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.