STORIES FROM ETHIOPIA
told by Don Angelo Regazzo or "Abba Melaku", as they call him in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABEBA

Bosco Children Center
PROGETTI DI VITA (Life Projects): Taking care of people in a state of marginalization and poverty. Fragile individuals identified in the family and community, to whom are offered professional training courses.

Eyob Girma

16 years old, former street boy, now student and cook

The fourth of 8 children, Eyob was in fifth grade when his father died. From a very poor family, he immediately understood that he did not have a future ahead of him and at the age of 12 he decided to run away from home and moved to the capital, Addis Ababa. He thought he would immediately find a job as a boy and instead for three years he wandered the streets, begging and stealing for a living.

He slept wherever he found a sheltered place, covering himself with cardboard or pieces of plastic. Addis is on the Ethiopian Highlands, at 2600 meters above sea level and the temperature can drop to 5 degrees at night.

He suffered from cold and hunger for 3 years, until one evening he met the car of the Salesians of Bosco Children and...he was saved! When the Salesians gave him the possibility to choose between the academic branch and the technical branch, he chose the latter and in particular he chose to be a cook, sure that with that profession he would NEVER go hungry again!

He is of Orthodox Christian religion and when he was given the opportunity to learn how to make Hosts he joined with enthusiasm, also because he deeply understands the meaning of the Eucharist.

He is particularly inclined to be a waiter. His dream is to be a cook and one day to have his own restaurant, so he attends the cooking school and the hotel school.

Unfortunately, in the middle of his second year, due to the Corona Virus emergency, while he was already attending a restaurant for 3 months where he was practicing as a waiter and cook - to the satisfaction of the restaurant owner - he had to interrupt and experience the Lock Down, like all the other students of Bosco Children.

Habtamu Gashaw

20 years old, a former street boy, now a mechanic-auto student who also dreams of being an actor

The youngest of three children, he never met his father, yet the very poor mother managed to send all the children to school. In fourth grade Habtamu realizes that he has no future in his family and runs away from home to find a job and help his mother. It goes all the way to Addis. Unfortunately, there are no stable jobs on the street and he has to steal to survive. His luck was that after 5 years on the road he meets the Salesian Brother Endalkachew who proposes him to change his life and in that way he will be able to really help his mother. But how? "Break away from sniffing glue, stop stealing and be found in this place for about ten evenings. Then I'll take care of letting you into Bosco Children, where you can learn a trade and be reintegrated into your family ...".

As soon as he entered Bosco Children he showed a great passion for acting. He has a beautiful strong voice and enters the amateur dramatics, which unfortunately is interrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. So he asks and enters the host production workshop, showing a strong inclination to do this job well that brings him closer to God. Thinking that these hosts will become Sacramento, he applies a lot to this work and does it with passion.

During the week, however, he attends Auto-mechanics classes. He wants to get his car license and open a small mechanical workshop in his town, build a small house where he can take his mother when she is old. He is very grateful to the Salesians who gave him the opportunity to change his life and, unlike others, he expresses it often and willingly.

His dream is to be an auto mechanic, at the same time he is also led to amateur dramatics so he would like to set up a small mechanical workshop where he can repair cars, but also attend an amateur dramatics group in the evening to be an actor.

Training Time. One year of Orientation School as an Auto-mechanics student and two years of TVET Technical School, Auto Mechanics section

In the last three months of the second year he will do a Practical Internship in a Mechanical Workshop that Don Bosco TVET himself undertakes to find for the boy. At the end of the Practical Internship almost all the boys are enrolled by the Workshop and begin the actual Activity with a lot of monthly salary discussed between Don Bosco TVET and the employer.

Daniel Mesfin

16 years old, former street boy, now a carpenter student

He is originally from the Guraghe Region and he comes from the Catholic village of Endebir. He is the last of 4 children, two boys and two girls. He never met her father, who died young after Daniel was born. He belongs to a practicing Catholic family. His mother remarried and this second husband mistreated him, beat him and even abused him. Since his mother could not do anything to defend him, he decided to run away from home and traveled to Addis Ababa, the capital. He was 14.

He remained on the road for almost a year, when he met the Salesian cleric, Brother Solomon of Bosco Children, and had time to enter Bosco Children on the last day before the national lockout, due to COVID-19. As soon as the program resumes after this pandemic emergency, Daniel wants to be a carpenter. He is the only Catholic boy who is in the structure and when he learned of the possibility of making Hosts he immediately joined.

Every morning he waits for the Mass of the Salesian Community together with some Catholic social workers.

He is very happy to receive Eucharistic Jesus in those Hosts that he made with his own hands. He never tires of repeating that he is very grateful to the Salesians who gave him the opportunity to change his life. He also shows signs of a vocation and the Director, Abba Yohannes Menghistu, is following him closely for a proper vocational discernment. Who knows if the saying "From the road to the Altar" doesn't come true. And in this "Il Senso del Pane" ("The Meaning of Bread") project will have an...even greater MEANING in the life of this good guy!

He wants to be a carpenter. His dream is to get to set up his own Carpentry Workshop and for this reason he attended one year of Orientation School as a student of Carpentry and two years of TVET Technical School Carpentry section

For his job placement, after the last three months of the second year he will do a practical internship in a carpentry that Don Bosco TVET himself undertakes to find for the boy. At the end of the Practical Internship he should be hired by the Carpenter with a monthly salary discussed between Don Bosco TVET and the Employer.