St John Bosco College Engadine students gained a greater appreciation of Samoan culture when their school hosted students from the Pacific Island nation on the first leg of the Siva group’s Australian tour.
The 45 students arrived for a performance on Friday, August 19 from Don Bosco Technical Centre campuses on Samoa’s main islands of Upolu and Savai’i. The centre gives young men aged 15 to 24 who have struggled with mainstream schooling the chance to learn a trade. Like St John Bosco College Engadine, they are part of the Sallesian network of schools.
The Gift of Hope Tour features traditional Samoan dance and music, will raise fund to continue the programs offered by the technical college, and renovate its workshops.
Other performances will be held at schools in Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Brisbane. While in the area, the group also visited the Dunlea Centre, St John Bosco Primary School and John Paul Village in Heathcote.
“Don Bosco Technical Centre provides a school and community renowned not only for its learning, but also for its characteristics of hope, laughter and music,” said Fr Chris Ford a former principal at St John Bosco College.
“Young men come to the centre for many reasons, but the biggest draw card is the opportunity to succeed. Success is an experience not many of these boys have encountered during their lives until now. Based on the dreams of Saint John Bosco, the students at the centre are given a chance to learn, develop and build a positive future for themselves.”
Siva’s talent has also been recognised on the world stage when the group performed at the opening and closing ceremonies for the Youth Commonwealth Games.
“We are delighted to host the Siva tour, and to be their first port of call,” said St John Bosco Engadine Principal Damien Carlton. “Our students are really excited about the visit by these young Samoans.”