The Catholic Church in Ethiopia is working on addressing the issue of migration by creating job opportunities for the youth so that they remain in the country and are not forced to leave to find a better future.
This was revealed by Cardinal Berhaneyesus Sourapiel, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Adis Abeba and President of the Ethiopian Bishop’s Conference in a meeting with Dr Tristian Azbej, State Minister of Hungary who visited Ethiopia last week.
During the meeting Cardinal Souraphiel stressed that two significant challenges his country is facing are migration and human trafficking and they can be countered through education of the young.
Migration has its problems because when youth migrate they face death either on the road or at sea. If they manage to reach a destination unharmed they risk exploitation. So migration is not the best option before them.
The Cardinal told the Hungarian minister that “we desire that the young remain in our country. We try to contribute to this by creating job opportunities for them in their own localities, and if they still desire to migrate we give them preparation, so they know what to expect and how to survive”.
He added that yet another challenge migrants face is that they do not know about the realities that are waiting them once they reach their destination. This lack of knowledge makes them vulnerable to exploitation and even disappointment when they realise that the other side is not at all, what they expected.
The Cardinal said one of the most critical ways of tackling this challenge at its root is through education.
He expressed his appreciated for the fact that there are many Ethiopians who have benefited from scholarship programs in Hungary and have come back to serve their country. He thanked the Ethiopian Government and people of Hungary for these opportunities because education plays a vital role in the development of the country.
Dr Azbej said that he was pleased to learn that Ethiopians who have had education opportunities provided by his country have returned and are contributing to the development of Ethiopia.
The Hungarian minister explained that his country is also committed to supporting persecuted Christians all over the world and is pleased to work with the Catholic Church in Ethiopia to reach those who need the support of Hungary.
Finally, Dr Tristian Azbej invited Cardinal Berhaneyesus and other religious leaders to visit Hungary.