Thursday, January 6, 2011

Merry Christmas!


This year has been a busy one at English Alive, with the year seeming to zoom by. With the economic crisis around the world this has meant that we have had limited volunteers this year, but those who did come offered an enormous amount and taught both the students and teachers a tremendous amount !

So many thousands of thanks to our volunteers this year :

Jan Marianne Emma Antonio Leyte Sarah Lucy

This year has seen our largest ever enrolment, with almost two hundred children attending ! This has meant that the KG school is now packed to capacity, with two nursery classes, two KG 1 classes and the KG 2 class squashed into a small classroom ! The nursery class also has to double as the library ! Very worried about what we will do in September if the intake is as large as this year, since we do not have enough rooms to accurate the 6 classes ! – However, this is a wonderful problem to have !!!! – We will work it out when we face it !!

Perhaps our biggest event this year was the purchase of the school van. This was something that we have been planning for years – the opportunity to reach children who live on the outskirts of Nazareth. The road to buying the van was a rocky one, with funds having to be pulled from every direction with every birr counting. However, at the last moment we thought that it was impossible since the price of the van suddenly went up. However, thanks to the incredible generosity of Fraser and his family ( past volunteer ) the last bit was made up and the school van was up and running for the start of the school year !

We are now looking for funding for another van so that we can reach children who live in villages surrounding Nazareth – thereby offering them the opportunity of a lifetime.

Our saddest time this year was with the departure of our first graduation students. The government had promised us a licence to take us up to grade five – which would give us one more year to try to find a way to get our own building and thus go up to grade ten – however at the last moment they changed their minds and as a result the children were forced to leave and go to another school where they are simply one child perched on a bench with one hundred others ! We live with the dream that one day we will have our own building and thus take the school up to grade ten, thereby offering those who have left the chance to come back and continue with an education that matters.

We were very lucky with donations this year, with Troy from the USA sending a box of books – thoroughly appreciated !l

Soraya Aslam and Sarah ( past volunteer ) have also promised sponsorship for two children, with Marianne ( past volunteer ) sponsoring a little boy. All in all, the number of children being sponsored at the school is steadily rising, meaning that the school is helping more and more children break the cycle of poverty.

In addition, to close the year, Fraser and his family have once again come through and have donated a computer to the school ! It will be amazing to have computer lessons – the only trouble is that none of the teachers are sure how to use a computer thus it will be a case of the blind leading the blind ! – Still, it will be fantastic for everyone to learn together !

We are now well on the way to being a registered charity and hope to achieve this status within a few short weeks. We are hoping that this will boost our chances of getting funding for our own building, since the government have promised us free land if we can prove that we have money to build. An ex volunteer – Clare as well as Catherine are working hard on helping with the applications for grants – so hope to be starting that process shortly.

Overall, we have had a wonderful year – primarily due to the many people out there who help and support us - many thousands of thanks for all of those who have supported us this year and we wish you a very merry Ethiopian Christmas on January 7th !

All donations gratefully accepted

HSBC bank Account name : English Alive Academy Sort code : 402503 /Account no : 21484613

PayPal account :

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