AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Psychological assistance, schools, food for 7 million people: Salesian missionaries always on the front line

Monday, 27 February 2023

Mekelle (Agenzia Fides) - "Sending humanitarian aid to Tigray has become easier and we continue to assist people who have been affected by the two years of conflict", wrote Father Abba Hailemariam Medhin, Superior of the Salesian Province of Africa-Ethiopia (AET) about the Congregation's recent interventions in the northern region of Ethiopia. "People are still in need of food and non-food items. We are slowly resuming counseling services and reopening educational centers, but most of all people need food and health services."
There are still almost 7 million Tigrayans in need of help. As reported by Salesian Missions, although the peace agreement has been signed (see Fides, 3/11/2022) and many services have been restored, there are still many needs. Banks are open but people still do not have access to their accounts.
The support of Salesian missionaries in the region has been constant, compatibly with government provisions. In Tigray there are 25 engaged in serving more than 5,000 minors and youth in educational centers of all levels, technical institutes, youth centers and parishes.
Thanks to support from the World Food Programme, a shipment of goods was sent to the Salesian house in Mekele. From there they were distributed, with contributions from other parishes and local clergy volunteers, among many other areas in need.
The presence of the Salesian missionaries of Don Bosco in Ethiopia dates back to 1975. Their first center was in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray. They currently register a total of 14 houses, of which four are in Tigray and three in Eritrea. The Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco registered their first presence in the country in 1986 in Dilla, in the south of the country. Now they are located in five centres, work for the poorest, providing education, health and pastoral care, food, water and medicines. Together with the Salesians they pay particular attention and resources to street children, victims of human trafficking and prisoners. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 27/2/2023)