Laura Vicuna Hostel
Henderson, Solomon Islands
The Laura Vicuna Hostel is run by the Salesian sisters. The hostel is located in Henderson, not far from the capital, Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal. It houses up to 36 local women from all over the country (aged 16-mid 20s) and provides a safe and quiet place for them to live while they finish their education. Many of the girls attend Don Bosco Technical Institute, which is run by Salesian priests and brothers and is just across the road from the hostel.
The Sisters work in collaboration with lay staff and volunteers to run the Hostel. As many of the young women come from remote parts of the country this enables them to give more time to their studies. The extra time for study has meant that the young women achieve higher grades and experience increased educational success.
In 2014 the Sisters opened the Maria Mazzarello Development Centre. The Centre uses the facilities of the hostel in order to conduct weekday classes. At the centre, the Sisters offer young mothers and other young women the possibility of completing their interrupted education and acquire employment and life skills. The programme runs for six months and there are two per year.
The Cagliero Project sent its first volunteer to the Solomon Islands in 2011. Volunteers that attend this placement act as house mothers for the girls, living with them, organising activities, helping with mealtimes and assisting with study. They are also invited to participate in the various activities that the Sisters are involved such as Sunday Oratory, Social Communications Office activities and diocesan events.
Laura Vicuna Hostel needs volunteers to work in the following areas:
- living with and mentoring young women from the hostel
- teaching life skills at the Maria Mazzarello Development Centre
- conducting afterschool tutoring sessions and evening activities
- leading oratory activities at the local parish in Red Beach
- giving formation talks, workshops or retreats on personal and spiritual development