Thirteen Australian youth and young professionals together with their leader and animator, Lauren Hichaaba, from Cagliero Project arrived at noon time last July 3rd, 2013 at Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh for their 10-day immersion program. Their objectives were to get immersed into a different culture overseas, experience a Salesian environment, interact and relate with Salesian youth from a different culture, share their skills and talents and form bonds that last.
The Salesian community, boarders, students and staff gave the group a simple and warm welcome. The following day the group immediately set out organizing a fun-filled day of activities of music, art, dance, drama, language and sports in the Salesian way. They lived and stayed with the boarders for two days while giving formation to the oratory leaders and animating the Sundayoratory activities. In the afternoons of Saturday and Sunday they got acquainted with Cambodian history and places by visiting Toul Sleng, the Killing Fields, famous markets in Phnom Penh, and finally, a boat tour with supper along the Mekong River in the evening.
In the succeeding three days they lived with the families of some of our staff and experienced their life. During the day they gave professional development to the management team with some teacher representatives from each department, did painting projects in the school farm house and Don Bosco Children Fund Center in Toul Kork, and plumbing instructions and works in the school with the maintenance staff and some students.
The immersion program was so short, but intense. It was simple, but meaningful. There was intense giving, sharing and interaction while there was openness to receive, learn and relate with one another as brothers and sisters in one big family of Don Bosco. At the end of the immersion program at Don Bosco Technical School, the group proceeded to Siem Reap for a 3-day rest, bonding and enriching tour in the ancient remains of the Khmer Empire before flying back to Australia on July 16th, 2013.