ETHIOPIA: Bosco Children Project provides hope and healing for homeless youth rescued from the streets
(MissionNewswire) The Bosco Children Project, located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, rescues children from the dangers of the street. The project provides support and educational services in addition to an outreach orientation center and a hostel for youth. Most of the youth are boys who are orphaned or live on the street.
The Bosco Children Project utilizes a three-step method to rehabilitation, including making the initial contact with the children on the streets and building a relationship in an informal manner. This includes offering youth safe accommodation at the hostel where they can access meals, warm clothing, psychosocial counseling, and basic education and literacy classes.
When children are ready, and if they choose to, they are invited to formally take part in the next part of the program, which includes personalized care through counseling and specialized skills training, such as in auto mechanics, carpentry, culinary arts, metallurgy, leather craft and more. Once training is complete, the project provides financial and career placement assistance, supporting the youth as they move on to become independent.
“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, but innovative partnerships with local and international businesses are helping Salesian missionaries ensure youth have what they need to secure a bright future.”
Through the development of these 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.
The TechPro2 project is also 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.
Australian Salesian Mission Overseas Aid Fund Annual Report 2018
UNICEF – Ethiopia
Salesian Missions – Ethiopia