Fund Report 2015

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

Destaw Temesgen

DESTAW-TEMESGEN-20152105 Age 24

Destaw has graduated with a BSc in Civil Engineering with Distinction

He has been doing contract work in Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian Roads Authority sponsor clever young engineers to do a masters degree. Destaw has made application and will hear in February whether, or not, he has been accepted. If he is accepted, his fees will be paid but he would need help towards his living expenses.

Adane Akanie

ADANE-AKANIE-20152015 Age 27

Adane has graduated with a BSc in Agriculture and Rural Extension

Adane is interested in setting up his own chicken rearing farm.

As good chicken is not presently available in Lalibela, Ben Abeba Restaurant is happy to support him in this venture.

He is working on his Business Plan and will then look for funding to set up his business.

Continuing Undergraduates 2015

12 of our continuing students are in the University system this year. 9 of them are scheduled to graduate in July 2016 and we wish them every success.

As all our students are from very poor backgrounds, often with illiterate parents, their success is amazing. They all have a thirst for education and will hopefully have a future very different from that of their parents.

It has been agreed that all these students will get a monthly payment of 600 birr with 2 performance related bonuses paying up to 400 birr each.

Continuing Students 2015

3 of our grade 10 students did not get a place in grade 11. This is the stage of a large cut off. There are approximately 3,000 students in grade 10 and 300 places in grade 11.

The 2 girls, Yeshimet Sete Zebegna  and Desta Mengistu Tadie, have decided not to join the further education college and have left the fund. We are delighted to have supported them to the level of grade 10 education, a level that many young girls don’t attain.

So this year we have 4 continuing students still in the school system.

Mareg Agaze

MAREG-AGAZE-20152015 Age 21

Mareg did not get enough marks to get into grade 11. He has joined the further education college and is studying Hotel Operations for a year. He is studying to resit the grade 10 national exam in May 2016.

It has been agreed to continue his support for this year. He will get 600 Birr every month.

Yohannes Shambel


Yohannes is an orphan and was found living on the streets in Lalibela.

A deacon of the church has taken him into his home but doesn’t have the money to support him as well as his own family.

It has been agreed to give 600 Birr per month to the deacon as support for Yohannes.

Yohannes has now started in grade 1 and we will hopefully be supporting him for many years.

Bimrew Debash Wbetie


Bimrew and his sister are orphans in Lalibela. They were living on the streets but now have accommodation at night in a gift shop in return for looking after the shop during the day.

Both Bimrew and his sister use wheelchairs. It is thought that they both had polio at a young age.

Bimrew is now in grade 6.

It has been agreed to give Bimrew 600 Birr per month. This money will also help to support his sister.

Bizuye Tsegaw

BIZUYE-TSEGAW-20152015 Age 15

Bizuye was born in the countryside, 25 Km. From Lalibela.

When she was 9 years old she moved into Lalibela town and has been working as a servant since then. She cleans the house, cooks, collects water, collects fire wood from the hill etc.

When she gets free time, she attends school. She was 2nd. in her class in grade 6 and she is now in grade 7.

It has been agreed to support her with 600 Birr per month which will give her more time to concentrate on her studies.

Debere Tesfaw

DEBERE-TESFAW-20152015 Age 18

Debere lives with her mother in Lalibela town. Her father died 10 years ago.

Her mother is very poor and cannot support Debere.

She has been working as a labourer at Ben Abeba in order to earn money to support herself and stay at school.

It has been agreed to give her 600 Birr per month. Because of this, she has now enrolled in grade 10.

Dinku Ayenew Cassie


Dinku is from the countryside. When he was in grade 5, his mother died and he moved into Lalibela to try to access education. His father gives him no support and he survives by doing labouring work when not at school.

He did well in the grade 10 national exams and now has a place in grade 11. He has an ambition to be a doctor.

It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month.

Ezra Tseganew Mengste


Ezra is a disabled boy and cannot walk without the use of a crutch. He is one of 5 children and the family has no means to support them. He was living with an aunt and uncle but has now had to move out and live on his own. Because of his disability, he is unable to earn money for house rent, food, school materials etc.

He did well in the grade 10 national exams and now has a place in grade 11. His ambition is to become a journalist.

It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month

Gashaw Mekonn Getu


Gashaw’s father died when he was very young. He lives with his younger brother and his mother. His mother has no work and finds it very difficult to keep Gashaw in the school system.

Gashaw is in grade 10 this year.

It has been agreed to support him through grade 10 with 600 Birr per month. The support will continue if he is successful in getting a place in grade 11 next year.

Getaye Belay Kassawu


Getaye lived in the countryside 30km from Lalibela. A number of years ago both his parents were killed during a thunder storm. After this he moved into Lalibela.

He survives by working as a labourer and has tried to keep up with his schoolwork at the same time.

He did well in the grade 10 national exams and now has a place in grade 11. It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month.

Getnet Adane Gedefawu


Getnet lives in the countryside 23 Km. from Lalibela.

He was orphaned many years ago and has managed to stay in the education system.

2 years ago he passed the grade 10 National exams with ‘great distinction’. He is now in grade 12 and next year hopes to be at University.

It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month.

Hzbalem Tekeba Mesfin


Hzbalem was born in a very poor family in the countryside and her mother died when she was very young.

She has faced many challenges in trying to access an education. She has attended school for half a day and has looked for any kind of work in the other half of the day in order to have money to survive.

She did well in her grade 12 National exams and now has a place at Gonder University where she is studying Social Sciences.

It has been agreed to support her with 600 Birr per month.

Mekonn Chane Gesese


Mekonn is a disabled boy who only has the use of 1 hand.

His father was killed in the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea and his mother is sick and unable to support him.

He sat the grade 10 National exams this year and has been awarded his certificate with great distinction. He is now in grade 11.

It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month.

Huruhusien Umer Musa


Nuruhusien is one of 5 children. Like many young people in Lalibela, there is a lack of money to give them support through the education system.

His ambition for the future is to become a water engineer and ensure that all rural areas have access to water.

He did well in the grade 10 national exams and now has a place in grade 11. It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month.

Teddy Wgberail Tekola


I first met Teddy when I came to Lalibela 8 years ago.

He is an orphan and, when very young, was living on the streets in Lalibela. He then found a place in an orphanage, where schooling was encouraged, and I have watched him fast track through the school system. The orphanage closed 2 years ago and he is now on his own.

He is a very talented artist and he would like to make this his career.

He did well in the grade 10 national exams and now has a place in grade 11. It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month.

Bikis Setegn Ababaw


Bikis has completed 1st. year at Arbaminch University. He is studying Management.

His parents are very poor and can give him no support. He has been working as a shoe shine boy while at University in order to continue with his course.

It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month.

Dagnachew Melknew Tsegaw


Dagnachew has completed his 1st. year at Haramia University where he is studying Softwear Engineering.

He is one of 7 children. His father is a local priest but does not earn enough to support the family.

Dagnachew has struggled to survive at University and made application for our help.

It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month.

Eshetu Tegegne

ESHETU-TEGEGNE-20152105 Age 18

Eshetu is part of a large family in Lalibela. His father died when he was a child and his mother has struggled hard to support the family.

Eshetu did exceptionally well in the grade 12 National exams and is now in his 1st. year at Bahir Dar University where he is studying Business and Economics.

It has been agreed to support him with 600 Birr per month.