Fr Roel Soto, 48 years of age and who hails from the Philippines, has been in Cambodia since 2009. Prior to coming to Cambodia and transferring definitively to the THA Province, he had been the Rector and also Bursar at Canlubang, the postnovitiate centre located in the Philippines North Province. He was ordained priest in 1993.
Cambodia became a Delegation under Thailand Province in June 2013. A draft of the Statutes, first proposed a year before that again, reads: "The purpose of establishing the delegation of Cambodia is to foster the overall growth of the Salesian presences in Cambodia and to better coordinate and animate the works of the communities and centers. It is the hope of the THA Province that the experience of working as a Delegation will foster a better animation and good government. It also seeks to take into account the present needs of the Delegation and the many challenges faced by it. Seeing that within the confines of the province, there are reasons that prevent the provincial from the proper care of the communities in Cambodia, the Provincial and his council propose the establishment of the Delegation of Cambodia within the Province (cf. Regulations 159) with these statutes."
This follows the guidelines of the Constitutions (C. 159) which say: A delegation is usually set up when distance or other reasons prevent the Provincial from taking proper care of some local communities with a certain unity amongst them but without the prerequisites necessary for erection as a vice-province may be set up as a delegation with the approval of the Rector Major, after a request has come from the provincial, with the consent of his council.
The Delegation has 6 presences spread over five territorial provinces in Cambodia – Phnom Penh where there is a technical school, parish, youth centre and boarding houses, Tuol Kork with the Don Bosco Children Fund's National Secretariat and Don Bosco Kiosk Restaurant Training Centre, Sihanoukville where there is a technical school, youth centre, pre-aspirantate and hotel school, Kep where there is the Social communication centre and youth camp, Poipet where there is the children’s home , elementary school and technical school and Battambang where there is the academic school and agro-vocational school.
EAO now has four Delegations (Cambodia, Mongolia, PNG-SI, Indonesia) with a fifth one under consideration – Pakistan. Other Delegations in the Congregation are: Eritrea, Congo Brazzaville, DRC Congo west, Sudan, AFO west (Senegal, Mali, Guinea Conakry), Belarus, Malta, Puerto Rico, Cuba.
Source: The AustraLasia