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December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
27 September 2012
Greg Kandra




Asela orphanage alumnus Matheas Hussein studies music at Addis Ababa University. (photo: Petterik Wiggers)

Four years ago, ONE took a look at a remarkable school in Ethiopia that cares for hundreds of orphaned boys with special needs and gives them training that can help transform their lives:

Asela’s orphanage school owes a good deal of its recent success to Father Renato Saudelli, I.M.C., who was appointed its director in 1991. An ardent advocate for sustainable development, Father Saudelli has integrated vocational skills training with the school’s academic curriculum so every student has a better chance at succeeding once they enter the work force.

Father Saudelli’s legacy, however, has been his work with the fine arts and music programs at the school. Thanks to his tireless efforts, these programs have thrived in recent years.

An artist himself, the Italian-born priest threw his weight behind the school’s art program the moment he assumed leadership responsibilities. With honest effort, patience, individual attention and, of course, the best available art materials, Father Saudelli believes all children can discover the joy of, as well as their unique talent for, creating art. For this reason, he encourages the disabled children to take advantage of the art program. Artistic expression using one’s hands, he believes, can help instill a sense of pride, particularly in those who may be physically handicapped in other ways.

The school’s music program, which Father Saudelli vigorously supports in tandem with the fine arts program, has also come into its own under the priest’s direction. A growing number of alumni have chosen to pursue careers in music, and many more have found inspiration through their musical training. …

A prospective graduate of the Yared Music School at Addis Ababa University, Matheas Hussein plays part-time in a local band, Harlem Jazz, which enjoys some celebrity in Addis Ababa. After graduating from the Consolata Fathers’ school, Mr. Hussein was recruited by a private college. His passion for music, however, led him to the Yared Music School. He persistently applied for admission, never losing hope. Finally, after three years, he was accepted to the program.

Read more on Revealing Hidden Talent.



Tags: Ethiopia Education