Focus 2020

Addis Abeba - AET15-06-2020

"Supporting the poorest of the poor"

(Etiopia, Addis Abeba)

To contribute to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and its social consequences, the Salesian communities in Ethiopia identify and support "the poorest of the poor", as expressed by the Planning and Development Office of the Salesians of Addis Ababa, the country's capital.

They support street children and vulnerable elderly people. These two groups often depend on the charity of the rest of society and the lockdown situation has made them so much more vulnerable.

Street children found themselves in a devastating situation due to the closure of the bus station. Before, they would make their daily earnings by transporting travelers' luggage and helping drivers with passengers. In these moments of great difficulty, the Salesians help by providing them with some food and formation so that they know the measures to avoid contagion; indeed, they have also taught them how to safely prepare food.

Prisoners, locked up in overcrowded prisons, are also one of the main lines of Salesian action in the fight against Covid-19. In this sense, the Salesians do nothing but follow in the footsteps of their founder, Don Bosco.

The Director of various prisons expressed his gratitude by saying that they were relieved by the support of the Salesians in the prisons. They did not have enough water containers for hand washing, masks, soap, and disinfectants to prevent the spread of the virus, but donations were made to improve this situation and thus avoid mass infections.

The Salesian intervention took the form of providing health prevention tools and awareness programs to 24,000 children and young people from the 14 formal and non-formal education centers where the Salesians are present in various educational and health projects throughout the country (some as mentioned in the previous points).

But since it is well known that "charity begins at home", the Salesians have not forgotten their own employees who have large families and have been greatly affected by the increase in market prices.

The Salesians always coordinate their initiatives with local authorities. The purchase of hygiene materials, food, masks ... is combined with awareness programs to learn the basic safety measures to help minimize the spread of the pandemic.

In all activities, the Salesian communities organize programs in collaboration with the Administrators of the local "Kebele" structure, members of the "Woreda" Command, and the Community Police.

Source: Bosco Global