Welcome!

Hello everybody and welcome to the first of our new format news updates. We hope that everyone will find something that interests them, and that you will enjoy reading of our work and progress. As always, get in contact with us if you have any comments or would like to help us in our work. Contact details are below. Now, read on …

News from Ethiopia

  • You will no doubt have seen reports of the recent conflict in Somalia and the involvement of Ethiopian troops. We are pleased that this appears to have been short-lived and we certainly hope that all sides will be able to find a peaceful resolution without delay.
  • We are delighted to learn that Sheikh Al-Amoudi has agreed to fund a considerable part of the Gondar hospital’s new building programme. He has always been a very generous benefactor in Addis Ababa and we are very happy to see him supporting Link Ethiopia’s home town.

Timkat celebrations

The greatest Ethiopian Orthodox festival is that of Timkat which is held around January 19th. It celebrates Epiphany and it is marked by the procession of the tabots. These are replicas of the Ark of the Covenant, the original of which is said to be in the chapel at Axum. Priests, in their most colourful garb, carry them around the town draped in heavy embroidered materials.

Gondar is a particularly important centre for this festival and everyone congregates around the ancient castle known as Fasil’s Bath. The young men will often jump into the water and splash onlookers with great enthusiasm.

School Link news

We are very pleased to welcome a whole group of schools from the midlands and the north of England as they start new school links with Link Ethiopia’s support. For the first time we have approached schools in Bahir Dar, to the south of the Gondar region, and we look forward to seeing these new links develop over the coming months.

Meanwhile, our more established links are in the process of identifying projects to help their Ethiopian link schools in 2007, and if your school has not already had an individual visit from the Link Ethiopia team to make these plans, we will be in contact very soon.

Resourcing Project news

The photo below shows the first ever proper classrooms at the Anchow Mikael school, about an hour outside of Gondar. Until a year ago the pupils were taught under temporary shelters made of branches and sticks which washed away with every heavy rainstorm. For less than a thousand pounds the local community was able to build this impressive double classroom and are now enjoying year-round education!

Our Gap Ethiopia scheme

For the first time we have been able to send two volunteers to teach in a new situation in the Azezo Secondary School where they will, like their Gondar companions, teach English Communication Skills to small groups of willing pupils. They have just moved in to their accommodation at the Azezo Blind School where they will also help the girls and boys who live and learn there. There are still a few vacancies for placements in the 2007-2008 period and we welcome applications from Sixth Form students looking to plan their gap years.

Gift Ethiopia – thank you!

Thanks to everyone who got involved with the Gift Ethiopia scheme at Christmas. A staggering £8,120 was raised which will allow us to fund a variety of projects in April. We will be launching a Gift Ethiopia website in time for next Christmas, but get in contact if you would like information before then.

Coming up on Television

  • Africa Trek – Ethiopia: Tribal Realm, Christian Empire February 4th (Travel Channel)
  • In Search of Myths and Heroes – Ethiopia and the Queen of Sheba February 21st and March 19th (UKTV History)
  • Michael Palin’s Pole to Pole enters Ethiopia All about the wonderful and characterful gelada baboons of the Simien Mountains March 20th (UKTV Documentary)

Proverb of the Month

“When you sort out the grains, it becomes pure.”

Website Link of the Month

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

How you can help!

If you would like to help the work of Link Ethiopia or 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.
www.linkethiopia.org/donate