Ethiopia - Salesians and efforts to guarantee education for street children

19 September 2018

(ANS - Addis Ababa) – These days, schools are reopening their doors in many countries. But many youngsters risk remaining on the margins of education. The Salesians, in collaboration with the NGO "International Voluntary Service for Development" (VIS), work so that everyone, even street children, can receive education and opportunities.

Workeneh Alemu comes from a very poor family from a small village. One day, the boy decides to go to Addis Ababa in search of fortune. "The road is a dangerous place. I wanted to go back, but I didn't want to weigh on my mother," says the young man. "I heard about the Bosco Children from the boys of the center who'd meet with street children. I liked the idea and decided to follow their proposal. I participated in 16 evening meetings that prepared me for the 'Come and See' program. I followed the whole path proposed by the Salesians. I was happy to have closed a hard parenthesis of my life."

The "Bosco Children" Salesian Center offers the possibility of acquiring awareness of one's own possibilities and potential, and directs it to academic study or technical training, the latter aimed at entering the world of work. There are courses in mechanics, metalworking, woodworking, cooking and leather goods. Workeneh Alemu was able to resume his studies from where he had interrupted them and is now enrolled at the "Don Bosco" school in Mekanissa, Addis Ababa.

His story is similar to Amanuel's. He also lived on the street and he too arrived at "Bosco Children" thanks to word of mouth. "I heard about a gradual route for street kids called 'Come and see'. More than thinking about the possibility of a better future, I was looking only for a way to get through the summer period off the streets of Addis Ababa," he admits.

Like all children approached by the center, the first step was the day care program, which includes literacy courses, games, the offer of a meal and the start of good hygiene habits.

Over the first three months, Amanuel entered the institutional program. Thanks to the orientation program, he discovered his talents, completed the fifth class, and he will start a mechanics course this year.

"In my stay at 'Bosco Children'", he concludes, "I always felt accompanied, with family and friends. Thanks to the Center, I believe in the future and I'm working to make it happen."


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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