The Meeting of the Don Bosco Development Offices of South Asia (PDO Meet), BOSCONET, was held at the Pilar Mission Seminary, Pilar, Goa, on the 11th February 2019. Sixteen members participated in the meeting which was represented by 12 PDOs from the South Asian network and the Economer’s network (SAFE).

Brother Jean Paul Muller, the Economer General of the Salesians of Don Bosco, graced the meeting with valuable inputs towards the functioning of the South Asian PDO network. The meeting was a follow up of the Annual PDO meet 2018, with the primary agenda of finalizing the deliberations of the latter to be presented to the Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia (SPCSA).

The meeting was inaugurated by Fr Felix Fernandes, Salesian Province of Panjim Provincial. It was followed by the inaugural address by Br Muller, who focused the need for capacity building of the PDO network and the importance of working together in the diversity of the Indian subcontinent.

Fr Noel Maddhichetty, Director of “Bosconet”, facilitated the discussion on finalizing the names of Flagship Programs for Young at Risk, Sustainable Skilling for youth and livelihoods for rural women. The Flagships programmes were presented by Ms Aneesha Avrachan, Project Manager-Bosconet, which was followed by Focus Group Discussions among the participants. The PDOs were requested to revisit the Organic Plan and to present and implement the findings of strategic plan as presented by Tata Institute of Social Science, in their respective provinces.

Father Maddhichetty presented also the Statutes of Bosconet, in a view to finalize and present it to the Salesian Provincial’s Conference of South Asia at the end of the month.

Valuable inputs by Mr Samrat Ganguly, Head of Fundraising of Bosconet, emphasized the need to work together, especially in view of accessing local Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) money. The final session of the day was facilitated by Fr Vincent Thamburaj, Asst. Director in Bosconet on CSR-BMZ projects, Local Contribution document and the capacity building of the PDOs.

The network agreed to the policies and openly welcomed the 6 projects presented. The first capacity building program was decided to be taken on 12-13 April 2019 in Bangalore and 28-29 July 2019 in Guwahati. The agenda for the same was to train the PDO staff in disaster preparedness.

The discussion of the day ended with the input session by the Economer General, who reiterated the importance of hiring qualified staff and to regularly build the capacities of them in order to execute the projects efficiently, organize their work promptly and to deliver fruitful results. He concluded the message with each of the PDO to think about an able successor to help each other to grow together as a network and work together to utilize the untapped potential of Don Bosco South Asian network for creating a nationwide sustainable impact.

The meeting concluded with an agreement that the next National PDO meet would be held in Shillong on 26 and 27 July 2019. The entire meeting was organized by Fr Xavier Packia, the Coordinator of the Economers’ Network (SAFE), in collaboration with Fr Jose Sequeira, the Economer of Panjim Province, Fr Lawrence Monteiro, Director of PDO.