Feeding Programme in the kindergarten of Abba Gebremichael High School High School Mekele, Ethiopia
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 fund-raising on a new level and to register as a charity. Hence Gobaith i Ethiopia – Hope for Ethiopia was born.
By providing funding to an already existing project, the charity was able to assist in sustaining the ongoing education of children from an early age. Each child in the kindergarten is now provided with at least one balanced meal a day which is cooked for them on the premises. Much like our breakfast clubs, it has enabled the children to progress in their education and on into the higher grades.
The nursery was completed in 2010 and equipment has been provided for the playground. Help has been given higher up the school for computers and renovation of the toilet facilities.
Gobaith i Ethiopia – Hope for Ethiopia have continued to support the feeding programme for over 10 years
Donation 2017-18: £2,000
This Kindergarten is located in Alitena in the remote mountains of Tigray in the North of Ethiopia, close to the border with Eritrea. The area is particularly affected by poverty and educational opportunities are limited. The Daughters of Charity provide a kindergarten facility in the town, based on the Montessori teaching method and they approached Gobaith for assistance in providing finance to purchase food and towards the upkeep of the nursery for the very young children who attend.
We have been helping to fund the facility for the past four years. We are committed to continue supporting this very important benefit to the young children of Alitena and surrounding area for the next few years.
Donation 2017-18: £2,200
The complete renovation of the building and furnishings at Abba Paulo Kindergarten in Shishinda
Our most recent new project was the restoration of the dilapidated school building at the Abba Paulo Kindergarten in the remote village of Shishinda to the south of Addis Ababa.
When the Principal arrived at the school it was in a sorry state. Thanks to a grant from Gobaith i Ethiopia the school building has had a complete renovation – walls have been replastered and repainted inside and out, the roof has been repaired and perhaps most significantly, there is now a direct supply of electricity. The outer walls have been decorated by a local artist with pictures of local animals amongst which there is a Welsh dragon.
Subsequently a grant was made to supply new chairs and table which were made locally, thereby giving much needed work to the local community.
Donation 2017-18: £2,200 (2016-17 £4,850)
St Vincent Library and Youth Centre
Gobaith i Ethiopia – Hope for Ethiopia has in the past developed a link with and supported a Youth Project in Mekele.
An old grain feeding warehouse has been converted into a centre which provides a library facility were students from any school, both boys and girls, can come to study both before and after school – local schools operate a shift system whereby some attend in the morning whilst others attend in the afternoon, although this is being phased out but is unlikely to be so until there is extra capacity in the schools.
Many, if not most, families do not have facilities at home where their children can continue their studies and the children do not have the necessary books. The library provides both of these but needs support for furniture and books as well as for maintaining the fabric of the building. The library is looked after by a number of librarians who work throughout the day and evening on a part time basis.
As well as the library, in a separate part of the building, there is a large area where the young people can meet socially especially at the weekends where tutorials can be undertaken, health education provided, films can be viewed and social events can take place. It operates much like a Youth Club.
Gobaith i Ethiopia – Hope for Ethiopia have been able to help upgrade the book stock, to provide furniture – bookcases and desks in the library as well as providing much needed seating in the social area.
Ongoing Education – Thanks to a grant from Wales Africa Community Links, Gobaith i Ethiopia was able in the past to support a number of students in short term training courses at the local Further Education College which allows students to expand their knowledge and give themselves a better opportunity of supporting themselves in the future.
Well and Community Water Supply Project – Mekele
Through our involvement in the Youth Centre Project it came to our notice that the water well adjacent to the property had been unusable for some years. A submission was made by the managers of the centre to Gobaith for funds to have it reclaimed.
We were confident in agreeing to the detailed submission provided and a grant of £2,500 was made to the centre. We were very pleased when the project was successfully completed. The well provides clean drinking water, not only to the young people who attend the centre but is also freely open to peop le in the local community to use and benefit from, an important improvement to their health and well-being. A relatively small project has brought real benefit and again demonstrates how effective the partnership between Gobaith i Ethiopia and local people can be in bringing about sustainable improvements.
Women’s Development Project
The charity has a link with the work of the small craft project in Mekele, run by the Daughters of Charity whose remit is to work with the poor and marginalised.
Here women learn the skills of embroidery and produce beautiful embroidered cloths which range from small Ethiopian scenes, often of a religious nature and following typical Ethiopian art traditions, up to large altar and table cloths. Sadly we are no longer have access to these products for re-sale here in the UK.