Ethiopia - New opportunities for the future of refugees, thanks to Salesians and VIS

20 June 2018

(ANS - Gambella) - She is only 22, but has to take care of four children. Two are hers, two belong to her sister, killed with her husband during the clashes in South Sudan. Nyanthiay took the little ones with her and walked for twenty days to Ethiopia: "I was forced to leave my husband and my mother. My objective was to bring the children to safety, in a safe place where there is no hunger and war." Nyanthiay is among the more than 17,000 refugees from South Sudan who arrived this year at the Nguenyyiel camp, in the Gambella region, which hosts almost 100,000.

The protection of children and the vocational training of young people is part of the project that the Salesians in Ethiopia, together with the NGO "International Volunteers for Development" (VIS), carry forward in the field: in addition to the recreational and sports center, which offers the camp's children and adolescents a safe educational place, there have, since February, also been short courses of carpentry, construction, tailoring and courses for hairdressers with140 boys and girls of the camp, made possible thanks to the financial support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

The courses were held by the Salesian staff and involved, as is the style inherited by Don Bosco, the most marginalized children, those excluded from "classical" schooling. All of them have been offered practical and useful activities to learn a profession or trade to enable them to find a job in the near future and thus improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

The students attended the workshops enthusiastically and some of them organized themselves in groups to continue learning the trade independently thanks to kits specially provided by the project operators to help them in the delicate phase of entering the world of work.

Last Sunday, June 17, the camp held the project's closing event with the awarding of prizes to the first 5 students for each course, an exhibition of the craft products created in the workshops, and a number of lively and colorful art performances.

Thanks to the support of VIS, the center active at the camp will remain open even after the closing of the courses, indeed is already thinking about offering a second cycle of vocational courses to be organized always with the contribution of the experience of the Salesians.

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ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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