Archive for 2015

Water Action in Mohoni

With the drought in many parts of Tigray continuing, particularly in the area of Raya Azebo in which Mohoni is situated, EE’s emergency support for the community is continuing. Water is being delivered at regular intervals to the town’s five schools so that the children can drink at least enough to function. The following letter from EE project manager Melkamu Abate shows how the community has reacted to our help. EE board members Lesley Stephenson, Thomas Baumann and Tatjana Meier will fly to Ethiopia this evening to monitor the situation in the coming days and to discuss other emergency action with the local government. Watch this space for their reports in the coming days.

Melkamu Abate’s letter:

“Dear Lesley and Thomas,

I am writing to tell you about the water supply activities accomplished so far and a message from Kiflom regarding EE’s recent support action to resolve the water shortage the Mehoni community has faced.

As we discussed over the phone these last ten days, I have been trying to reach schools in Mehoni area that have serious shortage of water due to the lack of rain. I have now reached out to the three elementary schools and the two high schools in Mehoni town. We have so far provided all these schools with a total of nearly 50,000 liters of water. Because of the smallness of containers/water tanks/ available in two of the elementary schools, we have been forced to transport water there every two to three days using containers. We are providing these when their tanks are running out of water. All the schools have appreciated the actions EE has taken to help the school children to get drinking water.

In our latest meeting with him, Kiflom has asked me to provide the following THANK YOU message to you. He also asked me to remind you to pass it on to all EE members who are involved in this very human action. He has told me to sincerely express his gratitude and thanks on behalf of the Raya-Azeba woreda people, particularly the people of Mehoni town and its surroundings to all members of Ethiopian Enterprises for the compassion and the wonderful support that came just in time for the children. According to his point, the supportive action EE has implemented in the schools is helping them to avoid a dreadful crisis, and to get time to focus on a better solution which the local government is undertaking in collaborations with the Tigray regional government authorities. He said that they are working day and night to bring about a fundamental change for the water shortage they have encountered. He still requests your continued support in the forthcoming struggle they are making against this challenge until they get back on track.

Let me stop here for now. I will report you the developments we come across as we go about the work.

Thank you for your help and for everything you are doing.

Sincerely,
Melkamu “

Tigray threatened by ongoing drought

For the first time in the 8 years we have been working in Tigray, there was virtually no rain at all during the July/August ‘wet’ season in several parts of the province, including Mohoni. During our visit a month ago, there was one day of very good late rain, but this was not enough to fill the new rainwater tanks or to make up for an entire missed wet season. To make things worse, two weeks ago some of the pipes at the town water source broke due to wear and tear. This meant that the drinking-water tanks we installed at the school last year simply ran out of water. While the local government is doing its best to handle this additional crisis, there was a complete lack of water at the school and in the community for several days. We all know how serious this is in a harsh, dry climate. Small children cannot survive without water for more than a very few days.

Ethiopian Enterprises reacted fast to this news.  With the help of our wonderful donors we were able to finance the transport of water to Mohoni last week from a reservoir in another, less affected area. The water tankers supplied the children at ‘our’ school as well as at the four other schools in the area – a total of over 8’000 students – with drinking water supplies which would last for several days. This emergency measure was facilitated by our local project manager, Melkamu Abate, as well as members of the regional government.  As the drought continues, however, we will clearly have to repeat this action several times in order to ensure that children don’t literally die of thirst before the town can mend its system and/or the next rain arrives. 

If you’re able to help us  finance this crucial additional support for Mohoni during the drought, you can make a donation to Ethiopian Enterprises earmarked ‘Mohoni water’.  Three of our board members will return to Mohoni next week to monitor the situation as well as to deliver training workshops for both teachers and students.  As always, they will pay all their own costs for the trip and their stay in Mohoni as all donations to Ethiopian Enterprises go fully to our projects.

Klick HERE for donations!

New brochures available…!

New brochures on both our projects are now available in both English and German. If you are planning an event or attending a gathering at which you could display or hand out the brochures, please let us know so that we can arrange to deliver them to you. The rebuilding of a big school includes all sorts of start-up costs, and we are grateful for all donations, larger or smaller.  And a reminder: ALL donations made to Ethiopian Enterprises go directly to our projects as administrative costs are covered by our board members.

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A New School for Mohoni

The first completed section of our Lemlem School project was inaugurated last week in Mohoni. It was a proud day for the school, and the event was attended by members of the local government and even a representative of the cantonal government. EE board members Lesley Stephenson and André Cardinaux represented Ethiopian Enterprises, and two further Swiss guests joined them as helpers for the student transfer. One was a high-school student who is writing her Matura paper on the school, and she did very well. 

It took two full days to transfer 800 students from grades 1-4 into the new classrooms. It was the first time that the students had been given definite seats, and this was very new for them. However, with the help of André Cardinaux’s desk plans, and support for the teachers provided by the Swiss group, the transfer went fairly smoothly.

The school’s garden committee proudly displayed their first perma garden, produce from which they are already selling to provide school maintenance funding. And the local government also announced the good news that electric power will be provided for the area in the near future. Electrical installations have already been prepared in the new buildings.

Mohoni had very little rain during the recent wet season, and this was a source of deep concern for the community and the visitors from EE alike. Imagine their joy when they were contacted during the journey back to Switzerland by project manager Melkamu Abate and told that Mohoni had just received it’s best rain day of the season. 

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The big moment has arrived!

EE board members Lesley Stephenson and André Cardinaux will fly to Ethiopia tomorrow to help organise the opening of the first new school buildings at Lemlem School in Mohoni next Tuesday, October 5th. The school community is very excited and all sorts of activities are planned. Transferring 800 of the school’s 1400 students into clean new rooms in which they will have a floor under their feet for the first time ever will be an organisational challenge, but with the excellent teaching team working with our members and their two guests, we’re sure it will go smoothly.  We’ll be posting the photos when the group returns.

How can you help the school? Well, there are many ways. What about organising your own small fundraising event, like a dinner party at which your guests make a donation in lieu of flowers or chocolates for the host? And don’t forget our lovely EE Xmas cards. Available with Season’s Greetings or German equivalent, these elegant cards have a picture from our Hagereselam project on the front, and tell the story of the picture on the back. There is also a blank version available for use throughout the year.

Our special Earlybird offer is just CHF 4 for single cards, and a pack of all five subjects for just CHF 15, a 30% saving on the regular price. Cards are packed with envelopes and sent by post with a payment slip. Order now from: info@ethiopianenterprises.org, giving us your name and address, card types (German/English Christmas message and story) or without Christmas message. Your  payment will go fully to our projects.

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Balancing Act

If you don’t have ladders, make your own platform! That’s what construction teams in Ethiopia do, and our workers in Mohoni are no exception. As the undercoat is painted in the new Mohoni schoolrooms, a balancing act is going on at the same time. And believe it or not, the scaffolding used by workers on HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS in Ethiopia is made in much the same way: branches are attached together and the workers climb all over them with amazing agility.

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Opening of new wing at Lemlem School

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EE board members Thomas Baumann, Tatjana Meier and Lesley Stephenson discussing project issues with Lemlem School teachers. (Photo: Robert Bellamy)

Best of British is over, and the feedback from our audiences was excellent.  If you missed these great evenings in Miller’s Studio, you still have a chance to experience this highly entertaining and wonderfully organized event. If you work for a company with lots of English-speaking employees, what about suggesting to your events planner that they hire Best of British for a company conference or other suitable event? We will supply all the necessary staff, infrastructure and catering at very reasonable prices!

Now our tireless EE team is busy preparing for the opening of the first wing of the rebuilt Lemlem School, which will take place on October 5th. 800 children will move into 8 new classrooms in 2 shifts, and will have a floor under their feet for the first time in their school years. The Ethiopians love to party, and this celebration promises to be awesome.

You can contribute to this celebration week in several ways, e.g. by donating a package of NEW ballpoint pens (every student will receive a new pen), by making a donation towards a fruit meal for the entire school on the transfer day or towards exercise books for the students. And if you want to do something personal and unique, you can help us by joining us in Ethiopia for the week of October 4th – 10th for a life-changing work experience. The possibility to assist with the move and all it entails at Lemlem school is open to our EE members and long-year supporters. Please contact us at info@ethiopianenterprises.org NOW if you are interested in working with us at the school in October.

Best of British for Mohoni school

If you want to see what the Best of British events have been organised for, then have a look at this interesting film (08:41) about the kids and the school in Mohoni!

2014 yearly report now available

Geschäftsbericht EE 2014Thomas Baumann has recently completed the yearly report on Ethiopian Enterprises’ activities in 2014. The richly illustrated report provides a detailed overview of all that EE achieved in its fifth year in Hagereselam as well as a detailed preview of our new school project in Mohoni. Click HERE for pdf-file (only available in german language)

Further progress in Mohoni…

Mohoni project leader Lesley Stephenson has just returned from Mohoni. She reports that the rebuilding of Lemlem School has made further progress. The first buildings will shortly be roofed, and the excavations and foundations for the second construction phase are already underway.  The local government has almost completed the new rainwater channel around the school perimeter which will divert the heavy flow of rainwater away from the school grounds and prevent rainwater-induced erosion. All the assignments which the school had been asked to fulfill by the end of March had been completed.

EE board members Thomas Baumann and Lesley Stephenson will return to Ethiopia in May with two further EE members for the official bi-yearly reporting visit to Hagereselam and Mohoni.

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