Delegate for the World Confederation of FMA Past Pupils Visits Cambodia

Sr. Gabriela Patiño, FMA, current head or Delegate of the World Confederation of the Past Pupils of the Salesian Sisters (FMA), visited Cambodia recently and was “awed by the youth, enthusiasm and dynamism” of the Past Pupils here.

Sr. Gabriela, a Colombian who now resides in Italy where she helps the Salesian Family sector at the FMA General Council, arrived in Cambodia last October 15, 2019 and stayed in the Provincial House at Teuk Thla. Then she visited the Salesian Sisters and their past pupils in Battambang Province last October 17-18. There she met about 30 graduates of Sewing and Literacy and former boarders of the Sisters.

Coming back to Phnom Penh on the 18th, she dropped by the communities of Tuol Kork and Phum Chreh where she was warmly received by the students and staff. On October 19, she met a large number of past pupils from Tuol Kork, Teuk Thla (Vocational Training) Teuk Thla High School and Phum Chreh. They all gathered at Teuk Thla and numbered nearly 200. Some of them came from as far as Siem Reap and Kompong Thom. Many came with their children, and a few with their husbands. A representative from the SDB Past Pupils’ Federation also came.

Leaders from the different centers/schools prepared a colorful program for Sr. Gabriela. This included a blessing dance, a talk show, a fashion show featuring the evolution of Khmer costumes for men and women, and the “Pride of Khmer”. New members of the Tuol Kork and Teuk Thla Unions also made their Pledge of Loyalty before Sr. Gabriela.
In her messages both to the Past Pupils and the FMAs, Sr. Gabriela underlined the value of working together in unity and solidarity. Using video clips, she showed how strength and synergy could be achieved by working together in harmony. She advised the past pupils to start making friends with each other in school, cultivate and strengthen this friendship through the years, help one another especially those in need and reach out and help other people, too. Teachers and staff from the four centers participated in the gathering and Sr. Gabriela was happy to know that they were mostly past pupils.

Sr. Gabriela just came from Thailand where the 2nd Asian Congress of FMA Past Pupils was held from 9-13 October. The Congress gathered together 95 participants from the 7 Provinces of India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Australia, and Thailand which hosted the event. The theme of the meeting was "Open mind, attentive listening, for a future of hope."

The delegation from Cambodia was composed of Sr. Leeza Kokatt, in charge of  FMA Past Pupils, Tuol Kork and Teuk Thla Union presidents Lumorng Phuong and Dyna Chav, respectively; Bunleak Nak from Battambang and Malin Nov from Phum Chreh.
Sr. Gabriela ended her visit to Cambodia last Sunday, 20th October and flew to Myanmar to meet the past pupils and visit the FMA communities there.

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