“I have come that they may have life, life in its fullness.”
Bruh Tesfa Youth Development Centre (BTYDC), run by the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) under the framework of the Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat, is a youth centre for the youths of Adigrat town in Tigray, Ethiopia. However, it is far more than that. It is a beacon of hope for all the young people of the area, reaching out especially to the most disadvantaged girls/young women of the region; trying to empower them through educative and socio-economic programmes. The overall objective of Bruh Tesfa Youth Development Centre is to support, strengthen and enable disadvantaged young people to transform their life situations by effectively eradicating ignorance, poverty and ill health. BTYDC engages this empowerment project through integral education programmes, targeting our beneficiaries' body, mind and spirit.
"There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace."
Adigrat and Tigray
Adigrat viewed from a nearby mountain.
Adigrat is the second largest city in Ethiopia’s northernmost region, Tigray, with a population of around 130,000. Tigray is one of the most rural regions in Ethiopia, with just over 80% of the population residing in rural areas. As such, agriculture is the main form of economic activity, accounting for almost three quarters of GRDP (Gross Regional Domestic Product). The farmers mainly grow wheat, barley and teff, whilst they also look after cows, sheep and goats. They are, however, reliant on the short rainy season (two months a year) for their survival and their task is made all the harder by the mountainous, stony and arid character of the landscape. Because of its history of wars and famine, Tigray is faced with a number of severe problems, for example HIV/AIDS, orphans, single mothers, women-headed households, youth unemployment, lack of social infrastructure, etc.
Amidst all this, the Catholic Church is doing a lot to improve the situation in Adigrat, especially in the provision of social facilities like education, health, agriculture and environmental care. It is in this regard that Bruh Tesfa was set up to support the youths of Adigrat to empower them to transform their lives and that of their communities.