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

Mr. Hailesilassie is one of the active youth ministers in the diocese and he was asked about the festival. He replied that he was so happy for the programs going smoothly, as it was not easy task to manage 570 people according to the schedule prepared. He added that in the cathedral and Adigrat zone parishes they had many programs with youth during the summer and all the youth benefited much from the activities. Dramas, songs, poems and other activities that were being presented during the festival were reflections of the summer youth activities. As Mr. Hailesilassie mentioned the youth were coming to the parishes and zone centers not only to consume biscuits or bread but also to nourish themselves with spiritual food. Pointing his finger towards all the youth, who were singing outside the hall in the evening, holding lit candles and waving their hands on the air, Mr. Hailesilassie said, “Look how they are praising the Lord! Do you think that they forget this moments in their lives? They never forget! We are very much satisfied, thanks to CNEWA and to all who supported this summer program. Youth need others’ attention towards them, now we are receiving very good attention and follow-up from our leaders.”

Father Negasi was delighted as the festival was successfully completed according to the schedule. Though signs of exhaustion appeared on his face, he had a bright smile and sense of satisfaction while talking with CNEWA. He expressed that the youth ministry office was very happy, as summer festivals and catechism programs at all levels were completed successfully. Each parish and zone completed the summer activities according to the given schedule. Father Negasi expressed his heartfelt thanks to CNEWA; without CNEWA’s financial support, it would have been difficult to implement the programs as they were inspirational and colorful.

In concluding, Abune Tesfaselassie advised them to be models to others, to witness their faith in practice and to work hard to be effective in their studies and careers. He profoundly expressed his gratitude to CNEWA and its donors for the financial support. He repeatedly mentioned that CNEWA has been a long-time partner to the eparchy and eventually the eparchy is very grateful for all the continued support received from CNEWA. He expressed special gratitude to CNEWA’s Addis Ababa office for being part of their summer youth activities through regular visits and advice And he finally requested CNEWA to continue supporting the pastoral activities of the eparchy in similar ways.

Overall observation: The summer youth festivals, catechisms and related feeding programs were accomplished successfully. Besides feeding the youth, the activities conducted at all levels have made them learn more about their faith, protected them from wasting time during summer months, enhanced parish-youth relationships and improved relations with each other. It is hoped that if youth-focused activities continue in such coordinated approach, the eparchy will have strong and exemplary youth members with sustained faith practice.

This summer feeding program through parishes is a multifaceted initiative for parishes, the eparchy, CNEWA and its back donors. Let us hope and continue to reach out and respond to the needs of the local church in Ethiopia.

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