Saturday, May 25, 2013
Urgent: Save Our Grade School!
The English Alive Academy Grade 1 to 4 compound will soon be closing – since we can't afford to buy another building, and we refuse to give up - our best option is to build our own school!
We have the land – now all we need is to build!
We are asking ALL supporters to raise £100 / US $152 - through raising this amount, we will reach our target of £ 21,000 / US $ 31,784.
We know that we have at least 200 supporters. If each supporter is able to source £100, this will be enough to keep the school going!
Whether you are a Facebook friend of the school, a previous volunteer or a friend of one, we need the support of everyone who knows about us to get the school built and give our school kids a chance at continuing their education.
Don’t think that YOU don’t make a difference – if we are to achieve our dream , then we need each and every one to ask for donations from everyone and anyone! – every penny / dime counts with ALL the money donated going straight to the building costs without anything being taken for administration.
You are not alone in your quest to raise the funds - to help you to raise your £ 100 / US $ 152 we have organised the following which provide you with all you need to easily raise and extend your fundraising target :
Raffle ( UK citizens only ) – £ 1 tickets with the grand prize of £ 2,000 !https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/charity/view/8640
For more information about our campaign see :https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/projects/view/19485/raise--21000-to-build-a-grade-1---4-building
The easiest way to donate money is via Paypal, to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also donate through the following link:https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/ethiopianschoolsforthepoor-englishalive
We know that our many supporters have already given so much to keep the school going. Thank you all for your continued generosity!
- Stephanie and Dawit
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The school bus has dominated our lives as the accident saga continues !
On the day of the court case, we all went with great trepidation, to find that we were the only people there – the other cars involved hadn’t bothered to even turn up – we assume that this was because they already “ knew “ the result of the case.
|The beginning of the accident discussion !|
Unfortunately for them, this meant that the judge was more a little suspicious and thus the policeman currently in charge was dismissed from the case and a new one allocated with a new court date given. This brought about great excitement since naively we thought that at last, justice would be done !
However, when we arrived for the next court date, although everyone was present, it remained obvious that it had already been decided that we would be the scapegoat and all blame would be placed on us. After a long debate, the driver managed to get out on a 5,000 birr ( approximately £ 200 ) bail and a final date was set.
Up to that point we had believed that the truth would set us free, but suddenly had the realisation that things here aren’t as simple as that so decided to “ waste “ some of our hard earnt resources on hiring a lawyer !
Amazingly, this altered everything ! At the next court date, the blame started to be shifted , with the result that instead of making a snap final decision that it was all our fault , yet another date has been set where witnesses to the accident ( fortunately quite a few – the parents of the pupils waiting for the school bus ) will be called etc.
We still have no idea how much we are going to be charged by the court and how much the lawyer will eventually cost – but at least the driver isn’t in prison and the ultimate result is no longer known ! – so we are grateful for at least these small things !
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Easter holidays – at last ! After a stressful couple of weeks with the school bus and its crash ( still not solved ! ) at last we are on holiday !
Ethiopian Easter started on Friday and it is Easter Sunday tomorrow. As a result, the streets are full of ladies with live chickens dangling from their hands, ready for the traditional dora wot. This dish predominately comprises of onions and chicken , with the ladies ( men in Ethiopia don’t cook ) having chopped mountains of onions for the past couple of days and then starting the slow cook of the dish this afternoon.
On Easter day, the traditional is that small groups of children go from door to door singing songs and giving out small pictures that they have drawn for a small donation . Then after church, everyone has the dora wot in their own house, before going out to visit others – where you are offered ( and it is polite to eat ) some more dora wot – returning in the evening to your own house for a third or fourth helping of the spicy dora wot.
With a dora wot overload, most businesses and schools are closed on the Monday, since everyone is stuffed full !
HAPPY ETHIOPIAN EASTER !
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The school bus has been our predominant in our thoughts this week with a crash on Tuesday morning! We offer a service out of the town to the outlying village about 2 kilometres away and as the bus was turning to pick the pupils up, a speeding mini bus zoomed along and hit us, causing the bus to spin across the road and hit another vehicle coming the other way !
Thankfully no one was injured and all vehicles were able to limp away to the garage. With a crowd of witnesses ( pupils and their parents waiting to get into the bus ) the investigation should have been very straightforward.
However, with the right amount of money, systems can easily be altered, thus it suddenly appeared that our bus was the “ cause “ of the accident, with the original police plan indicating exactly where the vehicles had hit suddenly sprouting additional points ! ( in the other vehicles favour of course )
As a result, we are continuously just going round and round in circles – there is no logic or reason to the system. The court case is called for one day and then altered without warning or explanation, the driver is called and threatened with prison and out of court deals are offered !
This has resulted in great stress and worry for all involved – at the moment it seems that the best case scenario is for the driver to be offered an alternative between 3 months in prison or a 10, 000 birr fine ( £ 360 ) and for us to cover the cost of all three vehicles to be mended ! – although of course, just because this is the scenario at the moment, it isn’t to say that it will be the same tomorrow !
|The three vehicles involved|
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Exams are now underway – some pupils thrive on them whilst others dread them ! They do seem to take up a lot of time, energy and expense but since they are a government regulation then there is no choice !
The great thing about exams however is that since there are only four exams ( Amharic ( the local language ) English, maths and science ) and five days in a week, everyone gets Friday off making it a nice long weekend. Everyone can really do with a break at the moment since we haven’t had any time off since the 2 weeks starting 28th January ( Easter hasn’t yet arrived – that will occur on 5th May ( Good Friday is the only holiday given )
All public holidays ( Christmas, Easter, Eid ) are one day events – there is no build up or commercialism – no advertising or decorations and no gifts of any kind given. Instead, there are simple traditional foods to be eaten at each festival and it is a time for families to get together.
After the huge success of the Sports Day at the summer school organised by Jennifer and Martin Beels, we are now planning our own sports day for next week for the kindergarten pupils. This should be a combination of traditional races of different kinds and rotational group activities with everyone receiving a “ medal “ ( made from a circle of card on a piece of wool ) for participating. However with about a hundred children in the kindergarten a lot of circles need to be cut out and decorated so we are starting cutting now slowly in anticipation !
|Others are not so enthusiastic !|
|Someone enjoying the exams !|
Thursday, April 11, 2013
|KG pupils at play|
The kindergarten school is certainly suddenly amazingly popular with the government since in addition to the new radical idea of schools having time to do educational training in the kindergarten the government are now providing health education for kindergarten teachers !
A couple of ladies suddenly turned up at the kindergarten school with some leaflets this week, announcing that they would be carrying out half hour training sessions once a week after school. Although teachers were initially dubious since this was encroaching on their free time, they were willing to give it a try and if the information was already known then they would discontinue.
However, once the sessions started, the teachers adored it – the first session was about the transference of germs. Staff were fascinated to learn about the need for fresh air in public places and were soon advocates of opening windows on buses.
As anyone who has ever travelled on public transport in Ethiopia will clearly remember – the opening of windows on a bus causes extreme concern. There is a very strong belief that the wind is dangerous – especially the Nazret wind – and can even cause death. Thus, despite the sweltering temperatures, all windows on all buses are firmly slammed shut for health purposes. As a result, the discovery that in fact fresh air would get rid of the germs was a revolution and teachers were enthusiastic to share their knowledge with everyone they met.
With exams coming up again next week, it is a struggle to get them all typed and ready due to the ever decreasing power situation. Previously, Nazret did not have a huge power problem – going off for about an hour or so daily and rarely in the evening. However, recently we have had about 2 hours power per day and even then it is half to a quarter power – enough to be able to move around the house without bumping into things but not bright enough to read by. This has been coupled with an extremely poor internet and telephone service, with the optimum internet usage being able to read your yahoo messages after a 15 minute wait ( 25 minutes to send an email ) – which when you pay by the minute – is a very expensive business ! No ideas why things have suddenly altered but live in hope that services will revert to usual as swiftly as they left !