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Ethiopia – “My Life, I owe it to Don Bosco”

17 September 2019

(ANS – Addis Ababa) – Werkeneh Alemu is a boy whose life would have him end up on the street, like many other street kids on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; but today he is overjoyed at his extraordinary achievement. He has scored Straight A’s, which means he has scored 100% in the National Exam that was held last June for grade 10 students. He attributes his great achievement to the unending support of the Salesians at Bosco Children, Mekanissa, where he has been a resident for the past 6 years. 

When did you come to Bosco Children?

It was almost 6 years ago that I came to know about Bosco Children through the Salesian fathers and brothers who used to visit us on the street.  After a brief period of my contact with them on the street, they invited me to come and be a resident at Bosco Children.

How were your first days in Bosco Children?

At first it was not easy for me to adjust to the environment of Bosco.  I felt almost like a fish out of water. But the loving approach and constant presence of the Salesians made me slowly feel at home in that environment.

When you entered Bosco Children, how old were you and which class were you attending?

When I came to Bosco, I must have been around 11 years old and I had completed only up to 2nd grade in my village.  Then I had dropped out of school and I had run away from home to be in the streets in Addis Ababa.

What is your feeling right now? How do you see this achievement?

Yes, I have no words. I feel extremely happy.  I'm not a very expressive boy, but in the heart of my heart, I feel really happy. My life, I owe it to Don Bosco. If not for Don Bosco, I can’t imagine what I would be now. All that I am is because of Don Bosco.

Your future plans?

I want to be useful to the society. I have received a lot in my life, all free. Now I want to give back to the society what I have received.  My dream is to be a doctor.

What would be your last words for your friends?

Time is precious. Use every moment usefully. Don’t waste time. 

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