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Field Visit Report on Summer Feeding Project to 34 Parishes in Adigrat Eparchy, Ethiopia

Abba Kidane Baraki, Coordinator of Saisei Zone (that includes five parishes), was asked to share about the summer youth festivals and catechism classes. According to him, it was so effective and the youth benefited spiritually, psychologically and physically. They learned the catechism, the Bible, spiritual songs, etc which fed their faith; they were engaged in different sports and games that helped them to be relaxed and psychologically free; and they were fed with biscuits and bread to give physical strength and health. The summer activities were planned centrally and implemented in all the parishes and zones so the Catholic youth in the eparchy have developed common knowledge, understanding and feeling about their faith and church. This, according to Abba Kidane’s belief, would enhance team work and help to develop a common consensus on youth apostolate issues at the eparchial level and create a strong bond among the parishes and youth.

Abba Kidane added that all the youth in his zone were very much interested in participating at this diocesan level youth festival; but he couldn’t bring all the youth, as it was difficult for the diocese to organize and provide facilities for thousands of young people. But he believed that the representatives would share with others in their respective parishes what they gained from the festival when they got back home.

Abba Woldegabriel Yohannes, parish priest of Adega Holy Trinity parish and youth coordinator of Duro St. Jacob parish, shared the same impression of Saisei Zone coordinator. For him, the summer youth program has created love, oneness and fraternity among the youth; they shared not only food but also biblical knowledge, the Holy Eucharist, games and sports. During the coffee ceremony, they were sharing their personal experiences, encounters and their future plans. According to Abba Woldegabriel’s observation, the summer youth program motivated most of the parish priests to be engaged more in their pastoral duties. As he explained, the main problem of his zone was a shortage of good athletic equipment.

For Abba Woldu Hayish, Sebeya Zone coordinator, the summer was wonderful time for him as he was busy throughout the weeks with youth programs. In Engal parish, where he is serving, the youth had programs 6 days in a week throughout the summer. Children of the lower grades were lucky, as the university students gave them tutorial classes in English language and mathematics lessons. Besides centrally scheduled programs, the youth were going to the villages to visit and pray with the old, the sick and families with any sort problems. As the area is geographically challenging to walk, it takes longer to come to the parish and to visit families; so they were being provided biscuits each day. According to Abba Woldu Hayish, all the parish priests in his zone were occupied with similar activities in their own parishes, so at the zone level they managed to conduct only one big festival.

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