Makeda Yohannes – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
During the encounter, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel stressed that one of the significant challenges Ethiopia is facing these days is migration and human trafficking and one of the means to tackle this is through the continued education of young persons. He explained that the Catholic Church in Ethiopia is also working on addressing the issue of migration by creating job opportunities for the youth so that they remain in the country.
Education and jobs can mitigate the problem of migration
“When the youth migrate they face death either on the road or on the sea, and if they make it to their destination, wherever it is they risk exploitation. It is not a pretty picture. We thus desire that the young remain in their 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,” said Cardinal Berhaneyesus.
Migrants are vulnerable
He added that yet another of the challenges migrants face is that they do not know about the realities that are waiting for 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.
Young, educated Ethiopians are returning and contributing to the development of the nation
The Cardinal appreciated the fact that there are many Ethiopians who have benefitted from scholarship programs of 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 for his part said he is 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 Azbej invited Cardinal Berhaneyesus and other religious leaders to visit Hungary.