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Blog category: Ethiopian news
12th Sep 2015
Written by Muna
You may have seen it on our Facebook page already this week, but we are pleased to announce that the Wolves won the Gondar Under-17s Cup Tournament! After battling through the group stages, quarters and semi-finals against colourfully named teams like ‘Fuad Grocery’ and ‘Medhanealem’, they tenaciously won the final against their rivals ’Esufikir’– a team who had previously trumped the Wolves 1-0 in the group stages. After their success we spoke to the members from the Link Ethiopia Wolves to tell us about that glorious day.Click to expand
“On Monday, all my team members were confident that we would win. But I was a bit less confident.” said the Wolves’ coach Ermias Dejen. Even though the team was in high spirits in anticipation of the game, Ermias and the audience that day felt differently. In his opinion, 95% of the spectators were sure that our team would lose. The coach elaborates why they thought that:
“It’s because Esufikir have been together for the last 4 years, both in the winter and summer. They train three or four days a week. My team only meets when the academic year is over. In terms of fitness and training, all the teams we faced were better than us. It seemed like we were an under-15 team while the others looked like under-20 teams.”
During the final, the teams both played well and their friendly rivalry made itself known on the pitch. Esufikir may be good, but The Wolves were performing at the same level.
“That’s because my players were better at controlling the ball” Ermias explains. “We learned not to give up hope easily from them. We were also able to continue defending well to take them to the penalty shoot-out.” The tensest part of any game are penalties. The Wolves’ captain, Solomon, missed the first penalty, which left the team and fans crestfallen. But to everyone’s relief the team’s savior came in the form of our goalkeeper, Atirsaw. He blocked two penalties, which ended the game with The Wolves winning the Cup!
We asked Amanuel Tesfahun, lead striker for The Wolves, what his thoughts were about the game: “I didn’t expect to score that day. But all of us played the first 10 minutes well and created the chance to lead deep into our opponent’s territory into the last minutes. The fact that we scored first helped us to go all the way to the penalty shoot-out. But when they scored the equalizer we were all shell-shocked.”
He continues: “When our Captain missed the first penalty, I thought we were finished because this was what happened to our team in last year’s final. But with the heroic effort of the goalkeeper and the other penalty takers we were able to win it this time. Winning a cup is the ultimate success and it has made me very happy.”
Against all odds, our team proved that they were the best out there and claimed a triumphant winning. Throughout every match the Wolves played, they gained new supporters, which motivated them to win. Their coach has the final word: “The prize meant a lot to me personally. Link Ethiopia has been patient with me for the last three years. And now we have contributed our part to make Link Ethiopia well-known around Gondar.” We congratulate our underdogs, the Link Ethiopia Wolves, for winning the Cup in such nail-biting fashion!
We support the Wolves in Gondar, and another young team in Southern Ethiopia, as part of our commitment to supporting sports, fitness and physical education in schools and communities across Ethiopia.
Not only do these projects give young people a fantastic opportunity to be active and focused during the long Summer breaks from school, but they give young people something to be proud of – and be part of! This is invaluable for the communities in which we work, where young people face many challenges and a lack of local facilities for getting involved in activities such as sport. If you’d like to support this work, head over to our Projects and Donate pages to get involved.
7th Sep 2015
Written by Muna
Many refugees from Eritrea and South-Sudan try to flee to neighbouring countries for safety. Ethiopia and Kenya are some of the largest recipients of refugee’s in the world – a fact not that well known here in the West. But where do the refugees come from and what are they fleeing from?Click to expand
South Sudan has been in a conflict situation since soon after it declared its independence from Sudan – the two countries still harbour significant grievances against one another; a hangover from a decades-long civil war.
In South Sudan a civil war broke out at the end of 2013. Since then, conflict spread across the country until a ceasefire was signed in January 2014, followed by a peace agreement in August 2015. Although there has been violence split along ethnic-tribal lines, this explanation of the conflict is overly simplified – weak state structures, a divisive leader, external pressures and a historical context of violent conflict closely linked to politics – all contributed to the current situation.
Hospitals, clinics and schools were looted and destroyed during the fighting. In May, Médecins Sans Frontières had to escape a hospital where they were operating in Leer due to missile strikes. Approximately 200,000 people were unable to get medical attention. In Bentiu thousands of people fled to UN-controlled areas and spoke about how villages had been burned down, families were brutally separated, people being attacked or killed and many people, including woman and children, were abused and left behind in terrible conditions.
More than 1.5 million have been internally displaced in the country and more than 223,214 have found refuge in Ethiopia.
There is little information about the situation in Eritrea since the Eritrea government doesn’t share many official records. But what we do know paints a difficult picture.
There hasn’t been an election held since 1993. Since then the country has been ruled under a repressive regime. The media is censured and many journalists and critics have been arrested in the past. A UN rapporteur has been denied entry to the country, when the organisation try to investigate human rights in the African country. Furthermore, Eritreans cannot leave the country without permission from the authorities. They must first apply for an exit visa, but in practice almost no one gets such a visa, say human rights organizations. Eritrean men are in a state of what the Guardian describe as “indefinite military service”. Many citizens see no other option to flee, even when fleeing means risking their own lives at the border or on an overcrowded boat crossing the Mediterranean. Nearly 360,000 refugees are being dealt with by the UNHCR as of 2014 – with nearly 106,859 in Ethiopia. 34,000 Eritrean refugees arrived in Italy last year. This makes Eritreans the second largest group to arrive in Italy by boat, after Syrians.
Ethiopia is a developing country that is tackling its own development, security, health and education challenges – but it has become a refuge for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing violence, persecution and hunger. Germany, with a GDP per capita of $48,226, received 96,830 asylum applications in the first 4 months of 2015 – by contrast, Ethiopia, whose GDP per capita stands at $1,455, received approximately 200,000 in the same period.
Link Ethiopia continues to work towards a situation where children and young people in Ethiopia have access to a quality education. Over the years, we’ve been able to impact the lives of over 100,000 children across 100 schools in Ethiopia. The more we can do to support Ethiopia while it offers safe haven to those fleeing violence, oppression, hunger and disease, the better. And, as Ethiopia and other developing countries are giving shelter to a huge number of refugees, surely here in the UK and Europe, we can do the same?
Go to http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/03/refugee-crisis-what-can-you-do-to-help to see a list of charities who are working to directly support refugees during the current crisis and check out the various ways you can help – from donating to volunteering your time and donating unwanted items.
25th Aug 2015
Written by Muna
The Children’s Society and the University of York have spent a decade researching the well-being of children. Last week they published their findings in their fourth annual report, which you can find on The Children’s Society’s website.
For their research, they asked 60,000 children what matters in their lives. The questions were about subjects such as school satisfaction, bullying, teachers, body image, appearance and self-confidence.
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In the report, 84% of Ethiopian children ‘totally’ liked going to school, compared with 26% in the UK. Compared to other countries in the survey, children in England tended to report poor relationships with their teachers. England ranked 14th for satisfaction with teachers and 14th for children feeling that they were treated fairly by teachers. In every category Ethiopia ranked higher than the UK.
While the research questions are subjective ones, the results clearly show that feelings of satisfaction and happiness aren’t linked to a country’s wealth.
We are pleased that Ethiopia was ranked highest when it came to school enjoyment. Unfortunately, many children don’t have the opportunity to go to school which is why Link Ethiopia’s focus has always been on increasing access to quality education. Thanks to your support many more children are able to go to school, and enjoy it at the same time.
15th Aug 2015
By Tefera Teklu
Two-day training on tackling malnutrition was given to Amhara Regional State journalists in Bahir Dar by Save the Children Ethiopia.
The first day’s session – ‘Nutrition Basics and Why Nutrition Matters’ – was presented by Assistant Professor, Demewez M.H. from Food Science and Nutrition Department of Bahir Dar University. He stated that Ethiopia faces the four major forms of malnutrition: stunting (height-for-age), underweight (weight-for-age), wasting(weight-for-height) and low birth weight.
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Group exercise (Tefera)
He also said that school children who are affected by health and nutrition-related problems will have limited ability to thrive and benefit from education. Hence, a child who is undernourished is at risk of suffering from cognitive and physical impairment which impacts the quality of life as a child and as an adult. Besides this, stunted children are more likely to repeat grades in school or even drop out.
He suggested that a strong multi-sectoral coordination amongst the sectors of health, agriculture, education, water and sanitation, and women’s empowerment to efficiently and effectively use resources to tackle the problem.
Monitoring group discussions
The second day’s session focused on ‘Owning Nutrition – Media’s Role’ and ‘Media Reporting of Nutrition Issues’ which were presented by Dr. Million Shibeshi and Kenaw Gebreselassie of Save the Children and Tefera Teklu of Link Ethiopia. Link Ethiopia became a member of the Ethiopia Civil Society Coalition for Scaling Up Nutrition three months ago.
Group exercise (Kenaw)
Finally, Dr. Dejene Girma of Save the Children gave a talk on what the Ethiopia Civil Society Coalition for Scaling Up Nutrition is and what it is doing in the fight to tackle malnutrition. Stunting rate in Amhara Region is 52%, the highest from all the regions. Tigray Region with 51.4% and Afar Region with 50.2% are the other highly affected regions of Ethiopia.
6th Jul 2015
Written by Cecilia
For Muslims Ethiopia has historically been the land of freedom from persecution and emancipation from fear.
Ethiopia is considered “the heaven of the first migration or Hijra”. In 622 CE, some of the Prophet Muhammad’s followers, given the persecution they were subjected to in the city of Mecca, undertook their migration or journey to Ethiopia, where, there was a King who “did not wrong anyone”. Ethiopia was known as a land where its King Negus – or Al-Najashi – was a person in whose hands religious rights were respected and whose land was ruled with justice. The migration to Ethiopia that has laid down the foundations on which Islam was built, was the first migration in the history of Islam. Ethiopia is therefore a land that means freedom of expression and protection.Click to expand
Today Islam in Ethiopia is the second most widely practiced religion, after Orthodox Christianity. It is possible to count over 25 Million Muslims in Ethiopia – around 34% of the population. Ethiopia is also home to Harar. It is regarded as the fourth Holy city of Islam and is home to 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, as well as 102 shrines. UNESCO designated it’s old walled city – Harar Jugol – as a World Hertiage Site in 2006.
In the first half of the 20th Century and especially before 1991 – the date when EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front) took power from the Socialist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam – Islam had been subject to oppression and marginalization from the state. But since this period, there is a new climate of religious freedom and tolerance.
Christian-Muslim relations in Ethiopia have generally been considered peaceful, although there have been minor episodes of tensions related to the construction of churches and mosques or public celebration of religious holidays.
On July 17th, Muslims around the world will celebrate the end of Ramadan and the fasting period with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. It is an occasion to thank Allah for the help and strength that have supported them throughout the previous month of fasting. The festival begins with the first sights of the new moon in the sky. Muslims adherents are invited to wear their best clothes, celebrate meals together and decorating their home, in an atmosphere of charity and forgiveness. During the Eid al-Fitr celebration last year the President of the Addis Ababa Supreme Council of Muslims called for the day to celebrate hope and progress and called on Ethiopian Muslims to participate in peace-building and development activities.
27th Apr 2015
By Tefera Teklu
Link Ethiopia and Nisir Societal Development and Environmental Protection Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together towards the promotion of education and the culture of reading.
The agreement initiates cooperation between the two organisations to the advancement of reading culture in Ethiopia, research and community service. They have also agreed to look for opportunities to support each other financially by pursuing governmental, non-governmental and private funding for joint-projects.Click to expand
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Rory Dillon, Project and Finance Manager of Link Ethiopia said:
“When I first saw the book box in Gondar I knew that Link Ethiopia and Nisir should be working together. I think it’s natural that we support each other. I hope in the future we will help turn Gondar into a town that loves to read.”
He also added he shares Ephrem’s idea that people in Gondar should see reading as fun is “exactly what Link Ethiopia is trying to achieve in schools.
Mr. Ephrem Biadgign, President of Nisir, for his part stated:
“Reading makes people better global citizens and the creation of such citizens will make our country’s future brighter.”