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ETHIOPIA: Bosco Children Project enables launch of new workshops at Salesian center in Addis Ababa

(MissionNewswire) As part of the Bosco Children Project, new workshops have been launched for students at the Salesian center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The new operation and maintenance of agricultural machinery workshops will serve to provide short-term courses for dozens of students. Thanks to a collaboration between Salesian missionaries and CNH Industrial Italy, CNHI International, New Holland and Moenco, new laboratories were constructed to accommodate the workshops.

The Bosco Children Project provides support and educational services in addition to an outreach orientation center and a hostel for youth, mostly boys, who are orphaned or live on the street. At the hostel, youth receive shelter, meals, warm clothing, psychosocial counseling and access to basic education and literacy classes. Once ready, they also participate in a skills training orientation where they experience a variety of vocational courses including automotive, carpentry and culinary arts.

“In Addis Ababa alone, there are as many as 100,000 children who desperately need assistance in getting off the streets and turning their lives around,” explains Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Because the Bosco Children Project provides the only shelter and rehabilitation center in Addis Ababa, it’s difficult to adequately address the crisis. This innovative partnership is providing crucial resources—food, educational materials and additional staff—so that we may help as many homeless youth as possible.”

Though the development of collaborative relationships with businesses and corporations in many sectors, the Bosco Children Project ensures that at-risk youth have access to education and training that gives them the skills to find and retain employment. One such collaborative relationship is between the Bosco Children Project and the TechPro2 training project.

TechPro2 is a leading technical training project that is developing a skilled workforce of highly qualified personnel for the car and commercial vehicles industry. Started in 2008, the TechPro2 project is a collaboration between Salesian missionaries, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and CNH Industrial, an Italian company that designs, produces and sells agricultural and construction equipment.

Having expanded throughout its 10-year history, the TechPro2 project is currently operating in 57 Salesian training centers around the globe with more than 9,300 students accessing more than 240,000 hours of training in eight different languages. TechPro2 aims to help train youth to enter the workforce while meeting the employment needs of the industry.

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.

The country has 4 million orphans which account for nearly 12 percent of all children and according to UNICEF, more than half a million of these were orphaned as a result of the HIV/AIDS crisis that has affected the country. Thousands more children run away each year seeking a better life on the streets.



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