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Ethiopia: Salesians to continue youth skills training in troubled Tigray region

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Salesian-run Opera Don Bosco Onlus Foundation launches campaign to support technical and vocational training in the Tigray region

(MissionNewswire) The Salesian-run Opera Don Bosco Onlus Foundation in Milan, Italy, is supporting Salesian centers in Ethiopia through the campaign “Together let us support the right to study and promote vocational training.”

Young Ethiopians in the northern part of the country are facing an ongoing military conflict, along with the COVID-19 pandemic. Fighting began in November 2020 when the government launched a military offensive against the ruling faction in the Tigray region, starting a conflict that has caused thousands of deaths and widespread destruction. The conflict has displaced more than 2 million people and sent thousands of refugees into neighboring Sudan. It has also halted school activities that have been struggling since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Salesian missionaries in Tigray are making every effort to bring aid to people in need. They have said that help is needed to ensure that youth are able to attend school and get back to their studies. A representative from the Opera Don Bosco Onlus Foundation noted, “For years the Salesian presences in Mekelle, Adwa, Adigrat and Shire have guaranteed the right to schooling and vocational training in this area of ​​the country to offer Ethiopian children and young people the right to a better future. Any help will be important for the future of many young people who for a year now have found themselves having to deal with an unsustainable situation.”

Among the programs in the region, Don Bosco Technical Institute of Adwa has trained 2,330 graduates in the manufacturing, construction and electrical installation sectors. They also offer non-formal courses in tailoring, basic IT applications, crafts, metalworking, welding and furniture manufacturing. The Don Bosco Catholic School of Shire provides primary and secondary schools, while the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Mekelle provides education to youth who are training as technicians in the mechanical, welding and automotive sectors.

These schools are in need of support to ensure that education can continue for these youth who are facing hardships. The Opera Don Bosco Onlus Foundation has launched its new campaign to help support educational efforts in this region.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world with more than 38 percent of its population living in poverty, according to Feed the Future. Close to 85 percent of the country’s workforce is employed in agriculture, but frequent droughts severely affect the agricultural economy leaving more than 12 million people chronically, or at least periodically, food insecure. In addition, more than two-thirds of the population is illiterate.

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