Gobaith i Ethiopia - Hope for Ethiopia is a charity which initially grew from an informal arrangement of a group of people in Wrexham in North Wales. As a Justice and Peace Group, they sought a project where they could help, in some small way, people in the Developing World. As a result, it was decided to help fund a feeding programme in the kindergarten of the Abba Gebremichael High School in the city of Mekele in Tigray, the northern province of Ethiopia.
Through personal contacts, it was discovered that, because of poverty, many of the children had been dropping out of education because their parents were unable to provide them with the food that other children were able to bring to school.
Following a visit to Ethiopia by five of the group in 2005, they were impressed by the people they met in Mekele with their warmth and hospitality, despite their meagre resources, and it was decided to expand our horizons and attempt to help fund the construction of a new purpose-built nursery. With this new vision it was decided to place the fundraising on a new level and to register as a charity. Hence Gobaith i Ethiopia - Hope for Ethiopia was born.
Thanks to generous help from individuals and grants from international corporations such as the Airbus Foundation and JCB, from other local charities as well as support from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action - Wales Africa Community Links, and thanks to local fund-raising events, this target was achieved. Funds were also made available for playground equipment for the nursery children, computers for the older children and refurbishment of the toilet facilities in the main school.
Gobaith i Ethiopia - Hope for Ethiopia is run by a small group of people who donate their services freely, keeping administrative costs to a minimum. Over 95% of funds currently go directly to projects in Ethiopia.
We work alongside and in support of established organisations, principally within the Catholic Church in Ethiopia, who have the infrastructure to help provide the governance and overview of how the money raised is spent. Gobaith i Ethiopia works closely with the Vincentian Fathers and the Daughters of Charity who provide services for the poor, the deprived and the marginalised from all sections of society.
All projects are open to all, irrespective of gender and denomination. They support children from Christian, both Catholic and Orthodox, and also Muslim backgrounds and try to ensure that girls are given the same opportunities as boys.
It is one of our aims to eventually build up direct links between pupils in and communities in North Wales and the pupils and people of Mekele, the main city of Tigray Province.
We continue to provide assistance to our first kindergarten in Mekele and also,for some years, to a second kindergarten in the remote hills, close to the Eritrean border. We have formed a link also with Santo Paulo kindergarten in the Jimma Bonga region, south of the capital Addis Ababa and have links to St Vincent’s Youth Centre and Library, again in Mekele.