Make sure you watch Ben Fogle’s documentary on Channel 5 (UK) about Lalibela, Susan and the Scholarship Fund. Lives in the Wild (Episode 2) is on 5th November 2019 at 9pm.
Once again, we held a meeting in September 2018 and most of our students were able to attend. This gives the students a chance to meet, discuss and share their experiences. In 2017-2018 we supported 46 students and paid to them the equivalent of £12,600. The students have been receiving 600 birr per month since the fund started which is approximately £18. It has been agreed that the payments this year are increased to 700 birr (£21).
6 students graduated from University this year. One has been privately sponsored through the fund and has achieved his Masters degree in Management. Many thanks to Pat who has agreed to keep supporting the other young people on the fund. 4 students have been awarded their BA degrees. Yengusie has graduated with a BSc in Construction Technology after 5 years of study. In her spare time, she has been studying for a degree in accounting! This won’t be completed until June 2019 and we have agreed to continue her support for this year.
3 of our grade 10 students were unsuccessful in gaining a place in preparatory school. Habtemarium Ezra decided not to continue education and has now left the fund. Mengistu Yiman and Lemleme Shumye have both started at college and we will continue to support them.
Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we have been able to accept 6 new students into the fund. This means we are supporting 46 students in 2018-2019. Please accept the grateful thanks of all the students. You are making a huge difference to the hopes and aspirations of these young people.
The fund could not operate without the team of people who give their time to ensure the smooth operation. Many thanks to June, Margaret and Morag who keep everything running in Scotland and to Tefera, Habtamu and Teshale who look after everything in Ethiopia. Thanks also to Simon, in London, who donates his time and his computing skills to keep the website updated.
You can download the full SASF Fund Report 2017-2018 as a PDF for printing or offline viewing
If you are able to help us then please use our Just Giving fund raising account to contribute.
Don’t forget you can view the stories of all of our students, year-by-year, by clicking on any of their names in the menu of “Young People Funded” on the left. Or you can click the “tag” of their name at the bottom of any article about them to see their full story in the fund.
Download SASF Accounts 2015-1016.
You can also find these details at OSCR, the Scottish Charity Register, by searching for our name or charity number – SC044015.
Alternatively use this direct link:
Congratulations to the class of 2018
20 of our continuing students are in the University system this year.
It has been agreed that all these students will get a monthly payment of 700 birr with 2 performance related bonuses paying up to 400 birr each.
8 of our students are at College this year.
2 of the students we supported at school, Lemleme and Mengustu, unfortunately did not achieve the required mark to move to University. They have both joined college and we will continue their support.
All the students will get 700 Birr per month.
We have 7 continuing students still in the school system.
2018 Age 18
Addis is from a poor farming family in Galasot which is a small village about 35 Km from Lalibela. It is a family of 8 boys. The oldest 6 boys have not had education and all work as farmers. Addis is in grade 10 at secondary school in Lalibela. He scored good marks in grade 9. His ambition is to study medicine.
It has been agreed to support him with 700 Birr per month.
2018 Aged 21
Birhan is from Bilbala, 30 Km. from Lalibela. He has 3 brothers and 3 sisters. He is the middle child. His parents divorced when he was 5 years old. The father gives no support and the mother doesn’t keep well and cannot work. Birhan had a year out of school due to financial problems. The school then offered support with uniform and school materials.
He has now reached Bahir Dar University and has completed first year of a degree in civil Engineering. He is struggling financially at University and is asking for help. He passed the school national exams with ‘great distinction’ and has passed his first exams at University ‘First class with distinction’.
It has been agreed to support him with 700 Birr per month.
2018 Age 20
Hana lived in Addis Ababa but when her father died, 6 years ago, the family moved to Lalibela. She has 1 brother and 2 sisters. All the children attend school. Her mother works as a daily labourer and struggles to support all the family. Often, they go to school without having had any food.
Hana has been finding it financially difficult at University. Hana is studying Textile Engineering at Bahir Dar University and is now in her second year.
She relies on her friends in the dormitory giving her old clothes and materials for University. It has been agreed to support her with 700 Birr per month.
2018 Aged 20
Tadiso is from the village of Degosach and is disabled from the waist down. He started his education in the village and after grade 2 moved to Lalibela.
He passed his grade 10 national exams with ‘very great distinction’. He is now in grade 12 in the preparatory school and hopes to go to University next year. It has been agreed to support him with 700 Birr per month.
2018 Age 13
Yirka is the 4th. of 5 children. There are 8 people in the house—5 children +parents +grandfather. They had a farm in a village called Lewz, close to Lalibela. The government took a lot of the land and the farm is now too small to support the family.
They were given compensation, but this is now all gone. The older children have had no education. They work on the land and as daily labourers when the work is available. Yirka sometimes must miss school if work is available for him. He wants our help to stay in the education system.
He was ranked 2, in his class, in the grade 4 exams. He is now in grade 5. It has been agreed to support him with 700 Birr per month.
2018 Aged 15
Zuriash’s parents are divorced and the father gives the family no support. The mother works as a daily labourer. There are 9 staying in the house. Zuriash is obviously very clever and has an ambition to study medicine.
She is now in grade 9 at the High school in Lalibela.
It has been agreed to support her with 700 Birr per month.
The Bude Methodist church, in England, is continuing its sponsorship of young people studying in the medical field. The Susan Aitchison scholarship fund is managing payments to the students on their behalf.
2018 Age 21
Birhan is now in her 4th. year studying medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital, which is a teaching hospital attached to Addis Ababa University.
She is doing exceptionally well and is enjoying her work.
The photograph was taken when she was doing paediatric training.
2018 Age 19
Birhanu is now in his second year at Gondar University. He is studying Anaesthesia.
2018 Aged 23
Yalew is now in his second year at Alkan College in Dessie. He is studying to become a Health Officer.
2018 Aged 23
Sefi is now in her 3rd. year of nurse training at medical college in Dessie.
The scholarship fund was set up in 2009 and supported 10 students to remain in the education system. During the 8 years we have supported 76 students. 21 have successfully completed with a University degree, 5 now have a Diploma and 4 have completed grade 10 in the education system, which would otherwise have been impossible for them. This September, at our annual student meeting, we invited all past and present students. It was an excellent meeting where our graduate students, now in employment, spoke of their experiences and gave strong words of encouragement to those still in the education system. It was rewarding to see so many, successful, young people, very grateful for the opportunity we have been able to give them.
Please excuse the cap and gown. They awarded me a doctorate of something— this really belongs to all of you who give the support.
In 2016/2017, we supported a total of 44 students and paid to them the equivalent of £15,000.
On behalf of all the students we are helping, I thank everyone who has donated to the fund.
Thanks to the Lilly Foundation for their generous donation to the scholarship fund.
Special thanks are due to those who have spent time and energy organising fund raising activities. Doris Hogan, in Belgium, yet again organised a very successful fund raising event. Prestwick Bridge Club organised their first fund raising event and I was lucky to spend a very enjoyable afternoon there.
Special thanks also to Sarah Johnson, in America, who funded for some of our students to have their own computer.
Many thanks to our committees, June, Margaret and Morag in Scotland and Tefera, Habtamu and Teshale in Ethiopia. They all contribute their time to ensure the smooth operation of the fund.
You can download the full SASF Fund Report 2016-2017 as a PDF for printing or offline viewing