A Man with a Dream: The Language of Love Unites Us All

 

2 August 2012 | General Interest

A Man with a Dream: The Language of Love Unites Us All

New Electronics Facility at Don Bosco Technical Centre 

 

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“This new electronics workshop at Don Bosco Technical Centre Alafua provides the basis for improving the technical capacity of the young people of Samoa”, said his Excellency, Mr Hideto Mitamura, the Japanese Ambassador to Samoa at the official blessing and opening of the recently completed facility on 2 August. Mr Mitamura was joined by other dignitaries including the Prime Minister of Samoa, the Honourable Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and the Director of Catholic Education, Aeau Chris Hazelman to celebrate a project that resulted from initiative of one man.

Mr Kuniaki Suzuki, a volunteer with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has spent the past two years working at Don Bosco Alafua, primarily teaching electronics out of a converted classroom and without a proper laboratory or workshop and without the necessary furniture or equipment. Mr Suzuki is a man of vast professional experience and technical expertise and capacity to love. In his time at Don Bosco he has grown to love the school, the teachers and the boys, and they have returned that love in abundance. He is also a man with an extraordinary vision. He dreamt of establishing a proper electronics and electrics facility to improve the facilities and the educational outcomes of the students. Mr Suzuki set about petitioning the Japanese Embassy in New Zealand for the funds to realise his project.

He and Sr Monika Vaipuna RNDM, the Principal of Don Bosco, undertook the planning application process in collaboration with various agencies and officials. Mr Suzuki refused to allow language problems, and the obvious difficulties and frustrations that caused, to distract him from his primary purpose: a proper workshop for his boys. The Rector of the Alafua Community, Fr Nicholas Castelyns SDB, who described the project as a work of love, alluded to these language difficulties in his prayer of blessing:
We thank you for Mr Suzuki, the man with the dream, and for all those who helped to make this dream come true. We thank you for Sister Monika, who supported him regardless of problems of language communication. It has shown us that in spite of the difference of languages, the language of love unites us all.

The language of love conquers all and after countless hours of dealing with a multitude of bureaucracies his application for funding was approved and now his dream has become a reality: the Government and the People of Japan would fund the materials for the project, with the labour to be paid by local sources. The construction of the electronics thus became a project that involved the whole parent community, who undertook a series of fundraising activities to generate the funds for the school to be able to make its contribution to the project.

The Prime Minister offered a vote of thanks to the people and government of Japan for their ongoing support for Samoa. “Neither Japan nor Samoa is rich in natural resources”, said the Prime Minister, “Yet Japan has shown the world how to utilise the resources of its people, who have been able to take natural products from all over the world, transform them and then sell them to the countries that supplied the original raw materials. Samoa’s greatest resource is its people. We are rich in man-power. This facility assists in enabling us to develop the technical capacity of our people and contributes towards the development of the nation.”

The students provided first rate entertainment for the visitors and dignitaries with a superb display of singing and dancing. The festivities concluded in typically Salesian and typically Samoan style with guests, students and staff enjoying food and refreshments.

 

Official Prayer of Blessing

Composed by Fr Nicholas Castelyns SDB
Rector of the Salesian Community Alafua

Good and gracious God,
You are love.
Without you nothing comes into being, remains in being and comes to fulfilment.
At all times you have sent us people who make your love visible to the world.
You sent us Jesus to reveal to us the fullness of your love.
You sent us people who continue your Son’s mission of love.
You sent us Saint John Bosco to show us how you love young people.
You sent us people who dream of what can be and those who make those dreams come true.
We thank you for your love.
We thank you for bringing us together today as we bless this new school building.
We thank you for friendly governments who help the people of Samoa develop their country for the good of all its people.

Today we thank you especially for the nation of Japan and its representatives, for sending us JICA volunteers who have made it possible to start and complete this project with their financial and practical support.
We thank you for the government of Samoa for its continued concern for the young people of Samoa.

We thank you for all people who are generous to us in so many ways.
We thank you for Mr Suzuki, the man with the dream, and for all those who helped to make this dream come true. We thank you for Sister Monika, who supported him in spite of problems of language communication. It has shown us that in spite of the difference of languages, the language of love unites us all.
We thank you for the architect, the builders, the labourers, teachers and students who lovingly brought this project to completion.
We thank you for loving parents who supported us through their generous participation in the fundraising activities.
We now ask you to bless our day:
Bless this water that we will use to bless this new building.
Bless all of present here with the gift of you abundant love.
Bless the building and all those who will use it.
Keep them from all harm and accidents.
May the sparks that fly in this building be the sparks of your Spirit.
Your spirit of wisdom and knowledge. Your spirit of care and courage, Your spirit of understanding and respect for the wonders of your creation. And most of all your spirit of love.
May this building be a centre of specialized learning for the good of the young people of Samoa.
All this we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


 

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