In September we had a meeting, and lunch, at Ben Abeba Restaurant. This is always a good time for a meeting as it is Ethiopian New Year and many of our students are home for that holiday. The picture shows some of our graduating students, our continuing students and our new students.
In 2014/2015, we supported 27 young people in various stages in the education system. They have continued to pay us back by working hard and achieving good results. Yet again there has been no ‘drop outs’ during the year. The main reason for this is the careful screening of applicants given by the Lalibelan committee. This ensures that the young people we help are those with the greatest need.
In 2014/2015 the equivalent of £7,800 has been distributed to the students.
7 of our students graduated from University this year. We now have 1 Doctor, 2 Nurses, 1 Civil Engineer, 1 Electrical Engineer, 1 Agricultural Scientist and 1 Economist. The electrical engineer has been successful in gaining a place at the Maritime College in Addis Ababa for a year’s specialist training. His fees, accommodation and food are all supplied and we have agreed to continue our ‘pocket money’ support of 600 Birr per month.
3 of our grade 10 students were not successful in gaining a place in grade 11. This is the large cut off point when 3,000 students are trying for 300 places! 2 girls have decided not to go to college. I am delighted that we have taken them to grade 10 level which is more than many young girls attain. The 3rd. student has enrolled in the Further Education College and plans to sit the grade 10 national exam again in May. We are continuing to support him at college.
This has left us with 19 continuing students.
Due to everyone’s generosity, we have taken on 21 new students. We therefore have a total of 40 students getting support from the fund in 2015/2016.
As you can imagine, it needs a lot of pieces of paper to give you information about all the students. 3 years ago my brother Richard set us up with a website, at no cost to the fund. His colleague, Simon Knee has now streamlined the website also at no cost. I am very grateful to them both. I will post the information about all our students on the website.
Thank you to Hamilton Bridge Club, which is responsible for the setting up of the fund. Their annual tournament again topped up the money in the bank. Thanks to all those who have set up a standing order, and paid money regularly into the account. Thanks to everyone who has made donations throughout the year. Thanks to the visitors to Lalibela who have given money in support.
A special thank you is due to Doris Hogan who is presently living in Addis Ababa. In May, she organised an Ethio Jazz concert at Ben Abeba Restaurant. No one involved charged any money and all the proceeds, 40,000 Birr, went into the fund. It was a very special evening with wonderful music from Monika Manaker and Girum.
The scheme could not run without the support of the 2 committees. All the members give their time, and expertise, without any payment. Tsegenet has left the Lalibelan committee and I thank her for all her help. She has been replaced by Teshale (read his story here) who has been supported through University by the fund. Thank you Tefera, Habtamu, Tsegenet and Teshale in Lalibela and June, Margaret and Morag in Scotland.
It is difficult to find the words to describe the difference this money is making to the lives of these young people. Please, yet again, accept my thanks for remembering us out here and for your continual support.
You can download the full SASF Report 2014-2015 as a PDF for printing or offline viewing