project seeks volunteers for City of Joy, a Salesian home for girls at risk in Mazabuka.