We are very pleased to introduce you to our new Chief Executive, Caroline Walker. Caroline has been working for Link Ethiopia, supporting communications and developing our fundraising, since 2016 and has been working alongside us in the UK office as the UK Manager of our sister organisation, the Kindu Trust, for the last five years. Caroline has extensive experience sustaining and developing programmes supporting children in Ethiopia. She also has an excellent understanding of the issues facing girls in education through her work with FORWARD, which works to end harmful traditional practices against African women and girls. We feel very fortunate that Caroline will be leading our teams and look forward to the energy, knowledge and perspective she will bring to Link Ethiopia’s work in the future.
Caroline is taking over from Matt Stockdale who is stepping down in order to further his education involvement by beginning teacher training this September. Matt has been leading Link Ethiopia for many years in a variety of roles and has been central to all of the charity’s developments and growth. We are sincerely grateful for the dedication and skill that he has invested in our work and we are thrilled that he will join our board of trustees this September. We look forward to benefitting from his experience as we oversee governance and champion the charity’s vision and mission over the coming years.
Link Ethiopia is at a very strong stage in its development. During the last five years we raised over £2 million which enabled a wide range of education projects. This year alone we completed the building of five new classrooms in three schools, as part of our Rural Excellence initiative, and a further three projects to improve facilities at other schools are currently underway. We continue to grow our direct support of over 200 children through our sponsorship programme where we are developing relationships with school mentors to improve outcomes for children in school. We are also very excited to expand our successful Libraries and Literacy project to work with the Education Office in four cities across the Amhara region to improve the quality of English language teaching through phonics – more on this soon!
As ever, we are extremely grateful for your support and your belief in the vision of Link Ethiopia, which makes our work possible. We take this moment as an opportunity to reflect on the successes of the organisation today and look forward to the impact we can have in the future.
Ashley England, Chair of Trustees
“I am delighted to have taken on the role of Chief Executive of Link Ethiopia and to increase my commitment to addressing issues that still prevent children from accessing quality education. I feel privileged to have worked alongside Matt and our UK and Ethiopian teams for the past five years as Fundraising Manager of Link Ethiopia and UK Manager of the Kindu Trust. Together we have a thorough understanding of the situation affecting disadvantaged children and poorly resourced schools in Ethiopia – and the best approaches to transforming these.
I am really looking forward to expanding our work together to build more facilities through our Rural Excellence initiative, improve the quality of learning through our literacy projects, support children directly through sponsorship and scale up our work providing targeted solutions for girls so that they can achieve their full potential in education.
I look forward also to working with Link Ethiopia’s many supporters, some of whom I have been pleased to meet already, and would be very happy to have a chat with you, if you have any questions!”
Caroline Walker, Chief Executive
“Stepping back from day-to-day involvement in the charity’s operations is a bitter-sweet moment for me. I will miss working as closely as I’ve been able to with our generous supporters and hard-working teams in the UK and Ethiopia, with whom it’s been a real honour to go on this journey with. At the same time this is an important chapter in Link Ethiopia’s evolution and I couldn’t be happier that Caroline will be leading our teams as we enter the charity’s third decade of transforming lives through education.
Her experience, vision and leadership will enable us to make even larger, tangible improvements to children’s lives. To say that our work is in safe hands would be an understatement.
Over recent years we have been increasing the focus of our programmes towards improved schooling access and outcomes for girls in Ethiopia and Caroline’s experience in this area will be invaluable. We’ve also been bringing our sister teams, from Link Ethiopia and the Kindu Trust, together so that we can share expertise and maximise the support we give to families and schools in Ethiopia. This has made a big difference to both charities and under Caroline’s leadership I believe this can deepen further.
If I’d been told twenty years ago, when I first visited Ethiopia, that this beautiful and addictive country would still be deep in my blood many years later I’d have been entirely unsurprised. I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to work on projects there for so long and I’m looking forward, as a trustee, to remaining active in all that we are doing for many years to come.”