EE board members Thomas, André, Tatjana and Lesley have returned safely from Ethiopia. For the first time ever, the entire board were in Ethiopia together to attend the official opening of the second new school section at Lemlem Baro School in Mohoni.
The opening ceremony on October 5th was attended by members of the Rayan government, representatives of the Tigray State Bureau of Education, local television and radio, leaders of both the Christian and Muslim communities in Mohoni as well as students, staff and parents. Our board members worked hard with project manager Melkamu Abate and the students to create the opening event, and it was enjoyed by all.
In the days leading up to the opening of Phase 2 buildings at Lemlem Baro School in Mohoni, all the board members could be found at the school hanging educational posters in the classrooms, sorting materials for the school storerooms, preparing lists of library books and other school materials for the regional finance department who had requested a price list for everything we had given to the school, etc. The days were long, and the evenings were helped along considerably by a very nice Chardonnay from the Rift Valley, which runs between southern Ethiopia and neighbouring Kenya. Our family-run hotel owner had plenty of Rift Valley in stock, despite the fact that the hotel is a very simple but clean affair which costs CHF 10 a night per room. The food is good and the owner looks after us nicely.
We were joined shortly before the opening by EE donor Liz McCarthy from Australia, who thoroughly enjoyed her time in Mohoni as well as our wonderful trip a couple of days later to visit our maturing Hagereselam project.
Are we finished in Mohoni now? Far from it. While a lot of the planned new buildings at Lemlem Baro are now standing, we still have further building to do, including toilet blocks for the entire school. This is urgently necessary but will require further fundraising. We are also still seeking funding for the remainder of the new school furniture.
Now the real work at the school begins. Educational standards need to be raised, and the committees which were selected last year to handle maintenance, water and gardens need to be mentored regularly. We are looking for volunteer teachers to help us with the many teacher training- and student teaching assignments which are facing us. Please contact us if you are interested.
The Mohoni School Project was always foreseen as a multi-year project. As we approach the end of the second year of the official EE Mohoni School Project, we can say that, with your help and that of a number of larger institutions, we have done fabulously well. But the real work has only just begun. We are ready for it.