20 Oct 2010

Wonderful volunteers

In relation to the past turbulent times in Abugida, from here we want to publicly thank our volunteers of this summer: Maria, Alejandra and Eduardo.
Maria and Alejandra were there in July and Eduardo in August.

Without Maria and Alejandra, the kindergarden in Abugida would not have been able to be what it is.
This is too short a phrase to explain the true meaning of their work. They dedicated themselves completely and fought against the preconceived ideas, that even if not meant maliciously, would have led to a disaster.

They managed to create a happy and functional kindergarden, where the children eat, are stimulated and enjoy themselves, and where the caretakers happily care for them.

Through their work the mothers – humble women, as all in the school- now have a say in the kindergarden. In the beginning they did not even dare speak to the caretakers. Now they have meetings with them and a mutual exchange is held about any aspect concerning their child.

Maria confronted the bills/expences issue, bravely confronting/debating with the administrator and the grocer. A rather complicated task.

And, they even painted the kindergarden façade with fun motifs!

Is there something these girls cannot do?

Eduardo arrived in August, straight into a moment of great tension. What a difficult time to arrive, what an entry into the Ethiopian reality. Not even 50 masters or courses in cooperation prepare one for what he experienced.
He too fought for Abugida and showed full dedication. He proceeded with the tedious and tiresome bills/accounts issue.
Eduardo managed to set forth important improvements in the prices accepted for the market purchases and making changes in the purchasing team.
He lived the intense days of the account modifications (from here this may seem as a simple issue, but there it turned into a titanic battle) and the tempestuous meetings between the Kebele, the Edir and the school.

We know he suffered greatly as he is a very sensitive man, but in the end, thanks to his efforts all involved gained.

Thank you Ale, Maria and Eduardo. With people like you the world is truly better.

To have you as volunteers has genuinely been wonderful.

Here I is Maria's letter to us which has helped us persevere in this journey that we have set out on:

Now that I have read all your emails, I cannot do less than thank you for the opportunity that you gave us to participate in something as beautiful as Abugida, and especially, in something so real. I have cooperated with other NGOs, and from the heart I tell you, that never before had I felt what I felt there this summer. Nor had I felt what I feel now, knowing that all will continue progressing. That my little ones will continue eating rice with meat, lentils and eggs (I was astonished at the sight of their faces while they watched the plates approaching), that the sweethearts will continue learning and developing their little minds to turn into the next teachers of Abugida. That the older ones will continue repeating what the teacher says, all at once, in form of choir, to be able to have their picture taken wearing the graduation outfit and holding a bunch of flowers, while their proud parents watch.

Thank you as well, for showing me, over and over again, that the world of cooperation can be as I thought it always should be: with principles. I truthfully enjoy being part of this family!!

And, as more than one has rightly said before me, we need more members so as to go forth.

A big kiss to you all!!

17 Oct 2010

70 children more in school.


Yesterday was a happy day in the public school Fitawrari Abaninya of Akaki, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The 70 children, most 10 years old, who began a bridge course in reading and writing and basic mathematics last april to be able to access a normalized scholar education, have finished the course.
Mediterranea covered the expenses of this course by paying for scholar material for the children and the salaries of the teachers responsible for the classes.
Yesterday the graduation ceremony took place. The heads of education of Akaki Kaliti and the proud parents or grandparents assisted to witness how their children or grandchildren are able to access the educational system which beforehand was not possible due to lack of information or poverty.

As a graduation gift, every child received 5 notebooks and pencils.

70 children less on the streets – 70 children more in school. Another small grain of sand in the desert.

Photo: Girls and boys at the beginning of the course (april 2010)