March 2021 – April 2022
It has been another bad year for Lalibela. In addition to the COVID virus, the civil war between the government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) spilled into Amhara region in the summer of 2021. The TPLF took control of, and completely closed down, Lalibela in early August. Most of the young men left Lalibela at that time to avoid being forcibly conscripted to the TPLF or shot.
The UK committee agreed that the monthly payments to the students should continue while they were not in the education system as there was no chance of any employment and they needed this money to survive. Teshale was amazing in keeping track of where everyone was and ensuring that their money reached them.
The government army regained control at the end of December and the town is gradually getting back to normal. Most schools reopened in early February with some a bit later because of the damage that had been done. The students at College and University were in towns outside Lalibela and most of their studies were not affected by the war.
I am delighted that 5 of our students graduated between July 2021 and January 2022. Mengistu has always been a favourite of mine as he was a student in the very first class at the school in Erfa when I went there in 2007.
Many of you tell me that you love all the photographs. For the first time since the fund started in 2009, we were unable to hold the September meeting as the town was occupied by the TPLF. We always hold the meeting in September as it is Ethiopian New Year and most students are back with their families for the holiday. I therefore apologise for the lack of photographs and hope that all will be back to normal this September.
In the 12 months between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021, we distributed 564,315.00 Ethiopian Birr (approximately £10, 200).
The exchange rate is now up to 64 Birr per UK pound so a little money goes a very long way. Because of inflation, it was agreed to increase the monthly payments from 800 to 1,000 birr as from September 2021 (equivalent to approx.. £16).
The Bude Methodist Church continues to support our students studying in the medical field.
Thanks are due to all the people who give their time and expertise to ensure the smooth running of the programme.
Thanks to Tefera, Habtamu and Teshale from the Lalibelan committee.
Morag resigned from the Scottish committee and we thank her for all the help she has given. We welcome Joan Lees to the committee and look forward to working with her.
Thanks to June, Margaret, Morag and Joan from the Scottish committee.
Thanks to Simon for his computer expertise and for keeping the website updated.
Thanks to Maureen for her expertise in auditing the accounts.
You can download the full SASF Fund Report 2020-21 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.