Ángel Olaran is a missionary of the White Fathers who after spending twenty years in Tanzania was called to develop his task in Wukro's locality. Nowadays lives and works at Wukro, where he has been for more than 17 years, at Saint Mary's's Mission and is the main promoter and manager of this project.
It is placed in Tigray's region, in the north of Ethiopia, to some 900kms from the capital of the country. Wukro's region has a population of approximately 110.000 inhabitants, o 40.000 of which reside in Wukro.
The region is basically devoted to farming, an activity that develops with the help of oxen. The farmers can scarcely feed their families for six months during the dry season, even though the rains are enough, due to the small-scale farming . 80% of the urban population lacks lands.
Wukro is the poorest district of the four that make up Tigray's region. The rate of unemployment is very high and a great number of adults depend on welfare help. Approximately 3.000 widows of former soldiers and women left by his husbands confront on their own the care of their children and the creation of resources.
This lack of resources makes life very hard for women, since only few of them are lucky to have a job or an orchard to grow vegetables. Thiscauses that a great number of them end up as prostitutes.
Ángel Olaran's first project in Wukro was to guarantee secondary education for children, for this purpose he founded the St. Mary's College. Nowadays, more than 350 pupils attend this school to receive vocational training that will allow them to find a job. The areas of vocational training that are given at St. Mary's are:
- Welding and Electricity.
- Agriculture and Trade.
- Embroidery and dressmaking.
- Painting, pottery and leather work.
Another task of father Ángel and the social workers of his team consists of getting to know the individual and familiar situation of the people who come in search of help.
This activity is carried out visiting their houses. The welfare help can be of several types: food, housing, medicines, etc. There are three big groups of people in need of help:
- 4.000-5.000 undernourished children mainly those who are fed in the Center of Health of Wukro
- Paupers: people suffering from AIDS and tuberculosis, elderly people, unemployed single mothers. Etc...
- The main aim of our project are the more than 1.300 orphans to whom they try to provide withhousing, clothes, food, education and medical assistance.
In Wukro, approximately 7.500 unemployed women are head of the family. Many of them were displaced from Eritrea, from where they came alone with their children.
Women are the pilar of the socioeconomic structure in an area where underdevelopment causes very hard living conditions.
The aim of this project consists of qualifying these women, through an intensive training, that includes aspects like accounting, dressmaking, horticulture, farmig etc. And later giving them microcredit (100-150 €) that allows them to plan and to confront their future in a worthy way.
Their economic independence brings about their social independence and the taking part in the local events. A stable woman provides stability to the whole family.
More than 250 orphans of Wukro.
Besides Africa Nos Mira, many other associations like Medicos Mundi Guipuzcoa, Manos Unidas, or Adendia collaborate with this project that is having a great social inpact in Wukro's region.