Young people in Alafua are greatly benefiting from the growth of the fine arts program

The fine art program was one of three programs introduced into Don Bosco Technical Centre in 2020.

Mane is the Principal at Don Bosco Technical Centre and does all he can to create as many opportunities for the young people he serves.

As only five major programs were taught in the school, I saw the need for more programs to be added to the curriculum for student selection and the sustainable development of the school.  

In previous years, Don Bosco Technical Centre needed to hire someone with artistic skills to decorate the customized furniture our students had made so we could meet the order requirements of our customers.  As demand for our customized projects grew within the local communities, I decided to hire someone possessing the skill to join the Construction Department to add value to the design of community projects.
One of the sculpting students shows off his incredible work.

The fine art program instructor joined the construction team and began working with our final year construction students, carving furniture and painting artworks. 

By the end of the year, the program had delivered positive outcomes as it had provided opportunities to broaden students’ skills and creativity, fostering positive relationships with customers and, most importantly, fostering new skills for the sustainable development of our young people. 

At the beginning of the 2021 academic year the program was separated from the Construction department and a new trainer was recruited to assist with the delivery of the program. It was also integrated into the first year students’ curriculum so it could be on the same page with other programs.  The following year, students interested in fine art were able to select the program as their area of specialisation. 

There are many skills the students develop during their training, including carving furniture, creating stained glass windows, designing stencils for fashion designers, carving wood and stone, producing artistic pictures and much more. 
Many of the art projects are of an incredibly high quality!

These are all catering for customized projects that have been requested by the community, and the inclusion of fine art benefits other programs, students and the school at large.

These skills are rare, but much needed in the community, and therefore very expensive. I confidently anticipate that this program will not only give the school a competitive advantage but will benefit the students in the long run. The skills can be commercialized, and today they have become one of the most respectable, high-paying jobs a student could get.  

This program continues to gain momentum and interest; there was not enough classroom space to accommodate the third year students this year. We are so grateful to our supporters in Australia through Salesian Missions and particularly the staff and students at Salesian College Chadstone for assisting us with this building. The building has now been completed and the students are thriving in their new space. 
There are many different skills on offer as a part of the program.

Overall, this program is playing an important role in the holistic development of our students in making plans for their projects and promoting creativity and innovation. There will be an opportunity to market students’ work and the school simultaneously, thus increasing the chances of employability.

Today, both students and the school are able to build relationships with other professionals and customers. This will allow us to share work, find potential clients and promote  the students’ future careers. 

To support wonderful programs like this Salesian Missions Australia!

This story originally appeared in the Autumn 2023 edition of the Australian Salesian Bulletin