The Australian Salesian Missions Overseas Aid Fund (ASMOAF) in conjunction with the Australian Social Communications team, have released a new video that celebrates the progress of a significant milestone in its Pacific Project – Fiji Youth and Educational Centre. The video updates donors on the impact of their contributions whilst highlighting the potential of the centre and the need for further support.
ASMOAF, Misiones Madrid and the Australia-Pacific Province have been working in collaboration to raise funds and best meet the needs of the local Salesian community of the St. John Bosco parish in Nasinu,Fiji. Misiones Madrid in particular have provided a substantial amount of funding for the the Youth and Educational Centre, which has gone a long way in creating a place that will provide Fijian young people with a place to visit and feel at home; a place where they can learn, live and laugh.
44% of the population in Fiji are under the age of 25 and there are limited opportunities for employment; this centre will be vital in helping these youngsters on the right path for their future lives.
The future of Fiji is very young but it also gets brighter every single day!!!
Parish priest Fr Mikaere Leilua is overseeing the project and in the video, expresses his deep gratitude to the donors. The project is now well underway, having suffered setbacks related to wet weather and delays in the delivery of the steel beams, however it is now full steam ahead!
The video can be viewed on YouTube and those who have contributed to the project are encouraged to share the video with their friends, families and communities. It is hoped that the construction of this centre will be a turning point for the Salesians in Fiji, providing them with even greater means of empowering the local communities.
The community garden is already flourishing, as construction for the community hall goes on behind it
The Salesians of Don Bosco have been a part of the Fijian community since the year 1999, primarily a house of studies catering for young Salesians from the Pacific region, as well as some involvement in local parish activities. During a visit in 2015, the Rector Major (Fr Ángel Fernández Artime) expressed a strong desire to see the community expand to include a strong youth-focused outreach, which was a motivating factor of this project.
The Youth and Educational Centre will include a multipurpose community space, open areas for learning, kitchen and dining area, sporting and recreational facility and a community garden; all these resources will help create a central hub where young people will be able to meet in a safe environment and grow as they walk accompanied by their peers and their Salesian mentors.