EE board member André Cardinaux has made a short film (10’49”) showing the opening of the first new school buildings at Lemlem Baro School. What a difference!
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The first completed section of our Lemlem School project was inaugurated last week in Mehoni. 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.
Mehoni 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 Mehoni had just received it’s best rain day of the season.
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.
Can you imagine a school for 1500 students without a drop of water? Have a look at this interesting film (08:41) about the kids and the school in Mehoni!
Thomas 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)
Mehoni project leader Lesley Stephenson has just returned from Mehoni. 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 Mehoni.
Construction work in Phase 1 of our Lemlem School project has made wonderful progress. At last week’s yearly prize giving at the school, the parents and members of the local government commented on the high building standard, as EE project manager Melkamu Abate reports:
‘So many of the parents came to me and asked me to greet you. They wanted me to give their thanks to EE and its supporters for all they are doing. Members of the Woreda (local government) came to inspect the building and expressed their full satisfaction with the high building standard. Meaza and Kokeb and the construction team are working very hard indeed. And whenever there is a need for unskilled workers, the community jumps in.’
On February 6th, the big day finally arrived. The rebuilding of Lemlem School in Mohoni began with the beginning of the first building phase. This will comprise two classroom blocks (eight classrooms in all) and roof-water collection tanks, plus a playground and the school garden. The pictures below show part of the excavation work which involved the entire school community: parents, teachers and older students.
Finally! Lemlem School in Mohoni is now the official second project of Ethiopian Enterprises.
It all started in 2012. Members of EE’s board and some friends donated teaching materials to a destitute school in Mohoni, Ethiopia. The group was inspired by the courage of the teachers and 1250 students who have worked for years in makeshift buildings with few school materials. In 2012, the school had no water supply, and the students used outdoor toilet pits with no hand-washing facilities. Many children were ill due to dehydration and hunger.
EE members recognised that Lemlem had the potential to become a model rural school. It owns a large tract of farming land and its teachers and parents want to use this to grow market produce. The income from produce sales will be used to fund maintenance costs. But this can only happen when the ‘classrooms’ have been rebuilt and the prerequisite rainwater-harvesting scheme has been established.
On New Year’s Eve, Lemlem School in Mohoni was named an official EE project. Can you support us? Please make a donation to Lemlem and help this courageous school become a sustainable model rural school.
During their last trip to Ethiopia, Lesley Stephenson and Thomas Baumann interviewed some of the farmers of Hagereselam about their daily lives and aspirations for the future. These interviews were filmed, and the resulting ‘Two Days in the Life of Hagereselam’ was a resounding success at our EE event in Zurich last September. The film is 20 minutes long and spoken in English and Ethiopian.