Dodola (Agenzia Fides) - The creation of a computer lab and the activation of computer courses for young people in the Christian community of Dodola is the objective of a project by Fr. Stefano Ferraretto, a fidei donum of the Diocese of Padua who currently works in Dodola. Fr. Stefano is in charge of the project together with Guyye, coordinator for the social part of the pastoral area of Adaba and faithful of the community of Dodola.
"After two years of missionary work in the area, we can say that it is the young people themselves who are asking for these skills that would help them better access university studies and enter the world of work – Fr. Stefano writes to Agenzia Fides. Our goal is to activate a first computer course as soon as the laboratory is ready and in the summer. We would like this project to be an opportunity for us missionaries and pastoral workers to get closer and meet some of those young people who do not belong to our very small Christian communities, but who show sympathy and good predisposition for the Christian faith. We understand well that it is not possible in a territory with an Islamic majority to carry out an explicit evangelical announcement, but that it is necessary to work indirectly, and this project increases our possibilities of action".
The many young people who populate the city of Dodola will benefit from these courses, initially, with the possibility of extending this opportunity also to those of the city of Adaba, Herero and Kokossa, places where the Catholic Church is present and that fall within the Robe Apostolic Prefecture directed by Fra Angelo Antolini, Ofm.
The presence of the Catholic Church in the area is recent, barely thirty years old and very small, about a thousand faithful that represent 0.03%.
Across the prefecture's territory, both in urban and rural contexts, educational and professional training actions are of vital importance. The country suffers from uneven economic development. Added to all this is the COVID-19 pandemic and the strong political instability throughout the country. "One of the groups most affected by the pandemic crisis, which began here in Ethiopia last March 2020, is undoubtedly the youth - writes Fr. Stefano - penalized by the suspension of school, both secondary level and university. As there are no adequate computer means, electricity and connectivity networks have been developed, the educational environment has suffered and continues to suffer greatly. This will lead to a further reduction in the level of education and an increase in school drop-out. Even the unstable political context does not favor the world of young people who see themselves without a determined future from a work and emotional point of view. Furthermore, the beginning of the conflict between the federal government and the political-military coalition (TPLF) in Tigray, in the north of the country, has further aggravated the overall scenario (see Agenzia Fides, 3/3/2021). We hope that violence and protests will not spread to the rest of Ethiopia and that a peaceful solution will soon be found", concludes the missionary. (SF/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 31/3/2021)