by Ketan Gala
TIMOR LESTE, OCT 27, 2016: Delegates from nine countries attended the 11th East Asia Oceania Congress of Salesian Past Pupils entitled 'Serving God through our fellows' by promoting good education, economic solidarity and social justice that was held at Dili, Timor Leste from October 4 to 8.
This Congress is held every four years and in this edition 26 delegates represented the Indian National Federation (the biggest). Ketan Gala, the National President, Father Noel Madhichetty, the Salesian Family Delegate of South Asia joined other SDB Provincial Delegates and Past Pupils from the various provinces as participants at the congress.
The participation and presentation of the Indian Delegation made an impact at the Congress. Father Jayapalan Raphael, Provincial of Chennai, attended the Congress as the World Delegate of the Past Pupils.
Michal Hort, the President of the World Confederation of the Past Pupils made a presentation of the Strategic Plan of the World for the next five years.
Presentations were also made on the four flagship projects, namely, the Permanent Secretariat, Business Platform, Exallievi Academy and Exallievi Voluntary Service.
All participating Nations also presented their reports and the report discussed by India's delegation was considered the best among all the nations.
The Various National Presidents and Secretaries along with the National Delegates then had closed-door meetings with the World President and his team.
After two days of discussions, a resolution was signed by representatives from Australia, Cambodia, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and the World Confederation Presidency members.
The resolution stated, "We, the Alumni of Don Bosco of East Asia Oceania region commit ourselves to care about the world, making it a worthy dwelling place for us and for those coming after us, and with a clear social concern and justice, taking into consideration the seven key priorities of the World Confederation Strategic Plan."
"We resolve that every National Federation will prepare by 31.1.2017 their development or strategic plan, indicators and timeframe based on the seven key priorities of the Past Pupils Association."
"We resolve that every National federation will work actively on the networking of their Past pupils by completing the preparing of the database within one year based on the format suggested by the World Confederation of the Past Pupils."
The National Federations formulated seven priorities after the group discussions. They included formulating a growth and sustainable structure, networking in vocational and career guidance, formation in leadership, financial management, marketing and time management.
Gex Promotion was singled out as another priority. Funding and fundraising was also underlined as essential, while the need to tap Family formation was stressed upon.
They also prioritised the need to establish various communication channels using all available means such as online social media applications.
The Congress concluded with promises from all to attend the next East Asia Oceania Congress at Japan in 2020.