New Drop In Centre in Ethiopia
Retrak are delighted to announce the opening of a new drop in centre for street children in Hosanna, Ethiopia.
Hosanna is a town south of Addis Ababa where Retrak identified a need for more support for street children and their families.Since 2012, Retrak have had a partnership with Dutch International Development Agency Cordaid to run a programme of child protection and reintegration activities in the area. The centre will enable Retrak to reach more children,and facilitate reintegrations with families for children who have been forced to leave home
The centre was opened with an official ceremony which welcomed guests from local government agencies, the Supreme Court, Hosanna Transport Officials, Police, local churches, and members of the community.
Instead of cutting a ribbon to open the centre, a huge load of traditional Ethiopian bread (or dabo) was cut by the youngest child at the centre, the guest who had worked
the longest with children, the Drop in Centre Manager Debebe Sugebo, and Retrak Chief Executive Diarmuid ONeill to much applause.
The children then shared some of their experiences of the street and the Retrak programme through drama and interviews and heard from a former street child who had been reintegrated with his family through Retrak and is not attending university.
One police officer said, ‘I feel sad because I see things are not right. I feel sad for abandoned children, street children and children who are lost. This work with other NGOs and the community makes me happy. My wish is that this project will expand and grow.’ Another guest from the Evangelical Churches Project reported, ‘We are happy that Retrak has come to work in Hosanna.Children come to our program who are beyond our capacity. Our hearts break. We need organisations like Retrak to help children beyond our care. We are very happy God has sent Retrak.