Happy 1st Birthday to our sister organization Youth Release, it is officially one year since the Youth Release youth center opened in Dire Dawa Ethiopia. Last year a small team from Together in Hope traveled to Ethiopia to meet with the local Ethiopian staff and meet the children that Youth Release works with. When we went to visit the youth center, it was an empty building with great potential, but no one could imagine how perfect it would be for this program. The youth center officially opened on August 1st 2011. By the end of August, there were 250 children coming to the youth center to attend the various programs being offered. For many of these children, it was the first time they had a place to go where they could meet friends, play and just enjoy being children.One year on, and this number has risen to 275 children! Since August 2011, the youth center now has two classrooms, a small office, a play area for the children and this week the new library was opened.
The majority of the children that attend the youth center live in extreme poverty and schooling and education is beyond the reach for most families. The center is offering outreach support programs to give the children access to schooling, health education, health support, educational support, and counseling services. Along with educational and health support, the youth center also has a number of recreational programs such as art, music, circus (Ethiopian form of gymnastics) and theater. The children love all the different programs are as eager to learn as they are to play!
For many young adults in Dire Dawa, they have never had the opportunity to receive an education. The majority of local schools will not allow children over the age of 12 to start school. For these children, they have very little opportunities to break the cycle of poverty and are forced to beg, or work on the street. In honour of the youth center’s first birthday, a new exciting program is being launched. The youth center is now offering a vocational training program that will give these children an alternative, so that they can create a better future for themselves and their families. The youth center will offer training in a number of skills for adolescents aged 14-18 years old. Children enrolled in the sponsorship program will enjoy all the services offered by the organization. The following are some of the proposed practical skill training types: wood work. metal work, hallow block and brick making, mechanic or vehicle repair, hotel and catering, tour guide, hair dressing and barberry, driving licenses, waste management and recycling, plumbing, secretarial science, weaving and tailoring. Children who have completed one of the above training schemes will be supported with finding employment opportunities.
Do you want to give the youth center an amazing Birthday Present?
We have 50 young people on the program that are awaiting sponsors, and to gain invaluable skills to become self sufficient. You can help by sponsoring one of these youths for as little as 60 cents a day for 18 months. For $25 a month for 18 months you will allow these young adults to get the chance they deserve and make a huge difference in the lives of their families. YOU can help children get off the street and give them a brighter future, for less than 60cents a day. For $300 over 18 months, you will give these children the chance they deserve to create a better future for themselves and their families.Won’t you give the children the chance they deserve? To sign up just click here
Congratulations to Youth Release on the youth center reaching its first official birthday, we are so excited to be a part of this wonderful project and cannot wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you!!! This is just a small snippet of the Youth Release newsletter, if you would like to read the full newsletter and see how far this project has come in a year click here :)