Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

25 November 2012

Ethiopia: Metec Rolls Plan to Train 80,000 Street People

The Metal & Engineering Corporation (MetEC) has designed a four-year project to train around 80,000 people taken from streets in various fields, in phases that might cost the corporation around 30 million Br, Fortune confirmed.

Elshadai Relief & Development Association, a local NGO, which is founded in 1989, by Yemaneh Woldemariam with the objective of rescuing vulnerable children, is tasked with recruiting homeless adults who live on the streets.

They are recruited from all over the country including Amhara, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's (SNNP) and Tigray regional states as well as from the Dire Dawa and Addis Abeba city administrations. Most, however, came from Amhara Region and theAddisAbebaCity.

Based on the Central Statistics Agency (CSA) report, there are 150,000 people living on the streets all over the country, of which around 60,000 reside in the capital. However, international organisations such as UNICEF estimate that the problem is far worse, with nearly 600,000 homeless people living in the country and 100,000 residing in Addis Abeba.

The local NGO informed and registered these people about the project through notifications posted around towns where the people targeted are said to live. Yemaneh, however, declined to comment on the details of the matter.

The Corporation, established from entities that were formerly under the Ministry of Defense (MoD), claims that the project is part of its corporate social responsibility and plans to train around 80,000 street people in the next four years. The training will be given every three month with the objective of training 20,000 youngsters every year.

The recruited people, who are mainly women, will be trained in various fields including metal and wood works and machine operation based on their inclination and previous educational background, according to Mikaeal Desta, head of Corporate Communications at the MetEC.

The recruits have different educational background ranging from no education at all to degree holders, according to the assessment made for the project by the MetEC.

"Some might be machine operators, managers or daily laborers," Mikaeal said.

To undertake the training, the corporation has secured plot in Awash,AfarRegionalState, to construct a camp that can be used for the training and provide trainees with all the necessities such as food and clothing, according to Mikaeal.

"Afar is selected to detach them from their usual environment so as to train them well," he claimed. The construction of the house will be finalised within the next two months.

The corporation will hire the trained people to different mega projects that the country is currently undertaking.

"It is not for our own purposes only," Mikael told Fortune. "We are not doing business here."

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