Fund Report 2014

This year I am starting with Mebratu’s story as it is such a good example of the scholarship fund in practice. Mebratu was one of the original 10 students we supported. He is now in full time employment as a teacher, which is giving back so much to other students. In addition, his uneducated family now appreciate the power of education. Hopefully the next generation of his family will all have the opportunity to access schooling.

MEBRATU-TSEHAYNEW-2009September  2009 

Mebratu made successful application for the scholarship fund. He was a grade 12 student with ambition to go to university. He has 9 brothers and sisters, none of whom has had education. His parents wanted him to give up his education, marry and work as a farmer. Our support enabled him to continue his education.


Graduation day!
Mebratu now has a BSc. In Biology.

November 2014

Mebratu has now completed a teacher training course and is in full time employment, teaching Biology, to grades 9 to 12, in a secondary school in Kolmask.

MEBRATU-TSEHAYNEW-2014I asked him how his family now feel about him and his answer was that they now listen to him!

His youngest sister is now 14 and completed grades 1 and 2 before dropping out of education to work at home. Mebratu has insisted that she return to the education system and he is supporting her through this.

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”.

In 2013/2014, we supported 22 young people in various stages in the education system. They have continued to pay us back by working hard and achieving good results. I am pleased to say that there has been no ‘drop outs’ this 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. They are all very grateful for the support, without which they would not be able to remain in the education system. I am constantly receiving their thanks, when the thanks are due to all of you.

In 2013/2014 the equivalent of £6,140 has been distributed to the students.

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 Roisin Sharp, and her family, who have been fund raising for most of the year and have contributed more than £1,500. I am amazed that auctioning 4 kittens could raise £350, enough to keep a young person in the education system for almost 18 months.

A special thank you is also due to Doris Hogan who is presently living in Addis Ababa. She held an exhibition of her Ethiopian photographs and donated the money made to the fund. This was an amazing 12,000 birr.

Many of our students are disadvantaged by not having a computer. Last year Sheena McCall funded for computers for 2 of our students. This year Pat Snook found a company in England, computers4africa, which reconditions old computers and sells them very cheaply if they are to be used by students in Africa. Pat brought a computer for one of the students on her recent visit and it has been possible to get another 2 brought over. If anyone is planning a visit, and has spare luggage space, please let me know and I can organise to get a computer to you to carry over.

The scheme could not run without the support of the 2 committees. All the members give their time, and expertise, without any payment. Thank you Tefera, Habtamu and Tsegenet in Lalibela and June, Margaret and Morag in Scotland.

Two of our young people graduated this year and are not now being supported by the fund. Due to everyone’s generosity, we have been able to add 6 new young people to the programme. This means that we will be supporting 26 young people during 2014/2015. As 10 of our students are scheduled to graduate in 2015, we are expecting to be able to accept a large intake of new students in session 2015/2016.

SASF-logoIt is difficult to find the words to describe the difference this money is making to the lives of these young people. Please accept my thanks for remembering us out here and for your continual support.

Besfat Bisset

BESFAT BISSET 20142014 Age 23 years

BA in Languages from Dilla University

Besfat now has his degree, thanks to our support in his final year.

He continues with his dream to become a journalist. For the present, he is in full time employment as a manager with a beer distribution company.


Continuing Undergraduates 2014

12 of our continuing students are in the University system this year. 7 of them are scheduled to graduate in July 2015 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.

Agerayehu Dessale Tsegaye


Agerayehu was born in Lalibela town and is the second oldest of 8 children. Last year she was successful in gaining a place at Arbaminch University to study management.

As the family has no money to support her education, she has been finding it difficult to stay at University and applied for our support.

It has been agreed to give her a monthly payment of 600 birr + 2 performance related bonuses of up to 400 birr each.

Fiker Geta Baye

FIKER GETA BAYE 20142014 Age 18 years

Fiker was born and has been brought up in Lalibela town. His father died in an accident when he was 1 year old and his mother has struggled to bring him up on her own.

He has had consistently good results at school and this year was successful in gaining a place at Axum University to study engineering.

He applied for our support to enable him to take up this place. It has been agreed to give him a monthly payment of 600 birr + 2 performance related bonuses of up to 400 birr each.

Habtemariam Ezra Berhanie


Habtemarium is one of the ‘street’ boys in Lalibela.

He was in the education system until 3 years ago. At that time his parents divorced and neither parent took responsibility for him. He left the education system and has been struggling on the streets to find money for food.

It has been agreed to give him a payment of 500 birr per month with 2 performance related payments of up to 250 birr each, in order that he can return to school.

Mareg Agaze

MAREG AGAZE  20142014 Age 20 years

Mareg’s parents both died when he was 10 years old. A neighbouring farmer took him in and allowed him to attend school up to grade 5 in return for him looking after the animals. Unfortunately the farmer couldn’t afford to keep him and he had to move into Lalibela town.

He struggles to find work as a labourer in order to have money to live. He has tried hard to continue his education. Last year, he was 7th. out of 53 students in grade 9.

It has been agreed to give him a payment of 500 birr per month with 2 performance related payments of up to 250 birr each in order that he can continue this year in grade 10 and, hopefully, next year be successful in gaining a place in preparatory school.

Sefi Kelemu Mekonen

SEFI KELEMU MEKONEN  20142014 Age 18 years

Sefi is from a village called Sorba which is 30 Km. from Lalibela. She is one of 6 children and has elderly, very poor, parents.

She completed her elementary education in Sorba. Her parents then wanted her to marry a local farmer that she didn’t know. Sefi did not want this and wanted to continue with her education. She therefore moved into Lalibela and has managed to complete grades 9 and 10. Every week she walks 3 or 4 times to her parents in order to get some food.

She has now gained a place in grade 11 and will hopefully be going to University in 2 years time.

It has been agreed to give her a payment of 500 birr per month with 2 performance related payments of up to 250 birr each.

Teshome Antachew Amare

TESHOME ANTACHEW AMARE 20142014 Age 21 years

Teshome is presently in his 4th. year of a Civil Engineering Degree at Addis Ababa University.
He applied for financial help to complete the last 2 years of his degree.

His parents are very poor and live in Lalibela town. They do not have the means to give him support.

Teshome is disabled as he only has the use of 1 hand. In spite of this, his determination has seen him to this stage.

It has been agreed to give him a monthly payment of 600 birr + 2 performance related bonuses of up to 400 birr each.

Bude Methodist Church 2014

The Bude Methodist church in England are continuing their sponsorship of young people studying in the medical field. The Susan Aitchison scholarship fund is managing payments to the students on their behalf.

2015 will see all 3 of these students graduating and, hopefully, finding employment within the Ethiopian health service.

In January, we will display a notice in the local preparatory school inviting applications for support to start in September 2015. If the current currency exchange rate continues, we should be able to support 4 students studying in health related areas.