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On the 20th April 2015, Fr Robert Gore visited Addis Ababa, this is what he had to say:
Which organisation has the greatest footprint in African education and skills training? Yes, it happens to be the Salesians of Don Bosco who are present in 34 countries in Africa and two in the African Diaspora! No wonder that VIS (a Salesian Development entity involved a lot in Africa, applied for and received the funding from the EU.  The purpose of this funding is to strengthen the synergy between all these Salesian Centres by up-skilling their provincial PDOs (Planning and Development Offices).  This entails some hard work to train and promote best business practices that will sustain and strengthen the PDOs to makePDO a broader impact in respect of education and skills training on the African Continent.

My part in two meetings, one in Kigali (November last year) and the second in Addis Ababa was to join the other participants representing their PDOs to learn more about, firstly in Kigali the Human Rights approach to proposal writing, and secondly in Addis Ababa to plan the necessary workshops and interventions to address issues raised by the assessment of our AFM PDO completed in October last year.

What was pointed out in the week-long meeting in Kigali was the correspondence between the writings of Don Bosco and subsequent General Chapters with the Human Rights Approach. The language may be different but the ideas are the same. In Addis Ababa the meeting concentrated on the assessment that was done at Bosco, Walkerville with Flaminia (VIS) and a group of confreres and people involved in the PDO and AFM projects. The strengths and weaknesses were looked at, and methodologies worked at to heal those many weak areas.  These weaknesses will be addressed in a cycle of workshops over the next two years.


It was emphasised over and again that the PDO staff members who are trained need to be committed to the work of the PDO. The Staff who are trained must have the time and opportunity to bring the fruits of this training to the rest of the Province. However, the office is not a stand alone!  It depends on the continuing cooperation of all the local centres in AFM to fulfil its mission as an instrument to help, not only with our local projects, but also to be a role player with the rest of the African PDOs.