A five-year dream for Don Bosco’s Principal, Father Chris Ford, is about to come true.
With the school preparing to send a team of their boys to Australia next month, the excitement has already reached all corners of the school compound.
After hosting many visits from Don Bosco Australia, the Samoa branch will soon get their turn to entertain in Australia. It’s something Fr. Chris can hardly wait for.
“The Don Bosco here in Samoa is great friends with the Don Bosco in Australia,” he said.
“There are eight Don Bosco school in Australia and only two here; they have visited us so many times but we haven’t visited them.
“So the eight schools over there have been fundraising for two years to sponsor our trip to Australia where we will get to visit all those different schools.”
The Samoa delegation will include 46 students.
“We will be building friendships between the schools from here and there and we will also be showing our gratitude for all the support they have been giving to us and build those bridges of interactions with our brothers and sisters in Australia.”
Don Bosco Samoa has also been hard at work raising funds for the trip to Australia.
“We have been fundraising on our side as well,” Father Chris said. “We had a big corporate table event earlier in the year where we managed to get a lot of support from the local communities here.
“The parent and teacher association have been helping out a lot so it has been a lovely collaboration between Don Bosco Australia and Don Bosco Samoa.”
According to Father Chris, the selection of the 46 boys was done under strict criteria.
“First the boys had to prove that they had the dance and singing skills,” he said.
“But really the most important criteria in the end was their perseverance; the selected boys have been coming to practice every day since the beginning of the year which is an enormous commitment.
“It is also an enormous commitment to the families who allow them to stay behind in school when they should have been at home helping out with the chores.”
The school has also brought famous choreographer Seiuli Allan Alo on board to help sharpen their contemporary performance and according to Father Chris, Allan’s help is very much appreciated.
“Don Bosco has been working with Allan in many occasions,” he said.
“We have asked him to help us with one section which is contemporary dance; our teachers are pretty much experts with the traditional dance but the contemporary dance is something that our boys really enjoy doing.
“We also know that this form of dance is something that the schools in Australia will enjoy so we have brought Allan on board to help us in this regard.”
The three and a half week long trip will see Don Bosco Samoa travel to all eight schools in Australia which are spread out around Australia.
The boys will travel to Sydney, South Australia, Victoria, Hobart and then Brisbane.
According to Father Chris, this project has been a dream of his for a very long time and he is excited to see everything finally come together.
“This is a project that I have had in mind for five or six year,” he said.
“So it has taken us this long to realize this and to think that we are just a month away after all that dreaming and then three years of working towards it.
“It’s just very exciting and the boys can hardly contain their excitement but they have maintained their focus and going through with their preparations.
“You have got to admire these boys for their commitment to this project and especially the teachers.
“We had a visit from an Australian group not long ago and our boys performed for them so the excitement has already started spreading.”
Father Chris hopes that Samoa will continue to show support for his school.
“Samoa, we hope that you can continue to support Don Bosco as you have over the years in the good and the bad times,” he said.
“I’m sure that everyone Samoa will pray and support our boys as they take Samoa to the world.”