In Eritrea, the population lives on subsistence agriculture, breeding and fishing, and 58% have less than € 1 per day. Of the approximately 3.5 million inhabitants, more than half are under 15-years-old. But the school system is inadequate and in order to have access to higher education, students are forced to follow the national service program, a sort of military/civil service initially designed for a year, but since 1998, in fact, rendered indefinitely.
For all these reasons, around 4,000 people flee the country every month.
The Sons of Don Bosco have been in Eritrea since 1995. In line with the Salesian concreteness and charism, their mission has focused on education, aimed at the poorest and, above all, the young and disadvantaged children to provide them with the tools to live a future of dignity in their land, thus contributing to the creation of a fairer and freer social context.
In Decamerè, about 40 km from Asmara, the Salesians are very busy through a center, an oasis, that is a flourishing of opportunities in the surrounding "desert": the educational-pastoral community, in collaboration with the local dioceses, animates the peripheries, offers oratory service to more than 600 young people, and, thanks to the youth center, provides a library and offers basic training in Computer Science, Graphics and Music.
At the Decamerè work, there is also a guesthouse, an aspirantate, a public chapel and a technical school, which is the flagship of the work; it consists of four huge laboratories, classrooms and rooms, a library, a cafeteria, a kitchen and dormitories, and it boasts football, volleyball and basketball courts. It is a very well organized structure, which has trained 2,384 students in various technical disciplines: Bodywork, Mechanics, Metal Carpentry, Carpentry, Electrical Engineering and Electronics, and represents the flagship of the Salesian activity.
The Salesians of Decameré now need to install two reservoir tanks and a hydraulic system in the mission, otherwise it will become difficult to continue guaranteeing their presence, which represents the lifeline for the lives of many people.
For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org