April & May 2008

Hello everyone!

Welcome to a joint April and May news update from Link Ethiopia. Members of our UK team have just returned from an intensive visit to Ethiopia, working alongside our in-country staff and visiting schools and projects.

In Gondar, our Country Manager, Ato Belayneh, is now partnered with Mulugeta Derso, a young graduate who has recently joined Link Ethiopia as Project Coordinator and who has made an enthusiastic start. We are therefore putting a particular focus in this edition on some of the projects which are developing successfully and well in the various local schools we work with. Read on…

Focus on… Resourcing Projects

Below you can read about three of our recently funded school projects in the north of Ethiopia. Other projects are also discussed on our website – http://linkethiopia.org/projects/index.html. We are always seeking donations to enable future projects like these and, if you think you could help, please do get in contact with us or donate online (www.linkethiopia.org/donate).


Kebele 16 Elementary School water project

This elementary school caters for over 1,800 pupils on a large site near Gondar town. We recently worked with the local community to fund and construct their first drinking water system on the school site. Now complete, the water facility enables twelve pupils at a time to drink clean water throughout the school day. This helps reduce dehydration and improves concentration in lessons.


Arbatu Ensesa Elementary School classroom project

Let us introduce you to Arbatu Ensesa, an elementary school in a semi-rural situation in the north of Ethiopia. This is a growing school, with 700 pupils currently enrolled between Grades 1 to 6. Thanks to a generous donation from a family in the UK we have been able to partner with the school to build four new classrooms which will expand the school into Grades 7 and 8. The classrooms are nearing completion!



Edeget Feleg Secondary School toilet project

Edeget Feleg Secondary is situated in the heart of urban Gondar. Some 2,900 students attend the school in a shift system where half learn in the morning and half in the afternoon. Until recently their toilet facilities were seriously inadequate (see bottom photo) but we recently supported the school to build a new toilet block (top photo) which houses six sturdy cubicles for the young people to use. This will improve sanitation and reduce the spread of disease.


Fundraising idea of the month

How about running a tea party for friends and acquaintances and helping Link Ethiopia make some funds for our school projects? Or perhaps a small dinner party could also be used to raise just a little money? Remember that just a small sum can provide so much in Ethiopia. If you’d like to do this for us, we can send you posters and leaflets to help the cause! Get in touch and let us know. Email [email protected]. Thank you.


News from Ethiopia

  • The Ethiopian government has launched a new coffee brand which will champion Ethiopia’s famous, unique and distinctive fine coffee in the international market. Though Ethiopia is the historic birth place of coffee and Africa’s leading coffee exporter, the country has still some way to go in getting international consumer recognition and familiarisation with its famous product. Meanwhile, Nick and Marc Francis’s highly influential “Black Gold” film continues to heighten the world’s awareness to these issues.
  • German archaeologists believe they have found the Queen of Sheba’s palace at Axum and an altar which may have held the most precious treasure of ancient Judaism, the Ark of the Covenant. Scientists from Hamburg made the startling find during their recent spring excavations of the site in the far north of Ethiopia.


Meet the Team: James Love and Rose Bradbury

James and Rose have been fantastic team members for some time. They are just coming to the end of a five month research project in the Gondar region where they have committed much time and energy to exploring future ways in which we can support education. We hope that they will continue to help and advise us in the future.


Culture spot: Manners and traditions

One of the fascinating aspects of different cultures is the way in which very basic human mannerisms and interactions may vary. For instance, in the UK, if you want to call someone to you with a ‘come here’ gesture, you extend the hand with the palm upwards and flick the fingers to and fro. Use that gesture in Ethiopia and you get some puzzled looks. But turn the hand so that the palm faces downwards and your intention is suddenly clear.

In contrast with the UK, Ethiopian people greet each very fulsomely and warmly. Anything up to four kisses on alternate cheeks is normal amid friends and this accompanies a lengthy session of questioning as to the person’s health, the health of their family, the person’s health again, the health of their children, the health of their partners and their own health yet again!

A particular gesture is made in Ethiopia when shaking hands with someone considerably older than oneself or someone who has a social standing above one’s own. While the right hand is engaged in the shaking process, the left hand clutches the underneath of the person’s own right forearm – a clear signal of deference.

Perhaps those particularly knowledgeable about Ethiopian culture would like to email us with further examples which we can include in future news updates.


Coming up on UK Television

  • Africa Trek – Ethiopia
    Tribal Realm, Christian Empire
    Sunday 1st & 2nd June (Travel Channel)
  • Pole to Pole – Crossing the line
    Michael Palin in a troubled 1990’s Ethiopia
    Friday 20th June (UKTV Documentary)
  • Don’t forget your passport – EthiopiaA wealth of history in a stunning African landscape
    Friday 20th & 21st June (Travel Channel)


Ethiopian proverb

For what is cold, the hand; for what is hot, the spoon

English proverb

Action is the proper fruit of knowledge

Website link

Learn about the Ethiopian Orthodox Church  at http://tinyurl.com/5v5skf

And, of course, our own colourful website at www.linkethiopia.org


Help us?

As always, if anyone reading this would like to offer us expertise, knowledge and help with our work or if you would like to associate yourself with one of our school projects (classrooms, water, toilets, books, etc) then please get in touch. You can donate via the following link, or by contacting us – details at the bottom of this email.


Together We Learn - Ethiopia