“I was so surprised at what we saw”

EYFF volunteers at a Center for the Mentally Disabled

Recently, NUEYS announced the beginning of it new Diaspora group called the Eritrean Youth of the Fourth Front (EYFF). Also described in our article about the EYFF, the group plans activities for itself. The first event was a trip to the Orphanage center found in Asmara. The second event was entertaining day at Cinema Roma enjoying movies that were being shown during the Euro Film Festival. In both events the group had an amazing time


The next event the group planned was a visit to a center for the mentally disabled. The center is found in the neighborhood of Mai Temenai, Asmara. The plan was to go to the center and assist the less fortunate during their lunch time. The group met up outside of the compound beforehand, and proceeded to enter it together. When they had arrived inside of the building one of the volunteers who worked there took the group on a mini tour of the facilities (we were alerted beforehand that taking pictures is stricitly prohibited).



The EYFF members met all the patients in both the male and female wards. They then proceeded to the outdoor garden of sorts that was built so that the patients could go outdoors when they needed some fresh air. There were two garden areas. One that has been completed for some time, here we saw some of the patients relaxing and some of the members spent some time with them. The second is in the process of being built. An interesting fact about the construction of these two garden areas is that the creators of these areas are all volunteers, which means that all the youth that were seen that day constructing were working completely out of the goodness of their hearts.


Next, the EYFF continued on to their original purpose for being there which was to volunteer during lunchtime. So the group, volunteers, and patients all gathered in the cafeteria where the lunch for the patients was waiting. After everyone was in their assigned areas the members and volunteers began to hand out the food to the patients who were patiently waiting their lunch



The group and the volunteers divided up their work. Some were preparing the food while others would hand them out. There were also other who would hand feed patients who weren’t able to feed themselves, and others went in small groups to the patients who didn’t eat in the cafeteria but ate in their rooms.


Once all lunch had fully been handed out and the patients had finished their food, the next phase began which was cleaning. Everyone split up the duties, some took the patients back to their rooms or to the garden area, some began sweeping and mopping up the floors, others took all the dirty dishes to the kitchen to get them washed, while others wiped up the tables. Together, with everyone doing their part the cafeteria became tidy and clean


After everyone had finished the lunch duties for the day, all who attended began to share appreciation to one another for attending such a noble cause and working together in a very dedicated manner. As they left, a member of the EYFF said “I was so surprised at what we saw, though there were a lot of shortages, the volunteers there worked so hard to take the best care of the patients, it was so inspiring.” The event was truly an enlightening one and working as one for a very honorable cause really helped bring the group closer together.


Written By: Raey Berhane

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