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Blog category: News emails

How are we celebrating World Book Day?

Written by Shree Mandke

This year, on 6th March, we will be celebrating World Book Day with some reflection and a hint of nostalgia, as we look back at some of the highlights of our work increasing access to books and libraries, and our work to improve literacy. 18 years have flown by. Here’s what we have been up to:

Books became our lingua franca

Way back in the mid to late 1990s, when Link Ethiopia was called GondarLink and when we were identifying how best to support and work alongside our partner schools in Ethiopia, a country where 84 languages are spoken, one of the first things we did was to arrange for shipments of books to be sent to the communities with whom we were working. Books became a symbol of our friendship and a way to communicate. We arranged two fully loaded shipping containers, as well as various student groups who took around five tonnes of books on their visits. We lost count of the number of books that reached our schools, but we estimate it was more than 35,000.

Click to expand

Continuing resourcing and refurbishing school libraries:

Since that time, we have continued to work with many rural and urban schools in Ethiopia, reaching over 90, and supporting them to acquire relevant books, refurbishing their libraries with new furniture and making them conducive places to read and learn. With the help of many generous donors we built brand new libraries, the most notable being our solar-panelled library in the remote village of Tokumma in Ambo, western Ethiopia. Below are just a few photos, a glimpse of our work, but there are many more photos we would love to share!

Our Donkey Libraries:

We were acutely aware of the lack of availability of books for those attending satellite schools in remote rural areas. Our first Donkey Library started taking books to five satellite schools in the Gondar Zuria Woreda, a large area south-east of Gondar town, back in 2008-09 benefiting almost 2,000 primary students. We carried out an evaluation of our first Donkey Library back in 2010 and found that 85% more pupils were accessing books and the satellite schools wanted us to provide more books for a longer period of time. Our second Donkey Library started taking books to about 3,000 kids across 6 satellite schools in the Kola Diba area (Gondar Dembia Woerda, south-west of Gondar town) in 2012.

Improving literacy through library development:

Our Country Director in Ethiopia was the one who made us aware of how important it was to get children into the habit of reading. His enthusiasm for reading was backed by the fact that even in 2010, by the end of Grade 2, 47% of all children were totally illiterate and youth literacy stood at 36%. We surveyed 43 libraries to find out more about reading habits of children, usage and availability of books, education background of the librarians, and the level of support provided to children in taking up reading. The findings of this survey resulted in us designing a programme of inter-linked initiatives, which will help over 40 schools enable their pupils to improve their literacy skills and, most importantly, getting them into the habit of reading.

We hope that the sum total of our work and experience will help us to nurture not only the future Burt Award winners of the world but also Booker prize winners… we hope we can report even more good news on one of the future World Book Days!

Posted in 2014, News emails |

Link Ethiopia update – February 2013

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Welcome to Link Ethiopia’s February 2013 News Update!

Our Annual Report for 2011-2012 was recently published and we are really pleased to share it with you in this update. You’ll find a few highlights below and much more information on our website.

Also this month we are advertising for architects and engineers who can help us with a major design project alongside our Ethiopian teams. Details are below. Let us know if you or someone you know might be interested!

Thank you again for your support!

Our Annual Report for 2011-2012

Annual Report 2011-2012

During the year we made great strides forward in our work. We undertook a growing range of activities, from delivering improved facilities, resources and teaching to more Ethiopian schools and pupils, to enabling students in different continents to learn about each other and to share their aims and aspirations. We could not have done any of this without your help. Thank you for joining with us to ensure quality education is available to all children in Ethiopia!

Here are some very brief highlights of the year…

Read our Annual Report here

Read our Annual Report here

Our report is available to browse and download from our website here. We’d love you to see it and to find out more about how your donations are used to support education.

How we raised our money

How we raised our money.

How we spent your donations

How we spent your donations.

School links

School links

We now support 157 school links which is an increase of 65% on the previous year.

We worked with 111 primary school links and 46 secondary school links to develop their partnerships. We helped them to set up exchange visits, produced termly resource packs on global issues relevant to both countries and facilitated exchanges of letters and of shared learning activities around these themes. This year our linking theme was the Olympics and many schools exchanged ideas related to the Olympic theme of ‘hopes and aspirations’.

Child sponsorship

Child sponsorship

During the year we increased the number of sponsored children we support by 87%, to 144. Our sponsorship work now spans 14 schools in the north and south of the country. Sponsorship clubs are being established within each school as part of a review of the support we are giving to sponsored pupils and once this has been completed we will be launching a drive to find new sponsors to join the programme.

Volunteer teaching

Volunteer teaching

The volunteering scheme remains popular and caters for a wide range of ages and talents. During the year 21 volunteers taught in Ethiopia, primarily focussing on the teaching of English Communication Skills to secondary school students but also helping with computer training, sports coaching and giving teachers English tutorials.

In total these volunteers taught approximately 3,100 hours of lessons to approximately 1,000 students. There were fewer volunteers when compared with the previous year and we really want to find more! Get involved?


2011-12 has been an exciting year where we continued supporting our schools to deliver quality education for the needs of their community. We raised 33% more money for projects, which included…

  • 8 water and sanitation projects
  • 2 toilet cleaning projects
  • 5 classroom and furniture projects
  • 6 books and library projects
  • 2 football teams sponsored
  • 2 laboratory equipment projects
  • 2 technology projects
  • 4 teaching resources and teacher training projects

…. as well as ….

Donkey libraries

Donkey library expansion – we funded two mobile libraries serving 11 schools in rural areas in the north of Ethiopia.

Sports programmes

Sports programme – we provided football, basketball, volleyball and handball training for students in 7 schools, along with sports equipment and kits.

World Challenge projects

World Challenge projects – 7 educational expeditions enabled the building and stocking of a big library, a new water project, a new toilet block, and several gardening, painting and decorating initiatives.

Tour d’Afrique projects

Tour d’Afrique – the second visit by Tour d’Afrique cyclists enabled educational resource packs to be given to 104 students along with 10 bicycles to local schools.

Architects and engineers wanted!

Help us design our school building projects!

Are you someone with architecture or engineering experience, looking to get involved in international development work? Or do you know someone who is?

We are advertising a self-funded placement in Ethiopia to work with us to re-imagine and design our school infrastructure projects. The successful candidate would also get experience working on ‘live’ projects that will be happening at the same time. Our advert is published on our blog here – please let us know if you or someone you know might be interested. Spread the word widely!

To express interest, please email [email protected] and include your CV. Closing date for expressions of interest: 28th February 2013.


Thanks for reading and best wishes from all the Link Ethiopia team!

Posted in 2013, News emails |

Link Ethiopia update – December 2012

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Welcome to Link Ethiopia’s December 2012 News Update!

2012 has been quite a year for us, both in Ethiopia and internationally. Our projects in schools across the north and south of Ethiopia have expanded and we have so many exciting stories to share. To whet your appetite you can read a few highlights of our projects and their achievements in our news update below and do remember that we have more stories on our website blog which you can visit at any time (

Before we get stuck into our projects roundup, we’d first like to show off our new 2013 Calendar and our Gift Ethiopia website which might help with your Christmas shopping.

Thank you again for your support!

2013 Calendars

Calendar photos in all their glory!

Our first batch of 2013 calendars sold out fast, BUT, fear not, the second batch has arrived – just in time for Christmas! Each month is illustrated with a beautiful photo, including some of our Link School’s amazing children, the incredible Simien Mountains and the monolithic rock-cut churches in Lalibela. They also carry a thought-provoking Ethiopian proverb on each page which may give you some inspiration. We are really proud of them and at just £8 (or equivalent) they make great gifts. Head over to our calendar page to see more and to get one for yourself or someone you know.

Gift Ethiopia

Christmas Gift Cards

Our Gift Ethiopia website is the perfect place to go if you’d like to support our work in schools and give a meaningful present to friends or family at the same time! Christmas is a time for making others happy – and Gift Ethiopia lets you make those you love happy, as well as school children and communities we support across Ethiopia!

Donkey libraries, toilets, football teams, school uniforms… Whatever you’d like to support, head over to to start choosing your gifts!

Donkey Library: the sequel

Donkey Library & Librarian

With help from one of our long-term supporters, we have been able to establish a second Donkey Library, in the Dembia Zuria region near Gondar! After the success of our first innovative mobile library we have been keen to widen the benefits to more rural pupils. The new project now supports an extra 4,000 students and we’re really pleased to see it up and running.

Water water everywhere, and plenty to drink!

Water Taps at Dukem 2

Part of our commitment to improving access to quality education is to help make sure children are healthy and well enough to really engage with the available education in their towns & villages. To this end, we have been constructing clean drinking water facilities in a number of our schools across Ethiopia, and one of the latest projects has been at Dukem 2 Elementary School near Bishoftu.  We would like to thank our long-term partners World Challenge for assisting with the project. Head over to our projects page to learn more about our Health & Well-being projects.

Technology projects roundup

Children at Tokumma thank LE for the work.

Technology plays such an important role in developing the potential of any country’s future generations that we are delighted to share with you the incredible progress that has been made on some of our technology-focused school projects.

Solar Power

At one of our schools, Ambo Tokumma Elementary in western Ethiopia (see picture above), the installation of solar panels has seen many amazing changes to life and work at the school. The project has allowed solar energy to be harnessed to power lighting and radios across the school! It also lays the foundations for our ongoing work at the school where we are currently building an IT centre complete with solar powered netbooks and an internet connection – a first for the area! Head over to our technology blog to learn more!

IT Power

We all know how computers are vital to so many aspects of society – work, learning, entertainment, to name just a few. So we are really pleased to see the IT centre at Tana Haik High School in Bahir Dar doing so well! Not only have the computers become an integral part of learning at the school, but the school also took it upon themselves to establish an internet connection, increasing the usefulness of the IT centre even further.


We’d like to wish all our supporters a merry Christmas and a happy new year! See you all in 2013 for more exciting education work!

Posted in 2012, News emails |

Link Ethiopia news update – September 2012

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Welcome to our Olympics and Paralympics special news update!

What a fun sporting summer we’ve had!

Our teams in Ethiopia and in London have been cheering on the Olympic and Paralympic athletes with all our energy over the last month or so. We are now watching the Paralympic closing ceremony and thought this would be a good chance for us to look back at some of the highlights for the Ethiopian athletes and to share with you some of Link Ethiopia’s sport related work.

For anyone who hasn’t explored our website recently we now have a blog where we share news stories on a regular basis and we are planning to highlight some of these stories in our news emails in the future so that more people get to read them. We also share updates on Facebook and Twitter, so do follow us if you use these networks!

Enjoy our update and may we wish you all a very happy Ethiopian New Year for Tuesday. Enkutatash! Welcome to 2005!!

Red, Green and Gold: Olympics and Paralymics Roundup

Meseret Defar celebrates with Tirunesh Dibaba

Team Ethiopia at th e Olympics

Ethiopia triumphed in the Olympic athletics, winning seven medals – three of those gold! Our congratulations to all the team but in particular to the women who won all the Gold medals. Overall the country ranked 9th in the world based on total medals by GDP.

Off the track, legendary long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie was honoured by being chosen as one of the Olympic flag-bearers at the opening ceremony as well as being a torch-bearer on the flame’s journey to the Games. And Link Ethiopia was there rubbing shoulders with the Ethiopian Olympians at a gala event honouring the athletes.

You can read about all of this and much more he re.

Ethiopia’s first ever medal at the Paralympics

It was also a historic occasion for Ethiopia during the Paralympics where Wondiye Fikre won the country’s first ever medal. Find out more about Ethiopia’s Paralympic success and history here

African Olympic Champions

Haile Gebrselassie was also one of three Ethiopians named in the BBC’s ten most significant African Olympic champions, alongside barefoot marathon hero Abebe Bikila, and Derartu Tulu, the first black African woman to win Olympic Gold. Read more about these athletes here.

Sowing the seeds for future Ethiopian Olympians

In June we celebrated the successful completion of our Sports Programme in Gondar. Thanks to funding from the Hilden Charitable Trust, 46 ambitious youngsters from seven schools received professional training in four different sports and their schools received sports equipment. Read more about the programme here.

Get running with Link Ethiopia at 8,000ft!

Last year's amazing team at the Great Ethiopian Run

Still got Olympic fever? Looking for a challenge? Be a sporting hero yourself by taking part in the Great Ethiopian Run with Link Ethiopia!

Last year we had a small group take part in the run, including three teachers from Ossett Academy who also visited their link school in Addis. As one runner put it, “the whole experience was amazing – we can’t stop talking about it”.

This could be you! This year we want to take a larger group out to this 10k run, taking place on the 25th November 2012. It’s a chance not only to take part in Africa’s biggest and best road race, but also to explore Ethiopia’s beautiful countryside and culture and visit some schools so you can see for yourself where your support is going.

If you’re interested in this unique experience, or know someone who might be, do visit our website for more information and to apply.

Ethiopian sporting heroes!

Ethiopian students choose their Olympic Heroes

Earlier in the year, students in our link schools were celebrating past Olympic greats and looking forward to the summer Games. Here’s an example class project from one group of Ethiopian students who chose their Ethiopian Olympic heroes and challenged their UK friends to do the same. See more here.


Ethiopian athletes in the press

Young athletes from Bejoki, the "Town of Runners"

When Eddie met Haile

The Financial Times features comedian-come-serial marathon runner Eddie Izzard’s account of meeting and training with the  long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie. An interesting and irreverent insight into an Ethiopian running legend! Read the article here.

‘Town of Runners’ article

Here we have a fantastic article from The Guardian inspired by the documentary ‘Town of Runners’ which is about Bejoki, an Ethiopian town which has produced some of the world’s greatest long-distance athletes. It gives a good insight into the highs and lows of young Ethiopian athletes. Read the article and find out more about this wonderful documentary here.


Happy new year to you all!

Best wishes from all the Link Ethiopia team!

Posted in 2012, News emails |

News update: Christmas 2011



We want to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and new year. 2011 has been Link Ethiopia’s most successful year to date, thanks to your support, and we are thoroughly looking forward to what 2012 brings.

We are pleased to announce that our 2012 calendars are on sale now. Details are below. Get them while stocks last!

There is also still time to order your fun and unusual Christmas gifts from our Gift Ethiopia website. All the gifts are needed by the children, schools and communities we serve in Ethiopia. As always your support is hugely appreciated!

Do read on…

Link Ethiopia’s 2012 Calendar

For the first time we are selling Link Ethiopia calendars. They are attractive and informative, showing a combination of historic, cultural and educational scenes from Ethiopia. They also include Ethiopian proverbs, and (alongside UK public holidays) some of the most important dates in the Ethiopian calendar.

Link Ethiopia's 2012 Calendars

Each calendar costs just £8 (approx 9.50 euro, $12.50) and you can see them in more detail, and make your purchase, via our website:

Get them while stocks last!

Gift Ethiopia…

It’s back! Our gifts will bring a smile to the faces of your friends and family this Christmas. While at the same time they’ll bring a smile to children who are eager to learn, thousands of miles away.

Thanks to your support our projects now reach over 100,000 young people throughout Ethiopia. With your help we will be able to do even more to expand quality education to youngsters in towns and rural areas through 2012 and beyond.

So now’s your chance to give someone a gift that you feel passionately about; whether it relates to the importance of clean drinking water, hygienic toilets, books, or teacher training. Or perhaps you’re looking for something slightly out of the ordinary… like supporting our donkey library!

Visit to support the children and young people of this amazing country.

Water taps

Water taps

Donkey Library

Donkey Library

Help build a bog
Help build a bog

Complete school pack
Complete school pack

… with special gift cards

For each gift you will receive a colourful and celebrational gift card explaining about the specific support you are giving, and these are posted to you 1st class so you can write messages and give them to your lucky family members or friends.

So please, visit our Gift Ethiopia website and give a special gift to a special person. It’s a brilliant way to support our work.


Thanks for all your encouragement and support throughout the year. We are looking forward to all that 2012 will bring.

Child sponsorship
Child sponsorship

Clean water for 40 pupils
Clean water for 40 pupils

Community football team
Community football team

Internet in a school
Internet in a school

Posted in 2011, News emails |

News update: June 2011

Welcome to the latest Link Ethiopia news update!

March to June 2011 News Update

Greetings to you all from a very energetic and vitalised Link Ethiopia!

In this double edition News Update we’d like to introduce you to the new members of our growing Ethiopian team, show you our new office in Gondar, share some recent sponsorship related stories, as well as bring you a selection of Ethiopian news items and information.

There is so much to tell you – just a little of that follows now. Enjoy reading!

Our growing Ethiopian team

We are very pleased to introduce two new members of our Ethiopian team, Mulugeta Birhane and Habtamu Dereje who are managing our projects work and school linking activities from our Gondar and Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) offices respectively. We are also really pleased to introduce Shree Mandke who has relocated from the UK to join our Ethiopian team for 6 months to help develop our our projects work and help our teams prepare for the future growth of the charity. Meet all the current team and see our new Gondar office here…

Joy visiting her sponsored childMeeting your sponsored child

If you have wondered about visiting your sponsored child, or would like to discover the country your sponsored child lives in, we can very happily arrange for you to meet your sponsored child, visit their school, and see how your sponsorship is helping. One of our sponsors, Joy, recently did just that. She explains the experience much better than we could…

News from Ethiopia

  • Ethiopia has, at this moment, only one railway, stretching from Lagare in Addis Ababa to Djibouti. But this has fallen into disuse in recent years and the Ethiopian Government is very much considering the building of new railways in order to improve the country’s transportation infrastructure. Read more…
  • More countries are recognising Ethiopia’s coffee specialities. The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) says four of Ethiopia’s coffee specialities have been registered in 26 countries as a trademark. Read on…

GemmaMeet the Team: Gemma Williams

We are delighted to introduce our most recent member of staff, Gemma Williams. Gemma joined our London team in February and now works part-time to manage our child sponsorship and projects work. She brings with her a fantastic variety of charity experience and has already had a hugely positive impact on everything we are doing. Welcome, Gemma!


Students from Dubai visit Keta Elementary

dubai2_miniTeacher Genna and a group of students from the Universal American School, Dubai, visited Keta Elementary School on a World Challenge project. The visit was a real success and saw the students teaching music and origami, playing and exploring and digging the foundations for a library. Read on…


Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar is one of the most visited towns in Ethiopia. Nothing more than a sleepy waterside village in the early part of the twentieth century, it later came to the notice of Emperor Haile Selassie because of its stunning position on the southern banks of Lake Tana and its relatively central situation in the northern part of the country. He had a palace built nearby and he even considered making it the site of a new capital city for Ethiopia. Find out more…

Ethiopia on UK TV

  • An African Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby – An emotional return to Ethiopia –
    Wednesday June 22nd (Eden)
  • Lost Mines of King Solomon – A true adventure of discovery –
    Tuesday June 28th (National Geographic)

School quiz

  1. school_quiz.gifWhat is the name of the great English historian in Ethiopia whose grandmother was probably the most famous fighter for women’s rights in the UK?
  2. Why do Ethiopians have lunch at 6 o’clock?
  3. Which biblical (and famous) queen might well have been Ethiopian and is traditionally the mother of the first Ethiopian king, Menelik?

(School quiz answers: (1) Professor Richard Pankhurst (who is also one of Link Ethiopia’s Presidents), (2) Because their clock starts at dawn and 6 o’clock is the middle of the day!, (3) Queen of Sheba)

Kids’ conundrum

In which ‘tightly wrapped bundle of hay’ could you find a whole lot of fascinating wildlife?

(Kids’ conundrum answer: Bale – (1) a bale of hay on a farm (2) the Bale national park in Ethiopia)

Ethiopian proverb

 The cattle are as good as the pasture in which they graze 

English proverb

 Hide nothing from thy minister, physician and lawyer 


Educate Ethiopia is an NGO doing good work in the north of the country. You can learn more about its activities at

… and of course, remember,

Help us?

As always, if anyone reading this would like to offer us expertise, knowledge and help with our work or if you would like to associate yourself with one of our school projects (classrooms, water, toilets, books, etc) then please get in touch. You can donate via the following link, or by contacting us – details below.








Posted in 2011, News emails |

News update: February 2011

Link Ethiopia header - 2010 - 09 10 - Sept Oct

Welcome to our January & February 2011 news update

As a new year begins, a past year of progress and accomplishment fades into the background, while another set of exciting challenges rises up for the future. What a fine life we have here at Link Ethiopia!

Let us first wish all of you a happy 2011 (2003/2004 in Ethiopia!) and thank you for being with us. We want your comments, we want your suggestions. Only in that way can we make sure that Link Ethiopia is providing the best service possible in its various areas of activity. And none of that activity would take place without the many people who give so freely of their effort and enthusiasm to carry us along. So thank you! And we hope you enjoy our latest news email!

New UK office

After three fantastic years sharing office space at St George’s Church, near Tufnell Park, London, we have moved to a new office near Kings Cross.

We continue to be incredibly grateful to everyone at St George’s for their encouragement and support over the years, enabling us to grow so successfully. We were sorry to say goodbye! But as the number of volunteers who help us in the office has increased we have really needed to find larger office space.

So, a week ago, we moved to the Peel Centre which is a community centre supporting the young, the elderly, and international charities.  We have much more work space now and we have been very warmly welcomed. Here’s to future years of further success!

Please therefore note our new address which is:

Link Ethiopia, Peel Centre, Percy Circus, London, WC1X 9EY.

Volunteers in Ethiopia

Link Ethiopia’s volunteering scheme has developed apace in recent months and we have had an excellent take-up of the programme from people of all ages who want to spend some time in Ethiopia helping youngsters to improve their English Communication Skills and generally supporting the community and experiencing Ethiopian culture at first hand. Find out more…

News from Ethiopia

  • Just what is there about the Ethiopian long-distance runners that makes them so successful in world competition? Hardly a month goes by without yet more successes being announced for Ethiopia’s amazing athletes. Read more…
  • Africa’s lone wolf… a new species has been found in Ethiopia. Genetic evidence shows that ‘Egyptian jackal’ isn’t really a jackal at all. Read on…


Meet the Team: Yohannes Abebe

Last October saw another skilled young man join the team in Ethiopia. Yohannes is a teacher with several years experience and a superb command of the English language. He has joined Haile in the southern office and he has already shown what excellent work and real commitment he will be giving to our organisation.

Sporting facilities

Our thanks go to Klaus Blessing and Marcus Scherer who recently worked with Link Ethiopia to construct robust sports equipment for schools in the Gondar region of Ethiopia.

Our work with Klaus began in 2009 when he visited Ethiopia and saw the lack of sporting equipment for himself. We agreed to work together to try and improve this situation so that sporting opportunities for local young people can be maximised. Read on…

Timkat celebrations

Chris Grant, Link Ethiopia’s Director, has just returned to the UK after experiencing a memorable Epiphany festival, called Timkat, in the city of Gondar, in the north of Ethiopia. This is certainly the greatest festival in the Ethiopian calendar and this year the Gondar authorities added to the celebrations by launching the first Carnival in Ethiopia alongside the more traditional festivities. Find out more…

Coming up on UK Television

  • An African journey with Jonathan Dimbleby – An emotional return to Ethiopia –
    Wednesday February 23rd (Eden)
  • Around the world in 80 treasures – Ethiopia and the Ark of the Covenant –
    Tuesday March 15th early morning (Eden)

School quiz


  1. You may have heard of the Rift Valley. But what is a ‘rift’?
  2. In which places in London (for example) might you sample some Yirgacheffe or some Sidamo?
  3. Ethiopia’s immediate northern neighbour is Eritrea. What is the name of its capital city?

(School quiz answers: (1) ‘rift’ noun a crack, split or break in something, (2) Coffee houses (fine Ethiopian coffees), (3) Asmara)

Kids’ conundrum

Which mountains in Ethiopia ought to be the home of lots of monkeys – and why?

(Kids’ conundrum answer: the Simien Mountains (‘simian’ – noun – an ape or monkey)

Ethiopian proverb

A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn 

English proverb

A good archer is not known by his arrows but by his aim 

Website link

This month, we thought you might appreciate a link to some wonderful Ethiopian dancing at

… and of course, remember,

Help us?

As always, if anyone reading this would like to offer us expertise, knowledge and help with our work or if you would like to associate yourself with one of our school projects (classrooms, water, toilets, books, etc) then please get in touch. You can donate via the following link, or by contacting us – details below.


Posted in 2011, News emails |

November & December 2010

Link Ethiopia header - 2010 - 09 10 - Sept Oct

Welcome to our November & December 2010 news update

“Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat …..”

Well, perhaps that’s not the most relevant way to start this News Update, but we at Link Ethiopia do send you all the compliments of the approaching season and hope that you will welcome our latest news.

And what about those Christmas gifts for your family, friends and other loved ones? If you would like to choose something from our Gift Ethiopia website, we can assure you (1) that your donation will be spent exactly according to your wishes and (2) that it will make the lives of some less well-off people in Ethiopia a little more positive and hopeful. Read on … and best wishes to you all!

Fun Christmas presents from Gift Ethiopia

Our gifts will bring a smile to the faces of your friends and family this Christmas. While at the same time they’ll bring a smile to children who are eager to learn, thousands of miles away.

Thanks to your support our projects now reach over 80,000 young people throughout Ethiopia. With your help we will be able to do even more to expand quality education to youngsters in towns and rural areas through 2011 and beyond.

So now’s your chance to give someone a gift that you feel passionately about; whether it relates to the importance of clean drinking water, hygienic toilets, books, or teacher training. Or perhaps you’re looking for something slightly out of the ordinary… like our donkey library?

Visit to support the children and young people of this amazing country!

Water taps
Water taps

Donkey Library
Donkey Library

Help build a bog
Help build a bog

Complete school pack
Complete school pack

Special gift cards

For each gift you will receive a colourful and celebrational gift card explaining about the specific support you are giving, and this is posted to you 1st class so you can write a message and give it to your lucky family member or friend.

So please, visit our Gift Ethiopia website and give a special gift to a special person. It’s a brilliant way to get involved!


Child sponsorship
Child sponsorship

Clean water for 40 pupils
Clean water for 40 pupils

Community football team
Community football team

Internet in a school
Internet in a school

News from Ethiopia

  • It has just been announced that France Telecom SA has started a two-year contract to manage Ethiopia’s state-owned Ethio Telecom, Communications and Information Technology. Read more…
  • And a consignment of 16,000 day-old chicks are to be sent from India to Ethiopia as part of a programme to introduce and breed superior quality poultry in the African nation. Read on…

Meet the Team: Elsa Kebede



We would like to introduce you all to Elsa Kebede, the newest full-time worker in our Gondar office. She is full to the brim with enthusiasm and energy as she begins to fulfil her role as School Links Coordinator. We welcome her and wish her every success.


Support our runners!

We have been lucky enough to find five fantastic supporters who will be raising money for Link Ethiopia by running in 3 famous UK events.

Virgin London Marathon – 17th April 2011

Jon Devaney, a long time supporter of Link Ethiopia will be looking to raise £2,000

BUPA London 10k – 30th May 2011

Aster Mullugeta

Andrew Tam

Maria Taembo  (JustGiving site on its way!)

Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon – 6th March 2011

Alexandra Floyd

There will be various fundraising events throughout the year that we shall be making you all aware of, but in the meantime please support all our runners in their efforts to help Link Ethiopia improve education, by clicking on their JustGiving links above.

We still have places in the BUPA Great Edinburgh Run, full Marathon, on 2nd October 2011. If any of you are interested please contact Martin at [email protected] for more details.

Coming up on UK Television

  • Mystery investigator – Olly Steeds
    The Ark of the Covenant. Could it have been smuggled into Ethiopia?
    Tue 21 and Wed 22nd Dec (Discovery History)
  • Joanna Lumley’s Nile
    From the source to the sea

    Olympic hopefuls in the Simien Mountains
    Thu 30th Dec
    (ITV London)

School quiz


  1. If you proceeded in a straight line directly south from Addis Ababa, which would be the next country you would come to?
  2. What would an Ethiopian do with a ‘masingko’?
  3. Where in Ethiopia is supposed to be the hottest place on earth?

(School quiz answers: (1) Kenya, (2) Play it. It is a one-stringed violin, (3) The Danakil Desert)

Kids’ conundrum

Where, in modern Ethiopia, might you just think of finding Mary living with Joseph?

(Kids’ conundrum answer: Nazret (Nazareth) – now also called Adama, its Oromo name)

Ethiopian proverb

A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children 

English proverb

A deaf husband and a blind wife are always a happy couple 

Website link

The wonderful Africa Guide’s pages on Ethiopia at

… and of course, visit,

Help us?

As always, if anyone reading this would like to offer us expertise, knowledge and help with our work or if you would like to associate yourself with one of our school projects (classrooms, water, toilets, books, etc) then please get in touch. You can donate via the following link, or by contacting us – details below.

Posted in 2010, News emails |

September & October 2010

Link Ethiopia header - 2010 - 09 10 - Sept Oct

Welcome to our September & October 2010 news update

With the Ethiopian rainy season behind us and the new school year fully in swing, we at Link Ethiopia have been as busy as ever. Several members of our UK team are currently in Ethiopia, working alongside our Ethiopian team on projects, school activities and supporting the nine teaching volunteers who are currently doing fantastic work within our Ethiopian schools. But more of that another time. Here’s our latest update which is full of interesting news to read. So settle back and enjoy…!

UK teachers visit their partners in Ethiopia

Joy Hardy from Queniborough School and Michael Hill from Wreake Valley Community College have just returned from visiting their link schools in Ethiopia for the first time. They spent 5 days with their hosts, observing lessons, discussing plans and involving Ethiopian children in an exciting joint artwork project about the weather. They also had the chance to visit the famous monasteries of Lake Tana and the Blue Nile Falls, at the head of the river Nile.

Meanwhile, in Gondar, Jonathon Wilcox led a group of 14 students from Halliford School who were visiting their partners at Edeget Feleg Secondary. Their young people spent time getting to know each other as well as taking part in a traditional dance workshop and an inter-school football match.

Keep an eye out for photos and more information in a future news update.

Welcome to Elsa and Yohannes and farewell to Firew

We are delighted to welcome Elsa Kebede and Yohannes Abebe to the Link Ethiopia team!

Elsa is our new School Links Coordinator working in our Gondar office. She will be organising our expanding school activities in Gondar, Bahir Dar and around Lake Tana.

Yohannes is just starting work as our new Sponsorship Manager, based in our Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) office. He will be managing the southern office, coordinating our child sponsorship scheme and organising our teaching volunteer activities in Addis Ababa, Bishoftu (Debre Zeit), Adama (Nazret) and Asella.

Yohannes is taking over the reigns from Firew Tilahun who will soon be moving to pastures new. Firew has been an exceptionally talented manager of our southern office for the last two years. His initiative and dedication has really enabled our activities south of Addis to flourish. We wish him the very best with all his future activities!

Ethiopian buffet meal

If you live in the London area you’re more than welcome to join us at Flamingo Restaurant ( for an Ethiopian Buffet Meal on Saturday 20 November at 7.30pm. Enjoy an evening of delicious Ethiopian food and find out more about the work of Link Ethiopia and also Project Pencil Case ( in the north and south of Ethiopia. The buffet costs £15 per person (food only) which includes a £6 donation towards the charities. So we roughly know how many people are coming, please RSVP by 13th Nov to [email protected]

Journey to the Lost Kingdom

Join broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby and cultural historian Gus Casely-Hayford as they discuss the ancient, modern and often misunderstood Ethiopia. The Royal Geographical Society is hosting an Ethiopian debate on Wednesday 10th November (6pm to 8pm) at their London location. It will be chaired by travel writer and broadcaster Frances Linzee Gordon, author of the first Lonely Planet Guide to Ethiopia. Tickets cost £10. Book online at

News from Ethiopia

  • At the end of September, Addis Ababa, “new flower”, lived up to its name: fresh daisies lined the streets, strewn in piles in markets, heaped on to minibuses, gathered in bundles on the backs of white-robed women. The occasion was Meskel, a festival named for this flower and for the cross, both of which feature prominently. Read more…
  • The Ethiopian government has released information about plans to construct a major new rail network across the country. In the process, links to neighboring countries are being prepared sooner rather than later. Read on…

Meet the Team: Melaku Getachew

Melaku Getachew is an Ethiopian lawyer of great repute in the UK and one of the trustees of Link Ethiopia. He expertly guides us in all governmental and legal matters. Melaku has a lovely wife and four charismatic children and they all live out in the country to the west of London.

The Kindu Trust

Link Ethiopia and the Kindu Trust have been partners since the Trust was founded, by Kate Fereday Eshete, in 1998. It was originally set up to help provide for children living on the streets of Gondar. Over the years, the charity has grown and evolved and it now helps almost 300 of the poorest families in Gondar and elsewhere in northern Ethiopia through its child sponsorship scheme. Beneficiary families receive a monthly financial payment, along with medical care and provision of school uniforms and books.

The Kindu Trust recognises the crucial role that education plays in helping families to break out of their cycle of poverty, and works closely with Link Ethiopia to find ways in which to encourage child education in Gondar. As the charity grows, it is aiming to increase its impact within the local community through income generation projects. To find out more, visit

Coming up on UK Television

  • Around the world in eighty treasures
    Ethiopia and the Ark of the Covenant.
    Tue 24th November late (Eden)
  • Tribal Wives – Afar
    Six women each live for a month with six different tribes. The Afar are one of Ethiopia’s most independent tribes.
    Wed 1st December (Eden)

School quiz


  1. Where in Ethiopia were angels supposed to have ‘built’ stone churches for the king during just one night?
  2. Which very small lady do the Ethiopians call Dinkanesh, and what do people in the rest of the world call her?
  3. Which immediate neighbour of Ethiopia is by far the smallest and has French as a very important language?

(School quiz answers: (1) The hill village of Lalibela, (2) Lucy, one of the oldest skeletons ever discovered, (3) Djibouti)

Kids’ conundrum

In which southern Ethiopian valley do you find the whitest clothes?

(Kids’ conundrum answer: The Omo Valley (washing powder?!))

Ethiopian proverb

A fool is thirsty in the midst of water 

English proverb

A bad shearer never had a good sickle 

Website link

Learn some serious details about the Ethiopian Orthodox Church at

… and of course, visit,

Help us?

As always, if anyone reading this would like to offer us expertise, knowledge and help with our work or if you would like to associate yourself with one of our school projects (classrooms, water, toilets, books, etc) then please get in touch. You can donate via the following link, or by contacting us – details below.

Posted in 2010, News emails |

July & August 2010


Welcome to our July & August 2010 news update

Summer’s greetings to you all and we hope that you will not mind our bi-monthly News Update popping into your Inbox once again.

Schools are out, in both countries, and the teachers and pupils have some space not only to recharge the batteries and refresh the spirits, but also to look ahead in a less pressurised way and decide on the coming year’s focuses.

In this update, Matt, our Project Director, tells you about recent projects and general progress with the resourcing of schools in our areas of Ethiopia, while you can also find here the second part of our School Linking article. But there are lots of other elements for your interest – more (sometimes puzzling) proverbs, quizzes, information on Ethiopia, etc. Read on …

Focus on… Projects

Thanks to our supporters from around the world, the past few months have been particularly busy for our projects team. There’s too much to squeeze in this brief news update, but here are just a few recent highlights for your interest. Click through to our website to see some photos and read more!

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Dosha Elementary School water and furniture
Back in October we introduced you to Dosha, an elementary school in Asella, a few hours drive south of Addis Ababa. At that time we were fundraising to provide the 1,100 children at the school with a clean drinking water supply and new desks in their classrooms. Here’s what happened next…



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Link Ethiopia football team in the Gondar finals!
Each summer, when the schools are closed, there’s a football tournament held in Gondar town. For the first time ever we have entered our own Link Ethiopia team, made up of 15 energetic under 13’s from some of our link schools. So, how have they got on? Find out here!



Computer and furniture shipment has arrived!
Quite some time ago we started planning for a large shipment of computers and classroom furniture to send to Ethiopia. Now, after what feels like a lifetime of logistical planning and bureaucracy, we are pleased that the computers and furniture have finally arrived! Read more here…






New projects website being developed
It’s also been a long time in the making, but thanks to the tireless efforts of our web-genius Ali Lown we are closer than ever to launching the new projects section of our Link Ethiopia website. Find out more…

News from Ethiopia

  • The world’s earliest illustrated Christian book has been saved by a British charity which located it at a remote Ethiopian monastery. Read more…
  • We always love hearing about the activities of others in their attempts to help people across the world. Here was something we spotted in the Nursing Times: Adventurous nurses and other professionals are signing up to a challenging five-day charity trek across the mountains of Ethiopia. Read on…

Meet the Team: Christoffer Widstrom


Christoffer Widstrom is a new volunteer from Sweden who has taken on the role of Volunteering Manager for us at a time when the number of volunteers going out to teach in Ethiopia is increasing very rapidly. He has made a fine start!


School Linking, the story so far

In the last News Update from Link Ethiopia you may have read about our school linking service and the basic motivation that leads schools in either country to want to find a partner and share experiences and activities. If you missed that first article, then you might like to click here to catch up!

So what do the schools actually get up to in a school link? It’s one thing saying that a school on the vast African continent is partnered with your own in the UK or the US, but there has to be more to it than that.

Read more about our school linking here …


Ethiopia is beginning to welcome a much greater number of tourists these days, all keen to appreciate the wonders of this characterful land. And one thing that they always ask is – what drinks are available?

Learn more…

Coming up on UK Television

  • Mystery Investigator – Olly Steeds
    Where is the Ark of the Covenant?
    Fri 20th August + 1 day later (Discovery)
  • Secret Holy Land – Ethiopia
    Subterranean secrets!
    Wed 15th September (History)

School quiz


  1. What is the name of the first ever hotel opened in Ethiopia, and why is it called that?
  2. What is the number of the year that is just coming to an end in Ethiopia?
  3. What is the name of the chicken dish that is considered to be the national dish of Ethiopia?

(School quiz answers: (1) The Taitu Hotel – the name of Menelik II’s queen, (2) 2002, (3) doro wat)

Kids’ conundrum

What ‘Power of the Trinity’ lasted for twenty-four years?

(Kids’ conundrum answer: Haile Selassie, the Emperor who ruled Ethiopia for twenty-four years. His name means ‘Power of the Trinity’.)

Ethiopian proverb

A fool at forty is a fool indeed 

English proverb

A crown is no cure for a headache 

Website link

Study the maps of Ethiopia this month at

… and of course,

Help us?

As always, if anyone reading this would like to offer us expertise, knowledge and help with our work or if you would like to associate yourself with one of our school projects (classrooms, water, toilets, books, etc) then please get in touch. You can donate via the following link, or by contacting us – details below.

Posted in 2010, News emails |