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September 2007

By 16th September 2007News emails

Greetings to you all in a new and inspiring millennium for Ethiopia!

We at Link Ethiopia hope that you were all able to celebrate and enjoy the festivities to some extent, whether you were in Trafalgar Square in London, involved in any of the other celebrations that took place in cities across the world, or whether you were lucky enough to be able to share happy feelings with Ethiopians in Ethiopia itself.

Whichever it was (or even if you missed the entire thing!) may we wish you all success and happiness in your lives, and for Ethiopia itself, may we hope for peaceful and ever more prosperous progress at this significant time.

On with our September News Update!

News from Ethiopia

  • With international support, the Ethiopian government is working towards an ambitious goal to have universal primary health care by 2010. Ethiopia has already stepped up recruitment and training of primary healthcare providers and is building many more health centres throughout the country. Progress has been remarkable, and Ethiopia expects to be able to provide 80% of the required 30,000 health workers by the end of 2007. Watch this space!
  • And while the skeleton of Lucy, on tour from the National Museum in Addis Ababa, wows the long queues of interested spectators in Houston, Texas, the Ethiopian government is turning its attention to another national treasure. A giant stone obelisk, returned to its original home in Axum by the Italian government, after decades of patient waiting and requesting, is now to be re-erected during this Millennium year.

Meet the Team

Sachin Shah is the School Links Manager in the UK, and he works with tireless energy and enthusiasm in all he does. He has taught in Azezo Secondary School, he has visited Ethiopia many times, and remains full of ambition for the organisation’s work.

Ethiopia – Home to 7 World Heritage Sites

UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites are considered places of international importance for the conservation of mankind’s cultural and natural heritage for future generations. Ethiopia is proud to be the home to seven!

So where are they? Well, Axum, Lalibela and Gondar have huge historical importance in the north alongside the natural beauty of the Simien Mountains. Whereas the Omo Valley in the south-west, Tiya in the south, and Hadar in the north-east of the country each have been the location of important prehistorical discovery.

And so what? Being a World Heritage Site can bring huge international prestige, attract new visitors and will encourage high standards of managing the area. Such designation is already raising worldwide awareness of these ‘jewels’ in Ethiopia’s crown.

School Link focus

Michael Gray, at Halliford School in Shepperton, first visited Ediget Feleg Secondary School in Ethiopia last year, where he spent a week teaching groups of students and making friends with the teachers. His first-hand experience of school life in two very different teaching and learning environments has increased his enthusiasm for a link between the schools, and confirmed the importance of activities such as letter writing between the students, so they can learn about each others’ lives.

To help improve the partnership between the two schools, twelve students from Halliford have been selected to visit Ediget Feleg in October 2008. In the meantime they hope to raise a significant amount of money through events such as talent shows. Money raised will contribute to a building project in Ediget Feleg, a school which hasn’t had much investment since the Italian buildings were erected 60 years ago. We look forward to reporting how they got on next year!

Resourcing Project news

The Kebele 16 Elementary School caters for 1,800 pupils on the outskirts of Gondar town. For a number of years the toilet facilities at the school were totally unsuitable for their pupils (see the photo on the left below).

Thanks to the donations of a number of supporters, Link Ethiopia was able to work in partnership with the local community to fund a new toilet block, with eight toilets, for female pupils. The block was completed in the summer and is ready to make a huge difference to the pupils at the school (see photo on the right below).

Thanks to further fundraising activity in the UK we are already in the planning stages to support the Kebele 16 school with an equivalent boys toilet block – more of that in a future news update.

Our Gap Ethiopia scheme

With the extra focus of the Ethiopian Millennium to experience, our latest pair of Gap Ethiopia volunteers took themselves out to the country a week in advance of the usual schedule, arriving in Gondar two days before the celebrations. With the school year still not quite ready to begin, they have planned to hit the tourist route and visit the Simien Mountains for a few days. Henry Turnbull and Paddy Hodge are a friendly and energetic pair and they will shortly be starting their teaching of English Communication Skills at the Fasiledes Secondary School, and working with the brand new teaching resources that Link Ethiopia has been working on for many months.

Coming up on Television

  • Pole to pole – Crossing the line
    Michael Palin encounters a troubled Ethiopia
    Friday October 5th (UKTV History)
  • Walking with beasts – Next of kin
    The beginnings of mankind in Ethiopia
    Thursday October 18th (UKTV Documentary)
  • Don’t forget your passport – Ethiopia
    A wealth of history in a stunning African landscape
    Sunday October 21st (Travel Channel)

Proverb of the Month

“It is foolhardy to climb two trees at once just because one has two feet”

Help us?

As always, if anyone reading this would like to offer us expertise, knowledge and help with our work 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