Fund Report 2022

Many tell me that they love all the pictures and have missed them in the reports during the troubles.

As you will see, we managed to have the meeting with the students in September 2022 and I am happy to be able to give you all the up to date photographs.

Our software engineering student, Getnet Adane, came to Lalibela for the meeting and, with the hire of a generator, set up a zoom link. I was able to speak to the students while sitting in comfort in Scotland. Many thanks Getnet for all your hard work and expertise.

Since the meeting, a peace treaty has been signed. The electricity supply has recently been returned to Lalibela which means water can now be pumped into the town. Everything is looking very positive.

The disruption from COVID restrictions, followed by the war, has meant disruption to the education system. The timings of student promotion to the next grade at school and to graduations have been variable for the last 3 years. I am pleased to report that the fund has been operational throughout all the disruption. This is thanks to the efforts of the Lalibelan committee and, in particular, to Teshale, the fund manager.

When I reported in April 2022, we were supporting 47 students. Since then, 11 students have graduated from University and College and are now out of the programme. Unfortunately, one young student, Temesgen Destaw, did not take the opportunity offered and left the programme. We accepted 13 new students into the programme in September and are now supporting 48 young people.
10 are at University, 7 at College and 31 are in the school system.

We distributed 685,012 Birr (Approximately £11,500) in the 2021/2022 academic year. The exchange rate has averaged about 60 Birr to £1. Because of this inflation, we increased the student monthly payments to 1,100 Birr as from September. (Approximately £18).

A little money goes a long way in Ethiopia. We can only operate the fund because of your support. Many thanks for keeping thinking about us. All our young people send their thanks for the opportunity you are giving them.

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 Joan 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. Thanks to Maureen for verifying our annual accounts.

Susan

You can download the full SASF Fund Report 2022 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.

Our 2022 Graduates

Congratulations to the class of 2022

Continuing Undergraduates 2022

Mekides Muluye

2022 Age 16

Mekdes lives with her family in Shimsha, 23 Km. from Lalibela. She is expected to work on the farm and help her mother in the kitchen.

A year ago, she had a kidney removed and was advised not to do heavy work but her parents still expected her to work hard.

Our support means that she can concentrate on her education. She is in grade 10.

Selamawit Mareg

2022 Age 15

She was born out of wedlock and neither parent wanted her. When she was 8 years old, her mother forced her to work as a waitress and kept all the money.

Our support is letting her start an independent life.

She assures us that by investing in her we are investing in 100 girls as, in the future, she plans an organisation to help others in the same position! She has reached grade 8 by studying at night school.

Tigist Nega

2022 Age 19

Tigist is now in grade 12.

Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mother and 3 siblings. Tigist often has to miss school if there is an opportunity to work and earn money.

She gets good exam results and has an ambition to be a health professional.

Fund Report 2021

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.

Susan.

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.

Fund Report 2020

This annual report has extended to 18 months. If I had written after 12 months, it would have said ‘everything is the same as last year’. Similar to the rest of the world, the covid virus disrupted the Ethiopian education system. Another disrupting factor was the civil unrest in the country.

We started in September 2019 with the same 45 students we had been supporting in 2018/2019. We agreed to take on no new students in the new session and then 7 young people were referred to us for sponsorship as, for a variety of reasons, their sponsorship had stopped. We agreed to include them and started in September 2020 supporting 52 students.

In December 2020 and January 2021, 8 of our students graduated from University and College.

One of our graduates, Getnet Adane, did exceptionally well in his exams and had spent much of his time at University as the elected student president. The University offered him a place, at no cost, to study for his Masters. He could not do this without our continued support therefore we have agreed his support be continued for another 2 years.

This means that, at the time of writing, we are supporting 45 students.

In the 12 months between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020, we distributed
470, 500.00 Ethiopian Birr (approximately £11, 500). The exchange rate is now up to 55 Birr per UK pound so a little money goes a very long way.

Our thanks go to all who contribute to the fund. Your donations give the young people here a lifeline to a better future. I must give a special thank you to my friend Ann Macleod. She was a regular donor to the fund and, when she was diagnosed with cancer last year, she asked for no flowers at the funeral but money into the scholarship fund. £3,700 worth of ‘flowers’ showed how much she had been loved and appreciated during her life. As an educator all her life, she understood the importance of education to everyone’s future.

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.

Susan.

You can download the full SASF Fund Report 2019-20 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.

Coronavirus Update May 2020

All the schools, colleges and universities are closed in Ethiopia. This means that our students are not accessing education at the moment and are back home with their families until the lockdown is eased.

We have made the decision to continue their monthly payments during this time, as often this will be the only source of income for the family.

We have been supporting 45 students during session 2019/2020. Five of these students were due to graduate in July 2020 but this is now not going to happen. All the other students are going to have missed at least 6 months of education and may not be able to progress to their next stage.

As we will be continuing to support the 45 students into session 2020/2021, it has been decided not to accept any additional students for this new session.

As soon as the virus is under control and we have information from the education department on their way forward, we will be able to make plans on how best to support the young people.

As always, many thanks for your continued support, which is a lifeline for these young people.

Susan Aitchison

Fund Report 2019

Once again, we held a meeting in September 2019 and most of our students were able to attend. This gives the students a chance to meet, discuss and share their experiences.

We started with 46 students in September 2018. During the year 2 students left the programme. Mekonnen Chane got the opportunity to go to Canada and is now continuing his studies there. Unfortunately, Teddy W/Gabriel decided that university wasn’t for him and he left the programme. This meant that we supported 44 students throughout the year. The money distributed was £12,200.

9 students graduated from University and college this year. Yengusie successfully completed her degree in accounting in addition to the engineering degree she was awarded in 2018.

Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we have been able to accept 10 new students into the fund. This means we are supporting 45 students in 2019-2020. Please accept the grateful thanks of all the students. You are making a huge difference to the hopes and aspirations of these young people. We had great fun in May with Ben Fogle and the film crew. Ben spoke with 4 of our students, Dr Yonas, Yengusie, Yohannes and Lidia. I was hoping to show our starting point and what we hoped for their future. Unfortunately, it was not included in the programme. We set up a ‘just giving’ account in anticipation of the programme. In spite of them not being shown, more than £800 has been donated through the account. Many thanks to all who made a contribution.

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.

Susan.

You can download the full SASF Fund Report 2018-2019 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.