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BOVAPeterAnita6July2018

Peter with Anita from BOVA at Thornleigh House

Peter Hampshire has recently returned from an overseas placement with Bosco Volunteer Action (BOVA) in southern Vietnam, where he joined Don Bosco Dong Thuan, a residential vocational school. When he visited Thornleigh House for a post-placement “debrief” with BOVA Coordinator Anita, I asked him about his impressions of the project and the country, and the difference the experience has made to him.


I spent most of my time supporting community activities, teaching some English, and supporting the students with their music, sport, prayer time, and just generally joining in with meals and activities. The age range was mostly 15-22, but the oldest was 24 and the youngest was 13. The students come from all over Vietnam and they have very different backgrounds - some are very rich and some are very poor. Most of them come from socially tough backgrounds, maybe their parents have split and they've had difficult things to deal with.

 

I think the main motivation for families sending them was to help them appreciate the importance of education, and to give them a good education and good values. They were trained in vocational skills as well, mechanics and engineering for the boys, sewing and hair and beauty for the girls. They can almost guarantee the students a job after they graduate from the school, so it's a good system. When they leave, some go back to live with their families and work near home, but many go to Ho Chi Min City for work, and they’ll find places to live there.

 

Published in Featured News
Thursday, 16 November 2017 16:31

BOVA volunteer Peter adjusts to life in Vietnam

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Overseas volunteering takes you out of your comfort zone and challenges your expections! BOVA volunteer, Peter, has been at his placement in Vietnam for just over a month, and still working out which way is up! Here, he candidly shares his thoughts about the joys and challenges he's meeting so far, and tells us about the Salesian community he is living in, and the work being done with young people. In the photo above, the young people and community of Don Thuang are celebrating Spetember birthdays. Peter is on the front row, 4th from the left.

 

I should mention before you start reading about my experience here that I'm still in a confused phase where I often have no idea what is going on, as I have only been in Vietnam for about five weeks! 75% of the boys and girls living in the Community speak only a few words of English and I'm pretty sure they have absolutely no idea what language I'm using when I try to make conversation in Vietnamese. In contrast, the English spoken by the Salesian fathers, brothers and sisters is very good but much more variable. I could not for the life of me explain how to play World Football Stars 2013/2014 Top Trumps to one of the senior fathers, called Fr Nguyen, during a long taxi ride. Communication is difficult. Dong Thuan is an incredible place, with incredible people, but I'm very aware some of the opinions I have written below might only be half the story, and they may change in the coming months of my placement.

I am an 18-year-old Salesian Volunteer, and have just finished my A Levels. I decided to apply for a placement with Bosco Volunteer Action for around 10 months in the year before going to University. I've found a lot of this first term really tough. Having said this, I have to say there have been many events and experiences here that I've thoroughly enjoyed and I'm very grateful to be here.

Published in Featured News
Thursday, 09 August 2018 09:04

VIDES Holiday Hangout 2018 in Croxteth

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The VIDES UK team kicked off a busy summer with a project for children aged 4-6 in the local community of Croxteth, Liverpool.

 

The Celebration of Nations" theme lent itself to plenty of fun and games over the four days of activity, as well as showing the children the work VIDES does in other countries, making pizza and learning a little Italian. The team encouraged the children to think about the "friendship request" God is sending to each of them, and how they can respond.

Published in Featured News
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 15:17

Sean Devereux - 25 years on

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On 2nd January 1993, Sean Devereux was assassinated in Kismayo, Somalia. He was 28 years old. Today, we pray for him, for his family, and for all those who risk their lives to help others.

Published in Featured News
Friday, 22 September 2017 09:55

New BOVA volunteers head overseas

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Anita Motha introduces the two latest BOVA volunteers as they settle into their overseas placements.

 

This summer has been particularly busy for two new BOVA volunteers, Peter and Angela, as they have been preparing for long term overseas placements with Salesian communities. After receiving excellent A-level results and securing their first choices of university offers, they are eagerly anticipating the start of their placements.

Published in Youth Ministry

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Photo: Anita Motha

Staff and religious from the Salesians, Jesuits, Assumption Sisters and Columbans joined forces again last week to prepare their new volunteers for overseas service. The group gathered for five days, hosted by the Assumption Sisters at Millaret House, in central London’s Heythrop College, for this year’s Lay Missionary Volunteer Network (LMVN) orientation week, to introduce volunteers to each other, and help them get ready for their challenging but exciting experiences ahead when they leave the get new volunteers ready for their service in other countries.

Published in Featured News

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Last Thursday, I spent a day with the first of the Phoenix Summer Camp groups, as they took a trip to the banks of the River Mersey, near Stockport, for a day of exciting outdoor activities.

 

At 10:30 on the dot, minibuses arrived at Burnage Rugby Club bringing Year 7 pupils from Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton; Our Lady's Catholic College, Lancaster; and St James' Catholic High School, Cheadle. Unfortunatley, at 10:35, the blazing sun hid and the rain came down, but the high spirits of the youngsters could not be dampened!

Published in Featured News
Thursday, 03 August 2017 10:45

VIDES UK's Scottish adventure

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The VIDES UK Volunteer Team chilling out

 

VIDES UK embarked on a new Scottish adventure at the end of July, with the opening of the first of the 2017 summer camps in Paisley.


Volunteers arrived early for a final period of preparation to make sure everyone and everything was well and truly ready for a successful and hectic week. At an evening gathering, the team met some of the young people who would be attending, along with their families, and were delighted that Provost Cameron, councillor for Paisley South West. and the Provost of Renfrewshire, came along to show her support for the project.

Published in Salesian Sisters News

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