Samoa boasts one of the most stable and healthy economies in the Pacific region, according to the World Bank. The poverty rate, once just over 26 percent, has dropped closer to 20 percent as the country strives to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals, a blueprint driving efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.
Although Samoa has made impressive progress in social development, many rural communities in the country grapple with an unequal distribution of wealth and benefits. Poorer communities in remote parts of the islands are particularly vulnerable, especially in areas most likely to be affected by cyclones or other natural disasters. Gender inequality is apparent as women strive and often fail to find the same work and income opportunities as men and youth find it increasingly difficult to find livable wage employment in the country.
Salesian programs in Samoa are working to provide youth with an education and training as well as the necessary resources to find and keep employment.
Salesian missionaries in Samoa are providing education and technical skills training to help disadvantaged youth find and retain employment. Two Salesian schools, Don Bosco Technical Center in Alafua and the Don Bosco High School/Vocational Center at Salelologa, provide educational opportunities for students whose parents are unable to provide financial assistance for their education.
Don Bosco Technical Center in Alafua was established in 1998, and currently has 245 young men from Samoa and Tokelau as students. Students have the opportunity to choose from either a general or specialized trade training. The technical training is complemented by courses in Samoan and English languages, mathematics, technical drawing, computer studies and religion.
In addition, the center promotes personal, moral and spiritual growth, skills leadership development and teamwork through cultural and sporting activities. The students at Don Bosco learn skills that are in demand in Samoa. Upon graduation, many secure work almost immediately, which is a significant achievement in a country with high unemployment.
The Don Bosco High School/Vocational Center at Salelologa has more than 300 students. Many come from remote villages on a school bus made available through the school. The center offers an integrated curriculum with academic and technical subjects designed to provide students with employment and human relations skills as well as self-reliance.
Don Bosco College and Vocational Center in Salelologa, a village district at the east end of Savai’i Island in Samoa, has a new water tank system thanks to funding provided by Salesian Missions. The funding helped to provide water tanks and pumps for water storage necessary for the school, especially during Samoa’s dry season.
The college is located downhill from seven new water tanks so that the school water will be gravity-fed without the expense of additional water pumps. The college located three new water tanks at the new Don Bosco Hall, which is currently under construction. This will provide a separate water supply to a location situated away from the existing water pipes and avoid additional expense to the college. The new water tanks and associated pumps and pipes will be maintained by college maintenance staff as a part of their normal duties.
For the second year in a row, millions of students around the world face uncertainty about their studies—and parents and teachers alike worry about the ongoing negative impacts of another disrupted school year. Not so in Samoa,
Programs in India, Nepal, Nicaragua and Samoa illustrate the work of Salesians around the globe who are focused on providing education during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept. 8, 2020) Salesia
Although Samoa enjoys a relatively healthy economy, and demonstrates a commitment to social development, many rural residents continue to struggle with the negative effects of wealth inequality—including the lack of livable-wage