Ethiopia Report 2018

 

2018 in Baregota Village

2018 was an exciting year for the inhabitants of Baregota Village.

 In January, Kumeroa-Hopelands School in the Northern Wairarapa offered us 7 boxes of old primary school readers that they wanted to dispose of. Would these be of use to the children of Bargeota? They are taught English at school over there, so we sent them a few sample pages to see if they would be interested. You bet they would! So, aided by a generous gift of $2,000.00, we freighted them across to the village. The last stage was the hardest with the boxes having to be carried the 8 kms down to the village from Lalibela.

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 Because these readers dated back to the 70s, there was very little Te Reo in them, which in this particular instance was an advantage! It’s enough of a challenge for these kids to tackle English, let alone another language that would have no relevance to them.

Once there, the packages were eagerly opened, and the kids discovered all sorts of treasures to explore, including a big bag of sweets and 500 ballpoint pens.

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 In the meantime, fundraising at this end went on apace, and we were able to send sufficient money across to them by May to cover fertilising all of their land, as opposed to the portion of it that we had covered in 2017. The farmers bought their own improved seed for the first time, using the profits from the sale of surplus grain and vegetables.

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Another good season, weather-wise, meant that their harvest exceeded their wildest dreams.

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 They have also continued to develop their vegetable gardens, growing a wide variety of crops, which they sell to the hotels in Lalibela. This both gives them a good cash crop, and also a marked improvement in their diet.

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Another concern of Amlaku’s was the number of young adults who had been through school, but for whom the opportunities of a paying job were very limited. In November, he attended a 2 week course in Kampala, Uganda, run by Days for Girls. There were 17 women and 3 men from several East African countries. The course was intensive, with teaching on reproductive health being a major feature. They were also taught how to manufacture and market the kits. Amlaku came home really fired up by this and determined to get production under way in 2019 in Lalibela.

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 Amlaku’s own future is slowly coming together. He and the lovely Bezawit announced their engagement towards the end of the year.

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We continue to work to get his Tour Company website up and running. This has proved far more difficult than anticipated, but it will hopefully be live by the end of 2019, thus enabling Amlaku to offer his services on line. He reckons that if he can get 3 or 4 bookings a year for 10 – 14 day tours of the country he will earn sufficient money to live on, and will also be able to continue his development work in his home community.