Supporting the Poorest of the Poor

To contribute to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and its social consequences, the Salesian communities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia continue to support "the poorest of the poor", the local street children and vulnerable elderly. Depending on charity, these groups have been severely impacted during the pandemic lockdown, placing them at greater risk of Covid-19 and malnutrition.

Street children have been left in a devastating situation due to the closure of bus stations, as daily earnings are made by transporting travellers’ luggage and assisting drivers with passengers. Salesians are assisting by providing them with food and education on the measures to avoid coronavirus and have also taught them how to prepare food safely.

Prisoners locked up in overcrowded prisons, are also one of the areas the Salesians are providing goods and assistance. The prisons Director expressed his gratitude as they did not have enough water containers for hand washing, masks, soap, and disinfectants to prevent the spread of the virus. The Salesians donations were welcomed and have improved this situation in avoiding the possibility of mass infections.

The Salesian outreach has also provided health prevention tools and awareness programs to 24,000 children and young people from 14 education centres throughout the country.

Employees of the Salesians have not been forgotten. Many of them have felt the impact of lockdowns etc especially those with large families who have been greatly affected by the increase in market food prices.

Don Bosco Mekanissa, Ethiopia are supplying water to thousands of poor people living in slums on the city's outskirts in Koshe and Kore, so they can wash their hands, thus contain the spread of Coronavirus. The Salesian community have made repairs to an old truck and reservoir tank with a capacity of 5,000 litres, to transport water daily to the area.

The Salesians have worked alongside local authorities such as the Administrators of the local "Kebele" structure, members of the "Woreda" Command, and the Community Police, in the delivery of their programs. 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 virus during the pandemic.

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