Mekanissa is a suburb of Addis Adaba, Ethiopia. This fairly middle class neighborhood contains condos and shops along the streets, but is near to the more impoverished slums where the kids live. There are two Salesian ministry sites here: Don Bosco Mekanissa (where SLMs have been placed for the past 3 years continuously), and Bosco Children.
In Don Bosco Mekanissa, there are many possibilities for an SLM. The site has plenty of children and plenty of work to do. You will never complain of feeling bored or useless here! Some of the ministries include:
- work with the youth at three schools: primary, high school or technical school
- help with Oratory on Saturdays and Sundays – play with the kids, help with showers, and watch movies or youth soccer matches
- organize sports teams for the high school
- teach English to all and sundry – formal classes for the kids, or more informal classes for the prenovices or technical school
In Bosco Children, there are opportunities to work with street children. Sometimes, an SLM placed at Don Bosco has had an opportunity to help at Bosco Children, but it is important to understand that these are two unique Salesian sites.
The community here is great! SLMs live in the motel-style Salesian Community, with private room/bath. Lunch is here. Other meals and hang-out space is provided at the volunteer house next door, which is shared with the young Austrian volunteers (and, at current, a Spanish volunteer). Daily mass and morning/evening prayer are available in English (one day a week, mass is in Amharic), and the Salesian community here contains pre-novices – young Ethiopians preparing to join the Salesians. The compound is quite safe and contains the schools, youth center, church and community and volunteer houses.