The Cagliero Project – Samoa Immersion 2016

During the holidays between Terms 2 and 3, we had the amazing opportunity to travel to Samoa and participate in a Cagliero Immersion. The Cagliero Project is run by the Salesians of Don Bosco and allows very fortunate Australians to travel to countries like Samoa and Cambodia and visit the Salesian schools, parishes and youth in these countries.

During our immersion in Samoa we visited various different schools and parishes, including Don Bosco Technical School in Alafua and Don Bosco High School and Vocational Centre in Salelologa. We were able to see firsthand how hard the students at these schools work and their passion for education. Although the students value education, unfortunately many of them struggle to pay their school fees. That’s why, after raising money from a casual clothes day here at Salesian College Chadstone, we decided to donate the money to Don Bosco High School and Vocational Centre to help so many grateful students finish paying their school fees for the year.

Throughout our journey, we participated in homestays and were fully immersed in Samoan culture and community. We each stayed with three different families who accepted us as their brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Although at times it was extremely challenging, it was such a rewarding experience to be so welcomed and to learn about such a rich culture. We experienced Kava ceremonies, Sunday Tooanai, traditional Samoan dancing and above all we were fortunate enough to be able to spend so much time with the youth in all of the different places we stayed. We shared parts of our own culture, running workshop activities with them such as music, arts and crafts, AFL skills and English games.

Each and every person we wereblessed with meeting throughout the immersion showed us the amazing hospitality Samoans extend to all, and their inspiring sense of community. We learnt the value of relationships and conversations, and how just being with a group of people and speaking to them about their lives can have such a great and positive impact.

A brilliant opportunity we would recommend to anyone interested.

Fa’afetai Lava.

Miss Alexandra Tsiavis, Lachlan Magee and Damon Ollerenshaw