ETHIOPIA: President of Italian Council Giuseppe Conte rewards two successful Salesian graduates
(MissionNewswire) Two Salesian graduates, Amaniel and Demelash, are both working in the auto-mechanics sector thanks to the Bosco Children’s Project and the TechPro2 training program. They were recently rewarded for their efforts in a meeting with President of the Italian Council of Ministers, Giuseppe Conte.
Conte, who was visiting Ethiopia and Eritrea to meet political leaders of both countries, met with the two Salesian graduates and Salesian Father Angelo Regazzo in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Conte was able to see first-hand the progress that has been made in the technical-professional collaboration between Italy and Ethiopia. He admired the first fully-assembled vehicle in Ethiopia that was made with materials from Italy.
During the meeting, Fr. Regazzo stressed the investment value in vocational training to help young Africans, especially the neediest, to find opportunities within their own countries and not risk illegal emigration.
Writing on his Facebook page of what was accomplished on his visit to Ethiopia and Eritrea, Conte wrote: “It was also an opportunity to reward two students who participated in the project Tech Pro2, a beautiful initiative that helps to remove Ethiopian children from the street and teach them a job. During these two days I’m touching firsthand the great potential of these lands. The social and economic development of Africa is fundamental for international stability and to combat the root causes of immigration.”
Amaniel and Demelash started their journey at the Bosco Children’s Project which 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 home, youth receive shelter, meals, warm clothing, psychosocial counseling and access to basic education and literacy classes. Once ready, residents participate in a skills training orientation where they experience a variety of vocational courses in automotive, carpentry, culinary arts and other fields.
After successfully integrating into the Bosco Children’s Project, both youth began skills training with the TechPro2 initiative. TechPro2 is a leading technical training project aimed at providing 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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UNICEF – Ethiopia