Time ago, a group from Ratanakiri province asked Don Bosco to open a youth centre in that northern region of Cambodia, among indigenous communities. With few Salesians, it has been difficult to realize, but Don Bosco never forgets an invitation, especially if it is about youth. 

Every year, youth from Ratanakiri province receive the technical schools promotions to engage and travel several kilometers away from their ancestral lands to study. Many of them have already join technical skills at Don Bosco Phnom Penh, Kep and Sihanoukville. In 2016, 11 boys and 1 girl from the Jarai people joint the Don Bosco Brother Sun Children Program at Don Bosco Kep, 700 kilometers away from their Bokeo District. The experience with them at the residence lasted two years, but being a teenager far from mom and dad and their ancestral traditions, was a real challenge. In 2018 they returned home. 

The Sun Program did not forget the Jarai children and continue since then supporting their studies now in their own province. It is a Salesian Oratory led directly by the Holy Spirit, where the same children are the animators, keeping online contact with Don Bosco Kep, applying what they saw and learned in two years of experience at the children residence. 

The pandemic affected very much a region made of several indigenous groups at the north of Cambodia, near the three borders with Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. It is like the “Amazons” of Cambodia, enduring similar situations of what the Amazon´s Synod describes. When indigenous groups are cut from their natural and traditions resources to give way to huge plantations that they do not own, the danger is hunger, lack of opportunities and discrimination. 

During this time of pandemic and through the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund and the Brother Sun Program, the team has followed the situation of the Jarai children, sending support and encouraging them to continue at school – mostly online during this time, since there is always the risk that they abandoned education in order to work in anything. 

Last August there was a football championship among four Jarai villages of Bokeo District. The plan for one Salesian and some teachers from Don Bosco Kep to travel to Bokeo for the championship was no possible due to the pandemic and heavy raining. But it was the time to show that youth can become leaders anytime, especially if they got a good experience. The same Jarai Brother Sun boys prepared, invited and realised the football activity, meeting more than 100 indigenous boys from their region, distributing the Don Bosco brochures to 12th grade students and package of food for their families in the name of their Puk Bosco.

The spirit of the Amazon´s Synod is spreading everywhere in the planet, especially in what has to see with the evangelization and accompaniment of indigenous communities. The need to protect the indigenous roots, traditions and wisdom is a part of what the Salesians can do along with the preventive system.  

An ONLINE ORATORY: The Jarai children set the “Youth of Chrong Village” to keep in touch with their Jarai same generation and with Don Bosco Kep, their other home, although 700 kilometers south.

The Jarai children are the responsible to share the brochures of Don Bosco, inviting youth of 12th grade to join the technical skills. Since 2015 more than 100 indigenous youth from Ratanakiri, including Jarai, Kreng and Tampung, are now Don Bosco past pupils working mostly in their own region, as Don Bosco encouraged them to do so in order to keep their communities, traditions and languages alive. 

Two of our “Salesians in site”… Two Brother Sun boys who have been at Don Bosco Kep for two years, are now the leaders of the Online Oratory.

Members of the Jarai Don Bosco Brother Sun group at the Chrong Village local school.

The beginning of the Don Bosco Brother Sun Children in 2016 supported by Kindermissionwerk of Achen, Germany. It includes to support vulnerable rural and indigenous children of Cambodia. 

During the visit of the Rector Major to Cambodia on March 2017, a Jarai boy and a Khmer girl greeted him at the Don Bosco Birth House Monument in Kep. Now both of them are young people who continue their studies: the girl in Kep and the boy in Ratanakiri.

Hea Sen, the same kid at the photo with the Rector Major, dreams with a better future for his Jarai community in Ratanakiri.

thank for: https://www.bosco.link/index.php?mid=My_news&document_srl=63173