Australia is well known for its beautiful natural wonders, wide open spaces, deserts and beaches. It is also one of the world’s most highly urbanised countries and has some wonderful cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Australia is a wonderfully diverse nation of migrants and people come from all over the world to make Australia their home.
Australia’s First Nations peoples have lived on the continent for over 50,000 years. There are two distinct groups of Indigenous people in Australia - Torres Strait Islanders, who come from the Torres Strait Islands, and Aboriginal people, who come from all other parts of Australia. Each of these have their own distinct languages, cultures and beliefs and therefore, when we refer to “Indigenous Australians”, we’re actually using a collective name to refer to hundreds of diverse groups that spanned the entire continent for thousands of years
Despite the incredible things that Australia has to offer, there are still many challenges faced by young people. Many young Australians suffer from mental health conditions and issues with substance abuse. Unemployment, poverty and homelessness are also issues that impact upon young people, with young people aged 12-24 years making up on quarter of Australia’s total homeless population.
The first Salesians arrived in Australia in 1922 to work with Aboriginal Australians in the Kimberley. Eventually, they moved to Victoria where they established several schools and other works in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales over the years. The Australia-Pacific province now encompasses Australia, Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand with work in 15 different centres.
The Cagliero Project seeks volunteers for Australia to work in the Engadine community at St. John Bosco Parish and the Dunlea Centre, both of which are found in the greater Sydney area and offer an all sorts of positive ministries to those who need them the most.
Cambodia, a predominantly Buddhist country, is home to the magnificent Angkor Wat however the real treasure of Cambodia is the Khmer people. Cambodians suffered enormously under the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge during the seventies. Despite the atrocities of its recent history and its ongoing impact, the Khmer people have a remarkably positive and peaceful spirit.
Life in Cambodia is tough for most Khmer people. The major social problems include corruption, poverty and gender inequality. Young people experience the harshest consequences surrounding these issues, which often seriously impact upon their health and ability to access basic education. Cambodia is an area of priority for the Cagliero Project as its many Salesian programs and schools remain severely understaffed.
The Salesians of Don Bosco in Cambodia work under the NGO: Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia (DBFC). DBFC started working in Khmer refugee camps in Thailand during the 1980’s. In 1990, DBFC was invited by the Royal Government to open technical schools in Cambodia. One year later, it opened Don Bosco Technical School, Phnom Penh. In 1991, the Don Bosco Children’s Fund was created by DBFC to support children from vulnerable communities to be able to attend schools and assist with their basic needs. The Don Bosco Hotel school was opened in 2007 to train young people in the ever expanding hospitality and tourism industries.
The Cagliero Project seeks volunteers to work for Don Bosco Technical School, Don Bosco Hotel School and Don Bosco Children’s Fund.
Fiji is made up of 330 islands, with only around a third known to be inhibited. Fiji is sprawling with natural beauty located in the South Pacific approximately 3000 km from Australia and 2000km North of New Zealand.
With more than one fourth of the population of Fiji under the age of 15, the population is young. Income disparity between urban and rural families, and access to education and employment impact the prospects for all. The two main sources of income in Fiji are subsistence farming and tourism.
Fiji’s many mixed ethnicities lend itself to a rich cultural heritage, with aspects of traditional Fijian life, such as traditional crafts, village systems, and ceremonies still present in daily life.
The Salesians have been present in Fiji since 1999 with Don Bosco Formation House located in Suva. The Salesians are actively engaged in offering activities to youth of the Muanikoso and the Makoi area, and have recently finished the construction of and opened ‘Don Bosco Youth and Education Centre’.
Samoa is one of the most beautiful islands in the South Pacific. There are only 190,400 people that inhabit Upolu and Savai’i, the two islands that make up Samoa, a predominantly Christian country. Samoans have a very strong cultural identity and take great pride in ‘Fa’a Samoa’ - the Samoan way. Their culture puts a great emphasis on family and the ‘Fale’ (house) as the centre of their lives.
Samoans enjoy a relaxed pace of living, however there are many things that threaten their way of life, including natural disasters such as tsunamis and cyclones. Major social issues in Samoa are poor nutrition, domestic violence, alcohol abuse and a lack of employment opportunities. The country’s economy is extremely limited, with most money coming from foreign aid. Due to these and other contributing factors, Samoa has one of the world’s highest rates of youth suicide. These ongoing social problems have presented great struggles for the people of Samoa. The Cagliero project works closely with Samoa as it is one of our closest neighbours in the pacific.
The Salesians of Don Bosco first came to Samoa in 1981. In that year they established a technical school for young men that had not succeeded in mainstream education. Today, Don Bosco Technical Centre is one of the most respected schools in the country. Salesian Priests, along with the Salesian Sisters, now run: parishes, youth centres and primary and secondary schools throughout Samoa.
The Cagliero Project seeks volunteers for Divine Mercy Primary School, Malololelei, Don Bosco High School, Saleleloga and Don Bosco Technical School, Alafua.
Solomon Islands is a beautiful country located in Melanesia full of diversity and rich in culture. It consists of nearly 1000 different islands, each with its own traditions and unique language. In order to communicate with those who are not their 'wantok' (someone who shares their language, and who is therefore regarded as family), Solomon people speak pidgin - a mix of English and their native languages.
The Solomons have been the home of many recent conflicts. From 1998- 2002 the people of Guadalcanal and Malaita were involved in a brutal civil war known as ‘The Tension’. In an effort to rehabilitate the country, in 2003 Australia and the neighbouring Pacific Islands formed the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). This presence has led to a large ex-pat community in Honiara. While many Solomon people live quite western lives the majority live in villages in a more traditionally cultural way.
There are many problems that impact upon the youth in Solomon Islands. In particular the lack of access to education and health care limits their prospects in life.
The Salesian Sisters have been working in the Solomons since January 2007. They opened a girls hostel to give young women a safe and supportive environment to pursue their studies. In 2014 they opened a brand new Development Centre to cater for young mothers.
The Cagliero Project supports the Sisters in the Solomon Islands by providing volunteers for the Laura Vicuna Hostel and the Maria Mazzarello Development Centre, both located in Henderson.
Timor-Leste, despite its difficult history, is becoming one of the safest countries in the world. It is known for its incredible natural beauty and its rich culture. Timor-Leste has transitioned from a country in turmoil to a peaceful and democratic place. The country boasts great natural beauty however the people, with their warm welcoming nature and natural generosity, are the most precious thing about Timor-Leste.
The Timorese however are still working to rebuild their country in the wake of a devastating civil war that claimed countless lives, decimated entire communities, and resulted in living conditions that are among the worst in the world. One-third of the population faces food shortages and many of the schools have been destroyed. The Salesians have been in Timor-Leste since 1927. The Salesians are working for young people across Timor-Leste in ministries that include schools, orphanages and medical clinics. In many of the Salesian works there is a real focus on teaching agricultural skills. Thus ensuring that the education provided is resulting in a realistic livelihood for the young people.
Timor-Leste is our closest neighbour. As a nation it is still finding it difficult to establish itself and advance into the 21st Century for this reason Timor-Leste is a new venture for the Cagliero Project. The Cagliero Project will seek volunteers at the various Technical Schools in Timor-Leste and to work with the young people in youth centres and orphanages.
The Cagliero Project supports the work of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Los Palos and Fatumaca.