Retrak Celebrates Ten Years in Ethiopia
This month, Retrak is celebrating 10 years of activity in Ethiopia. We opened with humble beginnings in a small tin shed gifted to us by the local council, and our mighty yellow Lada car. This was to be used as a day drop-in centre for boys in the slums of Mercarto. It had the only shiny painted door in the slums, and backed onto a tannery, which the boys quickly nicknamed “the fly factory”!
The first boy Retrak Ethiopia helped from the street back to a family life was blind and had been living on the street for about a year. He had come to Addis from very far away, near Gondor, to look for braille books so he could continue his education. He got horribly lost, but amazingly we were able to track down an uncle who lived in Addis – the boy only knew that his uncle lived near an Orthodox church. We were able to reintegrate the boy with his family and provided him with braille books from the Addis Blind School.
In our first year we had only seven staff and were able to reintegrate 30 boys with their families from our one transitional centre in Addis Ababa. Today, our work in Ethiopia has enabled us to open seven different centres across Ethiopia with 100 staff. We have now reintegrated over one thousand boys and girls with their families and communities. To find out more about the incredible impact Retrak Ethiopia had in 2016, please read the annual report here.