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ETHIOPIA: Fund improves lives of vulnerable people

Salesians provide skills training as part of Global Solidarity Fund project


(MissionNewswire) The Global Solidarity Fund project, set up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia*, has helped improve the lives displaced of women and men, refugees from other countries, street children, and other vulnerable people. The project has brought together the five religious congregations of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Salesian sisters with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Ursuline Sisters, Missionaries of Charity and Jesuits through the Jesuit Refugee Service.

Launched at the end of 2020 in Addis Ababa, the network has also brought together businesses, investors, philanthropists, international bodies and governments in support of these efforts. Migrants and refugees from other African countries add to the more than 4 million inhabitants of Ethiopia’s ever-expanding capital city. According to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are over 924,000 refugees and asylum seekers residing in Ethiopia. A majority originate from South Sudan*, Somalia and Eritrea. In addition, there are 3.5 million people internally displaced in the country.

Under the project, Salesian missionaries and sisters have been responsible for providing skills training and job preparation, something the Salesians are known for around the globe. Courses were offered in tailoring, fashion design, hairdressing, domestic help, leatherwork, welding, electrical skills, carpentry, IT, graphic design and printing. More than 70% of those who have taken courses have already found work and companies are excited for the skilled labor.

Through the Sisters with Missionaries of Charity House of Charity in Addis Ababa, young women who are displaced and are facing unplanned pregnancies are able to give birth there with the help of the sisters. They can stay for up to three months with their children. In that time, the sisters help prepare these young women for motherhood and to access training for employment.

Derartu Karle trained in tourism management and asked for the sisters help after becoming pregnant from a sexual assault. She has been supported through the pregnancy and in 2023, obtained a Cisco computer certification after a course at the Mary Help College. Within a few days, she found work as a data coder at a beauty school in Lewi and currently lives at the Nigat Centre with her young daughter.

Endashaw Tesfaye, who came to Addis Ababa to look for work thanks to the Missionaries of Charity, studied welding at the Salesian Mekanissa Center and is now a supervisor in a workshop. He lives alone and struggles to pay the rent, but he looks to the future with confidence.

Salesians also support migrants and street children at the Don Bosco Children Center. Youth are often picked up each morning by Father Angelo Regazzo, economer of the community, and taken to the program to learn more about it and possibly choose to join.

“Migrants and youth do not have money to go to school or be trained,” said Father Yohannes Menghistu, rector of the Salesian community. “At the Don Bosco Center they can study from morning until three in the afternoon. Before, however, we could only give them a certificate and help them look for a job, but today, thanks to the Global Solidarity project, they have many more employment opportunities in companies and can also be helped to open their own business.”

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world with more than 38% of its population living in poverty, according to Feed the Future. Close to 85% 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.



ANS – Ethiopia – The Global Solidarity Fund project that changes the lives of many migrants and refugees

Salesian Missions – Ethiopia

UNICEF – Ethiopia

UNHCR – Ethiopia

*Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.