Collaborative Computer Project


30 July 2014 | General Interest

A Tale of Two Schools
Computers, Companions and Collaboration


Despite being separated by thousands of kilometres and a vast ocean, two Salesian schools are drawing closer together thanks to a collaborative project that is now in its third year.

Xavier College, Gawler South Australia and Don Bosco Technical Centre, Alafua Samoa, have been working together to establish a computer laboratory at Don Bosco Technical Centre. Xavier College has been renown for being highly techno-savvy right from its foundation. Don Bosco Technical Centre, however, has never had a fully functioning computer laboratory … until now.

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Students and staff from Xavier College have been fundraising since 2012 to assist Don Bosco Technical Centre establish a computer laboratory. Woodwork and electrical studies students from Don Bosco have converted the Library into a computer laboratory … building and installing benches, upgrading the electrical supply and installing power for computers, screens and printers. The funds raised by Xavier College were used to purchase building materials, electrical components and also allowed Don Bosco to purchase a ‘class set’ of desktop computers.

Now in its third year the collaboration between the two Salesian schools has finally borne fruit. The renovations to the library have been completed and the computers installed. Fr Greg Chambers, Provincial of the Australia Pacific Province, blessed the new computer facility at Don Bosco on 30 July during his annual visitation to the Salesian Community at Alafua. The simple ceremony took place during a morning assembly to welcome Fr Greg and highlighted the fruits of collaboration the two schools.

Atonio Lui, Head Boy at Don Bosco, thanked Fr Greg for his visit and for blessing the computer laboratory. He specifically thanked the staff, students and families of Xavier College for their love and generosity. He said that the project had brought new opportunities for the boys at Don Bosco and had also created a bond of friendship between the two schools. “Our countries, our schools, our cultures and our lives are very different,” he said, “but thanks to the love of our brothers and sisters from Xavier College, we are now all companions walking along the same path.”

The commencement of the new semester also saw Don Bosco students begin computer lessons. For many of the Don Bosco boys it is the first time they have ever sat in front of a computer. Things that most Australian students take for granted, turning on a computer and using a mouse, are new for many of the boys at Don Bosco Technical Centre. Nevertheless, the Don Bosco boys are embracing the opportunity to learn new skills that will assist them with their learning and link them to the world, including their brothers and sisters in Don Bosco from Xavier College.

Xavier College conducts an annual fundraising appeal for the Salesian Missions. The so-called “Barolo Appeal” is aptly named after the Marchioness Barolo, Don Bosco’s great friend and benefactor.