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

The second day of the festival began with open discussion on the theme of the festival. The youth expressed what they have on their hands and how wisely they should use it; they also shared freely their feelings that come to their minds while they read the theme and some of them promised to see their inner self to improve their way of life. Some youth said what they have is not only theirs, they have to share with others and they have to make the world a better place to live for all human beings.

The other discussion point of the second day was on self-reliance efforts. The initial input on the subject matter was given by Mr. Berhane Medhin, who is a young teacher in Adigrat University. He explained that the youth should be actively involved in the church activities; they shouldn’t come to church only to receive but also to give from what they have. He added that they could see a true local church if they sustain it.

He invited Mr. Angesom Adayu to share his observations on Kenyan Catholic Church to the assembly. Mr. Angesom Adayu is a university student and recently visited Kenya. According to him, Kenyan Catholics are far advanced from Ethiopian Catholics in self-reliance. He said people never come with empty hands to the church on Sundays; they come with alms, they produce different sacramental objects and sell them to increase their income. He added, “Being involved in income-generating activities doesn’t mean engaging the church in business and profit making like other market/profit oriented organizations or individuals. It simply means making the local church self-reliant.”

Many youth participants cited examples from Ethiopian Orthodox Church that show how they are working to secure self-sustainability. From the youth discussion, it was clear that most of the youth were aware of the issue of self-reliance. They stressed that there must be a diocesan plan that leads to self-reliance at a certain period of time. The plan should be shared with the young generation to work hard on it and to minimize dependency. His Excellency Abune Tesfaselassie Medhin admired the idea shared by the two young Catholics and insisted youth should work on it. He also acknowledged the self-sustainability efforts of Mekelle parish youth. They produced spiritual songs on a CD by covering the entire production cost themselves; and he encouraged others to follow in their footsteps.The discussion was followed by poems that were designed to inspire education, hard work and generosity.

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