St. Joseph Training Centre (SJTC) was founded in 1970 by Fr Vince Freeh, MSC inside a small garage near his house at Lemakot on New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. He first recruited Bro Dan Rakow in 1974 to manage the school but it was closed shortly after his arrival in PNG due to lack of finances from the Kavieng Diocese. The school was reopened in 1978 after Bro Jim Miller had come, a couple of local brothers were recruited and a grant was received from a USA funding organization. The school has run continually ever since, though it changed locations from Lemakot to Fissoa in 1987. The location change enabled the school to grow from 60 to 140 students.
For most of its history SJTC had a 3 year training program where the students chose to major in either mechanics or carpentry. The mechanics section trained the young men in small engine repair, auto mechanics, welding and fabrication. The carpentry section trained their students in joinery, furniture making and small house fabrication. All of the students learned some agriculture along with the academic subjects of Math, English, music and Religion. Recently the Centre has added computer technology to their list of subjects. However, the Diocese of Kavieng has just shortened the program to 2 years to come in line with government policies.
The school takes in young men from around the Diocese of Kavieng and others from more distant provinces of the country. A lot of these students are from rural village communities and their families are mainly subsistent farmers which often means that it is difficult for them to come up with the school fees for the education of their children. This is the reason that the two MSC Brothers started the St. Joseph Training Centre Memorial Fund in 1997. Since that date they have given out grants totaling K36,900. (~USD13,000.) to 237 young men.
If you'd like to help us provide scholarships to students who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford an education, please consider making a monthly donation to the memorial fund. Help us continue to break the cycle of poverty one student at a time.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be loved everywhere!