valleys to travel between home and school. The recurrent droughts affect our eparchy almost on a regular basis, and for this reason we have well-organized school feeding programs for needy children â€” essential to help them to stay in school under such circumstances. Otherwise, they become exhausted, risking their very health. Last summer, which is the rainy season here in Ethiopia, we had a good amount of rain. Thank God, the harvest was relatively good. And now the spirit of the local communities is improving. q Sister Azalech Habte of the Daughters of St. Anne administers a health clinic in Idaga Hamus. y Students mass outside a remotely located Catholic school in Tigray. yy Youth from 14 parishes receive lunch at a summer program in Alitena.
We still face various challenges, however, largely due to the continuous presence of the military in border villages since the war. This has had significant social repercussions, contributing to questions of personal morality within local communities in general and the young in particular. Growing rates of H.I.V./AIDS, teenage pregnancy and abortion have become serious problems. Both governmental and nongovernmental organizations have intervened to begin addressing these problems. Among them, the Adigrat Diocesan Catholic Secretariat (A.D.C.S.) has undertaken various proactive pastoral and sociodevelopmental activities. Other serious challenges here are human trafficking and illegal migration, both of which impact the young. They make the reckless decision to migrate to Europe or the Middle East, and risk dying in the
desert, drowning in the seas or being kidnapped by human traffickers for ransom or organ harvesting. Thus we try to prioritize youth catechesis and family evangelization through the A.D.C.S. We have appointed a coordinator who works with youth of the eparchy, university students and young workers. In this way, we can organize catechism, conferences and retreats, choir programs, sports and recreation, festivals, concerts, classes and numerous other constructive, community- and identity-building activities. On the first Sunday after Christmas, our annual â€œFamily Day,â€? we have in every parish a program focusing on the life of the families. We celebrate the Divine Liturgy, hold discussion groups, share problems, perform skits and plays, create posters and other crafts and honor those families celebrating
The official publication of Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)