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Blog category: Science and technology
13th Aug 2015
By Tefera Teklu (Photos by Lauren L. Elliott)
Link Ethiopia donated used computers to three Technical & Vocational Education & Training Colleges that are found in Maksegnit, Kola Diba and Addis Zemen near Gondar. The colleges received 13 computers each.
Chris delivering the computers
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Christopher Grant, Director of Link Ethiopia said
“I am delighted that Link Ethiopia is able to support your college with these resources and I am sure you will be able to make effective and valuable use of them to benefit your students.”
The regional Manager, Elsa Kebede, briefed the representatives about Link Ethiopia’s programmes and about the computers.
Getting the computers ready and loading them for the journey to their new homes!
The officials, IT teachers and store managers who were present expressed their deepest gratitude and added that their students didn’t have access to such kinds of resources to tinker with to gain practical lessons.
5th Jun 2015
Written by Cecilia
“Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with care.” Care for the earth, became an agent for change!
The main message of this year’s World Environment Day 2015 is improving people’s lives without increasing environmental degradation and without compromising the resource needs of future generations. This message fits in the broader conception according to which damaging and unreasonably exploiting our shared planet is not a necessary condition for human prosperity. Today is an occasion to increase people’s awareness about our shared planet’s condition and to encourage positive action around the world – from London to Gondar and beyond!Click to expand
The theme of this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with care”. World Environment Day is an occasion to reflect on the reality we live in: many of the earth’s ecosystems have reached a critical point of depletion, with people consuming more than our planet can sustainably provide. The well-being of humanity – especially of future generations – is at risk. Today is a call for action: everyone can work together to safeguard the planet. Today, the world’s population should be encouraged to take an action and learn to respect the planet’s resource limits, because this is the only way to ensure our and future generation’s well-being, in a world where all “our dreams can be realised”.
Link Ethiopia actively participates in this global call for positive environmental action. We have a collection of school resources dedicated to learning about climate change and the environment. The topics are related to the investigation of the realities of climate change with a special focus on Ethiopia; the exploration of the impact of climate change on Ethiopia and what we can do to help stop it; and an activity to exchange learning and work about your school’s local environment with a partner school in Ethiopia. You can find the resources for these at the following links. And if you don’t already have a Link partner in Ethiopia, you can find out more here.
We also want to take this opportunity to highlight one of our projects which embodies the message of World Environment Day. Our solar panel-powered IT room in the Tokuma School in Southern Ethiopia achieved the twofold aim of improving the IT facilities at a remote, rural school as well as promoting a better understanding of sustainable development and making use of a sustainable source of energy! Solar panel electricity systems capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electricity and can be used to run household appliances and lighting. For Tokuma Primary School, where there is no connection to the Ethiopian electricity grid it means a reliable source of electricity (albeit on a small-scale) and helps reduce the global carbon footprint! This project was in partnership with BFSS (The British Foreign School Society), and has fostered an ongoing relationship between Link Ethiopia and the community in Tokuma.
The school now has access to green, clean, sustainable energy and which lets their students (and teachers) learn with and use the laptop computers which we also donated as part of the project. The school was also connected to the internet for the first time – huge advantadge in today’s increasingly networked world. The solar panel project has met few important issues in one go: living sustainably, providing the school with laptops that will enhance children creativity and foster Tokuma children’s communication possibilities by connecting them with the rest of the world. If that’s not sustainable development, I don’t know what is!
18th Oct 2014
Written by Rory Dillon
I think Tokuma school is located in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. As we chugged up the hill in our Toyota 4X4 (which our driver swore was less than ten years old but looked like it was older than me) from Ambo to Dadagelan, the horizon opened up in an undulating patchwork of green: 360 degrees of hills dotted with accacia trees and farmsteads as far as I could see. There was something about this view which was quintessentially Ethiopian; it is what I see in my mind’s eye when I think of Ethiopia, and simultaneously an image quite far from what I would have conjured before I visited the country myself.Click to expand
Our mission was to deliver laptops, printers and solar panels to Tokuma school. I use my computer everyday at work and at home and I rarely give it a second thought – what a pain in the bum it is when for one reason or another when you can’t access the worldwide web at the touch of a button. And, if you have visited a primary school in the UK recently you will see how technology is used to enhance lessons with videos and music, to allow students to be creative and to learn IT skills that are a requirement in later life.
Our aim was to open up this world to the village of Dadagelan by providing a solar panel powered IT room. With the support of a Girmaye Deye, who initiated the project, and our donors the British Foreign Schools Society, Link was able to help school to connect with the rest of the world through the internet. When I did a straw poll of one class of 26, none had used a computer before and only 12 had ever seen one.
After two years of hard work, we finally arrived at Tokuma to deliver the equipment, set it up and give some basic IT training. I spent two days at the school and it was great for me to see the project first hand instead of as a line on a spreadsheet. In my two days, I was able to pitch in and help assemble the new tables and chairs, to set up the new laptops and to help Haile showing the teachers and students the basics of how to use and care for the computers. I was also able to see the equipment being blessed by the parents and share doro wat (spicy chicken stew) and bhuna (coffee) with them. It will be interesting to stay in contact with Tokuma and see how the school and the children use the computers and whether they experience any problems maintaining the equipment.
The village school is full of engaged students and active parents and staff who have made a success of a school that would fail without their commitment. However, the school cannot draw on large contributions from parents to fund new equipment and infrastructure. It also finds that it is expensive to transport equipment from outside; the village is only accessible by a steep dirt road which is impassible in the rainy season (on the second day of our visit, Haile, with our vehicle nowhere to be seen and the skies threatening rain, was worried that we would have to stay the night in the school, sleeping under the new tables!). One of the major challenges of this project has been the logistics of getting to the site, with project visits costing in vehicle rental, staff subsistence and time. For all NGOs the hardest schools to reach are those most in need (so, if anyone has a spare 4×4 vehicle they would like to donate it would be much appreciated).
Ciao Ambo. Hopefully, I will be back again to see all of you before I return to the UK.
22nd Aug 2014
Written by Elsa
“Three NGO’s took part in this quarter’s North Gondar Government-Non Governmental Organisation Forum (GO-NGO Forum). They were World Vision, Link Ethiopia and IPAS. After everyone had presented their reports on Monday 18th August 2014, we visited three of the World vision projects in Dembia district of the Gondar region. These visits provided a valuable insight into the challenges and hardships faced in these communities, and some of the solutions being explored by World Vision.
Also visited was one of the Link Ethiopia’s flagship projects: St George’s School in Azezo. All the visitors expressed how impressed they were with the school and other Link Ethiopia projects which they had observed.”
17th Jun 2014
The work of the Corvallis-Gondar Sister Cities Association (C-GSCA) to develop sustainable programs and promote cultural awareness, respect, and understanding has been recognised by Sister Cities International, who have awarded them the ‘Best Overall Program’ award in their annual awards recognitions.Click to expand
Specific projects in 2013, for which the C-GSCA and Link Ethiopia were praised, included:
- improving the quality of student learning by promoting sound teaching practices in Gondar schools, through training and professional development,
- establishing computer access and literacy, and
- creating a culture of reading, maths and science proficiency.
You can read the full press release regarding the award over on the Sister Cities International site.
This brilliant work was made possible by the fundraising and management efforts of the C-GSCA, all the way in Oregon, USA! They work hand-in-hand with local NGOs like Link Ethiopia to implement their projects and have developed a real connection and link between communities and cultures – just the sort of relationship which we like to help foster.
Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary in Gondar was chosen as the C-GSCAs ‘Model School’ and together they have been able to make fantastic strides in improving the quality of teacher training, the school’s educational environment and improving access to computer and literacy facilities.
We look forward to continuing to work with them this year and beyond, and congratulations again for the award!