August 2009

Welcome to our August 2009 news update

A holiday for some, a quiet rest period for others. But for all of us at Link Ethiopia, activity continues as normal as we strive to improve and extend the work that we are doing – more and better school links, further teaching volunteers to prepare for their experiences, greater numbers of kids to support through our Child Sponsorship scheme, and always an eye on where our help can best be used in Ethiopia.

None of this would be possible without those individuals who put their trust in us and who strive to make funds to support our work. This August issue of the News Update focuses on just a few of them – read on and support their efforts if you feel you can.

Focus on… Fundraising

We would love you to support the fundraising activites you can read about below. Remember to let us know if you are planning to organise your own fundraising activity and we can do all we can to help you!

To Hel and Back: Driving from the UK to South Africa, and back, to raise funds for Link Ethiopia

Carl James and Tom Picton are ex-students of our founding link school, Dr Challoner’s. They wanted to support our work and came up with a slightly crazy plan.

In late September they will set off on an epic journey from the UK to Die Hel, near Cape Town in South Africa, and back. They will drive through 40 countries, cover over 30,000 miles, and they will encounter some of the harshest environments this planet has to offer; from the sand dunes of the Sahara, to the mud tranches of the Cameroon rainforests, to the dizzy heights of Mount Kilamanjaro which they plan to climb en route! They will also be volunteering in some of our Ethiopian schools for a month on their journey, helping us set up a new sports programme.

Carl and Tom’s remarkable journey aims to raise £10,000 which will be donated to Link Ethiopia and another charity, but they need your help to get there. Please show your support and donate at where more information is also available. Thank you!

Sailing around Britain to support Ethiopian education

Another of our energetic supporters, Chris Veys, is still at sea, sailing around the whole of Great Britain to raise funds for Link Ethiopia. This amazing challenge will take three months to complete and will take him to over 60 destinations, covering 2,500 miles. At the moment he is somewhere near the Western Isles of Scotland and has already raised over £2,000.

Will you consider sponsoring his incredible efforts? All funds will support Link Ethiopia’s work supporting education in Ethiopia. Please get involved. Visit:

Selling bunting, for Ethiopia!

Fundraising isn’t all about big travelling adventures. Paula Nelson, one of our future teaching volunteers, has been working incredibly hard recently making the amazing bunting you can see below.

This high-quality hand-made bunting is on sale with all funds raised being donated to Link Ethiopia’s work. This is ideal for fetes, celebrations and home decor. Sales are going well so far but there is still plenty of bunting available. If you would like to help our cause and buy some of this beautiful handicraft, please get in touch for details and prices – contact Matt Stockdale ([email protected]) for more information. Thank you!

Can you get involved?

Link Ethiopia is always seeking funds to enable us to support an ever expanding number of schools and young people in Ethiopia. The projects we fund are vital to the communities we work alongside, and we need your help!

Can you help us by organising a fundraising event? Raising any amount, large or small, is hugely appreciated. We’d love to hear if you’re thinking of organising something.

Email to let us know, and when you’re finished you can donate the funds you’ve raised through our website ( or you can send us a cheque (to Link Ethiopia, St George’s Church, Crayford Road, London, N7 0ND). You can also donate online at

Thank you!!

News from Ethiopia

  • Just how do the Ethiopian long-distance runners do it? What’s their secret? Anyone thinking that it is just Haile Gebre Selassie who is Ethiopia’s claim to fame must keep their eye more closely on the ball (to truly mix our metaphors!). It is in part due to his inspiration, but there are now so many excellent Ethiopian athletes that it is difficult to know which one is the star of the moment. In Berlin, at the recent World Athletics Championships, it was again Kenenisa Bekele who took the honours in not only the 10,000 metres but also the 5,000 metres. “It’s fantastic. I’m happy for myself and my country,” he said afterwards.
  • Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s best known pop singer, Teddy Afro, has been released eight-months early from a two-year prison sentence because of good behaviour. His fans worldwide will be thrilled by the news. After his release he said “I would like to express my respect and gratitude to all the people of our country. I was able to meet many good people in prison, from the lowest-ranking policemen to the highest administrator. I had a nice time.”

Meet the Team: Mulugeta Derso

Mulugeta is our enthusiastic Project Coordinator, working in our Gondar office. He is in charge of planning and monitoring our projects within the Ethiopian schools we support in the north of the country. His energy and intelligence is a huge asset to the charity!



Ethiopia uncovered: Prester John

One of the most fascinating legends to have been associated with Ethiopia from medieval times was that of Prester John.

He was supposed to have been a fabled Christian king living in a Christian realm that the early Portuguese explorers were convinced was part of present-day Ethiopia. Accounts of his kingdom are to be found from as early as the 12th century onwards and told of a generous and virtuous ruler whose kingdom possessed all sorts of riches and where strange and wonderful creatures were to be found. For many, Prester John’s land represented a sort of earthly Paradise or a place where the magical Fountain of Youth could be found. He himself became a symbol in Europe of the Church’s universality, transcending all cultural and geographical boundaries and distinctions.

The legend was to inspire various expeditions from Europe and further afield. And the story was to live on in people’s imaginations for many centuries, with even Marvel Comics in the 20th century featuring a character called Prester John in some of its popular publications.

Coming up on UK Television

  • Tribe – Nyangatom
    The warrior tribe in the Omo Valley
    Saturday August 5th (+6th +9th) (Eden)
  • Around the world in 80 treasures
    Ethiopia and the Ark of the Covenant
    Tuesday August 22nd (+23rd) (Eden)
  • The Nile – The Great Flood
    Life in the Ethiopian Highlands
    Thursday August 24th (Eden)

Ethiopian proverb

You cannot build a house for last year’s summer

English proverb

He that gives to another bestows on himself

Website link

Lonely Planet on Ethiopia at

… nearly as good as our website!

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