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And the winners are…

Today on Ethiopian New Year our Raffle Rapture came to its climax with the draw of our winners! Tickets were drawn to accompanying yells of excitement, and all of our prizes have now found good homes.

We would like to thank our sponsors once again for their generous contributions: Zumbach, Raschle Gartencenter, The Mall of Switzerland, Pedikur Cavallasca, Mövenpick Wein Zug, Holmes Place, Pie Tribe, PinkFisch, Copyprint Zürich, Arrigoni, Sihlsports Langnau, Laura Londt and especially our main sponsor, Dufry (see below). We and our community in Mehoni, Ethiopia, are very grateful to all sponsors for their support and to all of you who bought tickets for the raffle.

(click on the link below to find the winning numbers – please check also the AD code!)

Gewinner/winners Ethiopian Enterprises Lotterie/raffle 2019

Holmes Place, a big-hearted sponsor

Over the past five years since we began work in Raya-Azebo on our school projects, Holmes Place fitness centre in Zürich has been a generous supporter of our efforts. Earlier this year they contributed a wonderful collection of sports shoes and clothes to our school community in Mehoni. This material was used to reward community members and students who were making special efforts, and also as prizes at our prize giving celebrations.

Now Holmes Place have joined Dufry and other generous sponsors in contributing prizes to our summer raffle which will be drawn next week on September 11th. 6 1-day passes await some of our lucky winners, enabling them to access the excellent training and wellness facilities at Holmes Place Centres free of charge for an entire day. You are assured of a great day if you are lucky enough to win one of these prizes. The passes will be valid until the end of 2019 giving you plenty of time to plan your day. Many thanks to Holmes Place for its kind support.

You Gotta Be In It To Win It

The draw of our giant summer raffle is fast approaching. On September 11th, Ethiopian New Year, we will draw our lucky winners. We have a fabulous array of prizes from our wonderful sponsors, including Mövenpick Wein, Pie Tribe Zürich, Pinkfisch Thalwil, Copyprint Zürich, Swiss Shopping Mall, Raschle (garden needs) in Langnau, Zumbach in Aegerital, Laura Londt in London, Sihlsports in Langnau, and many more. Our main sponsor this year is again the duty free giant Dufry. Dufry has donated more than 20 of our prizes this year, consisting of beautiful luxury accessories, perfumes and chocolates. First prize is a weekend in London for two with flights, hotel, high tea and facial. If our winner prefers not to fly for whatever reason, a substitute arrangement within Switzerland will be offered.

Your ticket purchase will contribute to the costs of providing infrastructure for our new Arts&Crafts center at Lemlem Baro School in Mehoni. This will be the first centre of its type at a public school in rural northern Ethiopia and a vital step towards providing training in manual and creative skill development for hundreds of young people. The centre will get under way in the last week of September and you can help us ensure its success. Just send an email to info@ethiopianenterprises with your name and address and number of tickets required (CHF 10 per ticket). These will then be sent to you immediately. Payment can be made by direct bank transfer, by PayPal or in cash at the Ethiopian Enterprises office in Langnau. The bank details are listed below:

Raiffeisenbank Region Ägerital-Sattel
Postfach 463
6314 Unterägeri
Verein Ethiopian Enterprises
IBAN: CH17 8145 9000 0080 8702 1

Our winners will be listed on our sites on September 11th. Good luck in the draw!

Raffle Rapture 2019

It’s that time again. Ethiopian Enterprises is running its popular Raffle Rapture again this summer with wonderful prizes valued at over CHF 5’000 for you to win. Our first prize this year is a trip for two to London with flights, hotel, high tea and a facial with one of London’s best skin care specialists all included. For the price of your CHF 10 ticket you can find yourself spending a wonderful weekend in London, or winning one of dozens of other prizes. Every prize has a minimum value of CHF 100.

The total proceeds of the raffle will be used to finance infrastructure for our Arts&Crafts building at Lemlem Baro School, now under renovation. This centre will not only provide invaluable art and crafts lessons for our school students but will offer additional courses to both children and adults from our community. So please help us reach our goal with this project by purchasing tickets for yourselves and your friends.

Tickets can be ordered from:, or by phone from EE board members Lesley and Thomas: 041 752 12 40. Payment can be made in cash at the Langnau office or by direct bank transfer. Sales are open now, and the draw will be held on September 11th, Ethiopian New Year.

Watch our facebook page for news of our growing list of generous prize sponsors:

Lemlem Baro School 2015-2019

If you want to see the transformation that 4 people and their friends can bring about in a school project, have a look at this film. It was made for the tenth anniversary of Ethiopian Enterprises. You see the results of the transformation of a large public elementary school, including scenes from 8th-grade holiday courses, work in the permagarden, the opening of toilet blocks with innovative rainwater-systems, school prize-giving, etc. Just as you get that good feeling that now all is well, you get to see footage filmed in a neighbouring school just a few weeks ago….

Happy Birthday Ethiopian Enterprises!

Last Thursday evening more than 50 members and friends joined us in the Kulturraum Thalwil for a celebration of EE’s tenth birthday. Following the annual general meeting of EE members, our board members and helpers welcomed numerous guests with drinks and fine finger food. Then there was time for chatting, meeting new people and shopping at our Ethio-Shop. After the apéro, EE president Thomas Baumann and Mehoni School project leader Lesley Stephenson delivered a short overview of the origin and past history of Ethiopian Enterprises. EE’s current project at Lemlem Baro School was then introduced in more detail, illustrated by photos and a short film created by board member André Cardinaux. Lesley then took the opportunity to introduce and thank the EE volunteers present at the event, many of whom have supported our work as helpers and fundraisers for several years: Caroline Barlow, Maria Baumann, Alois Baumann, Jonathon Borowski, Cathy Kennard, Hong Peng, Bettina Rinaldi, Jolanta Skuratko, Gabriela Stocker, Christoph Stocker and Julia Svozil. Katarzyna Zarecka and Claudia Babock, who represented General Electric Volunteers at the event, were thanked for their multiple collections of goods for our schools in Mehoni. Lesley also paid tribute to our long-year Ethiopian manager, Melkamu Abate, for his efforts in Raya and Mekelle on behalf of EE. And then the highlight of the evening arrived: our 10th birthday cake, perfectly decorated by Confiserie Bauer in Zurich with the EE logo and Swiss and Ethiopian flags. After many questions and discussions, champagne and birthday cake, the successful party came to an end late in the evening!

2018 annual report now available

Thomas Baumann has recently completed the Annual Report on Ethiopian Enterprises’ activities in 2018. The richly illustrated report provides a detailed overview of all that EE achieved during the last year in Mehoni. Click HERE for pdf-file (only available in German)

Time to celebrate

Ethiopian Enterprises celebrates its 10th birthday in 2019! Please come and join our birthday party and information apéro on May 9th. There you will hear about the impact of our work over the past decade. Registration deadline April 30th:

New Toilet Facility at Lemlem Baro School

Finally. Our new toilet facility at Lemlem Baro School was opened on March 20th. A large crowd of government officials and parents gathered at the school for the opening. Not only were the visitors interested in the squat toilets with which they are already familiar, they were particularly interested in the so-called Calamino Cistern, an innovative rainwater-collection water tank which can be made by the farmers themselves using a special mold. This cistern was created during our time at Hagereselam with Helvetas, and we had always planned to introduce this innovation to Raya when the toilets were built. Rainwater in the cistern will be used for cleaning/’flushing’ toilets and hand washing, and we were very lucky this year: early rain in March filled the cisterns for us so that we could demonstrate the water flow at the opening.

The new facility with 8 cubicles for each boys and girls in two separate buildings represents a huge improvement for the school and its general hygiene level. Our thanks to all who contributed to this project.

Holiday training program in Mehoni

All public schools in Ethiopia work on a two-shift system. Students attend school either in the morning or the afternoon due to a lack of classrooms and teachers, and most public schools alternate students and shifts on a weekly basis. If a school is as fortunate as ours and has its own library, students can work in the library before or after their shift. However, most schools in the Raya region don’t have any books, let alone a library.

Given this situation, one of our concerns about running an all-day English training program for 166 8th-grade students during a holiday week was that they would get tired and cranky when attending school all day. But we needn’t have worried. When Lesley asked them on their second morning whether they had been tired the previous evening, faces lit up and they shouted ‘no’. One student even said she had hardly slept as she wanted to know what they would do the next day!

In a country where forward-planning is still largely just an idea, our responsibility was considerable. We had to create classroom teaching plans which would have the children speaking and hearing English all day but which would offer enough variety for them not to get bored. The creation of the teachers’ plans was a considerable task for Lesley but the time taken was worthwhile as all teachers learned from this.

The students were taught two grammar blocks a day, and one new vocabulary block. Beyond that, they had art classes, dancing classes, library reading classes, cleaning classes (maintenance at the school is still a core concern), and saw films – all in English. While we were unable to provide lunch for so many, in the mid-morning break they received a different treat each day: dried fruit and nuts, health bars, chocolate biscuits, bananas and oranges driven down by mini-van from Mekelle, and on the final morning their own wonderful local bread. At the end of the afternoon on Friday we had a closing party at which they worked on the ‘ferengi’ dance they had learned with passion in their dancing classes (with music by Michael Jackson) and then did some traditional dancing. At the party they also each received a soft drink (more expensive than a biro pen and therefore rarely consumed) and some of the wonderful locally-grown peanuts for which the area is well-known.

Lesley was assisted by the Lemlem Baro English teacher, 7 preparatory school student teachers with very good English skills, and a Swiss-based Eritrean teacher who joined us for the week as a volunteer. He was a life-saver. As Eritreans speak the same Tigrinia language as people in Tigray, he was quickly accepted at the school, and demonstrated maturity and very good teaching skills. The students loved him.
The training program was a huge success. We saw real progress in the students’ work, and their delight was obvious. This was the first time that they had ever received such personal attention and recognition. We can only hope that it will help as many of them as possible to pass their external 8th-grade exams coming up in early June.

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