Retrak Ethiopia Celebrates 1,500th Child at ATC!

EVENT: ATC celebrate the registration of their 1,500th child.

‘One of you is the 1,500th child registered at Retrak’s Addis Transition Centre (ATC)…..who is it?’ So began the celebration on Friday 8th September for Ethiopian New Year and the registration of 1,500 children in the centre over a 10 year period. The staff shared with the children some of the stories of children who have been through the centre and returned home, finished school and gone on to University or set up small businesses and now own assets worth over 60,000 ETB or completed vocational training and now have senior positions.

The children played games such as ‘Samson and Delilah’, an acting game in teams when one team has to out-smart the other in a race against the clock. An Ethiopian game, ‘Green, Red and Yellow’ was lots of fun as the staff tried and succeeded in tricking children into doing the wrong action for the colour they called out. Musical chairs was very close and fiercely competitive.

Lynn Kay, the Country Director wished all the children and staff a Happy New Year and encouraged the children to make this year a fresh start for their lives. She then asked the children to guess which staff member was present when the first child was registered at the first centre in Mercato. After a few wrong guesses the children identified Yosie Alebachew. Yosie told the children about the first child and how different the first centre was from the current ATC.

But all the children were eager to find out the identity of the 1,500th child. He comes from Region X, and the seven children from that region stood up. He lived in the town of Y and only three children remained standing. And his name is Abate*.

Together Yosie and Abate cut the special cake while all the other children and staff clapped and sang.

Abate said, ‘I can’t believe I am the 1,500th child to register at the ATC. So many children who have been helped to find a new life by Retrak. I am privileged to be one of these children.’

*Name changed to protect the child’s identity