October & November 2008

Greetings to all!

Welcome to Link Ethiopia’s November news update, which embarrassingly we are sending out just hours before another month dawns!

We have been particularly busy recently with new schools joining our linking scheme, a second office in Ethiopia just opening up and a third Ethiopian member of staff joining the team. More about all of this in our January news email, but this month we want to tell you about two ways you can get involved in supporting young people in Ethiopia in the run up to Christmas. Firstly our Gift Ethiopia scheme where you can browse and buy special presents for friends and family (www.giftethiopia.org) and secondly our Child Sponsorship scheme through which you can change someone’s life. Please do read on….

Christmas is coming! Get your presents from Gift Ethiopia!

Christmas is on its way and Link Ethiopia’s alternative gift scheme is here again!

Spoil your family and friends with gifts that keep on giving, such as providing clean water for forty pupils for just £20 or giving a young student everything they need for a school year for just £15. There are gifts to suit any budget. Look out for the Donkey Library, new this year! www.giftethiopia.org

When you buy from the Gift Ethiopia catalogue or website you receive a gift card explaining about the specific support you are giving to schools and communities in Ethiopia. These gifts make a huge difference to the lives of many children. Check out our Gift Ethiopia website (www.giftethiopia.org) and give a special gift to a special person. It’s a brilliant way to get involved!


If you would like one or more of our printed Gift Ethiopia catalogues please email [email protected] and we will post them to you.

Focus on… Child Sponsorship

Can you give a child the gift of an education? Our sponsorship programme is unique in that it focuses entirely on supporting education which is a sustainable way to support Ethiopia’s next generation. Think about whether this is something you can get involved with in the run up to Christmas. You could even set up sponsorship on behalf of a friend or relative as their Christmas present!

Rising food and fuel costs are increasingly forcing families to choose between buying the necessities for everyday living or buying the books and pens they need for their children’s education. Without an education, most of these children will never get the chance to change their family’s living conditions. Your regular sponsorship donation will support your child with all their schooling needs as well as funding wider projects in their school providing hundreds of children with vital facilities such as clean water, classrooms, and books etc.

Contact us ([email protected]) to change a child’s life today.

Help us find sponsors for these children

Tsadiku Yohannes is a large primary school in one of the poorest parts of Gondar town, in the northern Ethiopian highlands. Many families here make a living selling produce in the local market. However, the sharp rises in basic foodstuffs and fuel have hit many families hard and it is becoming increasingly difficult to afford to send their children to school. Without help, some children could be forced to drop out of education to try and earn money to support their families instead.

Link Ethiopia has worked with Tsadiku Yohannes School to identify sixteen of the most vulnerable children with the hope of finding them sponsors so they may continue their education and secure themselves and their family a brighter future. All of these children are either orphans or live in single-parent families. For just £3 a week, the price of a magazine, you can change their lives. Help us help them. Sponsorship costs just £12 / $25 / 17€ per month.

How to get involved

Sponsoring a child through Link Ethiopia is simple. It costs just £3 per week (£12 / $25 / 17€ per month) to support the education of your sponsored child and the school which they attend. On average 20% of your sponsorship money is spent on your child’s educational needs and 80% on supporting projects in their school. Through our sponsorship scheme, your small act of kindness will give a child a brighter future.

Send us an email ([email protected]) and we will get things set up for you straightaway. Thank you.

Culture spot: Ethiopian festivals

The Ethiopian calendar is filled with festivals and holidays, coming from both the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition and from those of Islam, and both sets seem to coexist happily and comfortably to fulfil the need of all Ethiopian people to celebrate and have fun. But many of the main festivals leave a westerner somewhat perplexed as to their timing and their detail. There is not space here to go into any great depth on this matter but here are just a few samples that may be of interest.

Those in the west are, at the moment, looking forward to their Christmas celebrations. So, of course, are many Ethiopians but they will celebrate their own Christmas festival on January 6th. If this apparently late date should cause the reader any concern for its relationship with the New Year festival, be of good cheer, for the Ethiopian New Year feast is well over by then, having been celebrated in the first part of our month of September!

More important as a celebration in Ethiopia is the festival of Epiphany. This is called ‘Timkat’ and is a major focus of colour and culture that takes place around January 19th. After that, Ethiopian Easter (called ‘Fasika’) is rarely coincidental with that of the west and is frequently several weeks later in the year. It follows, as in the UK, a period of Lenten fasting but, whereas this is measured at 40 days and nights here in the west, in Ethiopia it is the culmination of a significantly longer 55 days of abstinence.

Coming up on UK Television

  • Air Crash Investigation
    An Ethiopian aircraft is hijacked in mid-air
    Thurs December 4th (for 2 days) (National Geographic)
  • Saving Planet Earth – Saving wolves
    Graham Norton in the Simien Mountains
    Thurs December 18th (UKTV Documentary)
  • Pole to Pole – Crossing the line
    Michael Palin encounters a troubled Ethiopia
    Fri December 26th (UKTV Documentary)

Ethiopian proverb

Coffee and the king, with the mouth alone they do not talk

English proverb

Birds are entangled by their feet and men by their tongues

Website link

World Class is a BBC website that supports school linking and Link Ethiopia is one of their partners. www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass

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