Amanuel has been supported by Link Ethiopia’s sponsorship programme for more than 6 years. In that time we’ve seen such a transformation – from a shy young boy to a confident and intelligent young man. And he’s impressed everyone along the way.
When he was 15, Amanuel took part in the city-wide Creativity Contest. The contest involved schools from across the state and included participants at elementary, secondary and even preparatory level.
Much to the joy of his school, and of Link Ethiopia, Amanuel entered the competition and won! His ‘Creativity in Science’ entry was considered the best, and he and his school were honoured with an award. Amanuel has the following to say about how the Link Ethiopia sponsorship scheme has helped:
“Honestly speaking, without the help from Link Ethiopia, I would not have even been here at school. I would be living with my family in the rural areas. I would not be able to have entered the Creativity Contest, or even have this conversation. The efforts I made for my creative work involved going around the rubbish dumps in [my local area] and finding things that would be useful for my school science lessons.”
She does not know her parents and struggled with school over the years. She contemplated dropping out many times. But then things began to change for the better for Hawitu.
Hawitu also joined her school’s Link Club – part of their partnership with a school in the United Kingdom – where she enjoys exchanging work and letters with friends in the UK. This has increased her knowledge of other cultures and built her vocabulary and communication skills, and her results in school subjects has subsequently improved.
Tadesse is striker in the ‘Link Ethiopia Wolves’ football team, who we sponsor in the city of Gondar. Using football we’re able to unite a community, empower young people and impart some life skills. For years his team struggled on, unable to realise their full potential. But with Link Ethiopia’s support, things have changed:
“Before LE, my football team was sponsored by a hotel. We had a lot of problems. We never progressed from the group stages. I remember once; we beat a good team called Hocha but then forfeited the next match because we couldn’t pay for our transportation. We used to ask people in the street to contribute whatever they can. We didn’t have something to eat after games. Since I joined The Wolves we have team meals – this has given us a boost in morale. We have a full kit now and are really proud. Some quality players have come to play for us. And last year we did it – we won the Gondar Youth Cup! Playing for the team has given all the members the chance to avoid spending our free time doing destructive things.“Fund a project
Changing lives is also about forging meaningful connections – creating a network of change.
Sponsored students, like Mebratu, connect with students around them. Mebratu, who lives alone with the support of a school teacher and Link Ethiopia, has been able to make a success of his education despite all the hurdles and challenges life has thrown at him. And he shares this direction with the other children around him. Volunteers come from around the world and also make this connection. Networks and friendships across continents may seem fragile, but this immersion in another culture can profoundly impact and change the lives of all involved.
Gezahegn, 14, attends a remote rural school which has limited resources to offer her and her peers. But Link Ethiopia linked her school up to our Donkey Library network, so she now has access to books:
“The Donkey Library has helped me hone my reading skills, has given me the chance to get extracurricular reading materials like poems, tales, kids’ comic books which are difficult to access. I have never had such chances before but now as soon as I see the Donkey every Wednesday I feel very happy. I had, at times, trouble even accessing the text books in this school. My favourite book from the Donkey Library is called ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’.“
If you are inspired to help us change lives there are many different ways to get involved with Link Ethiopia. You can volunteer with us, fundraise for us or support our work financially. Find the way that works best for you.