30 Jun 2011

We're Off Again!

We’re going from the 26 June until the 1 July, with a full agenda.  In Akaki we need to have an interview with the authorities of the subcity to find a solution to the never ending story.  The never ending story of the Abugida school (today it’s one thing, tomorrow it’s another, and it’s been like this for five years now...)

We also have to meet up with the people responsible for the Fitawrari and Biru Tesfa schools to plan the next school year. Similiarly we will meet the people responsible for the Akaki Mengist school to address and plan the issue of the workshop for teaching sewing to the deaf boys and girls at the school.  
It goes without saying that we will be visiting Abugida, the independent republic of Abugida, where the children are happy and cared for just as all the children in the world should be.

In Sebeta we have a meeting with the director, the teachers who will be running the workshop for the blind and the leaders of the ministry of Education.  We would like the games workshop to be permanent and for this we will recruit two teachers. It seems that one of these will be the blind music teacher although the other one is yet to be decided.

We will visit the facilities where the children live and which are very poor, with the intention of starting up a collaboration project next September. This will depend on the interest and commitment shown by the school authorities, however we have serious doubts about their interest and commitment because the children are not well fed (they actually show significant signs of malnutrition when in theory their food is guaranteed) the carers don’t even care for them, nor do the cleaners do any cleaning and nobody really appears to be concerned for their welfare.  The facilities (good facilities built at the time by an ONG with the best of intentions) are fine; but they lack maintenance and the neglect on the part of the cleaners and carers have now made the facilities horrible to live in.

In summer most of the children stay at the school as they have nowhere else to go.  They are
nobodies, they don’t belong to anybody. Some of them are at the centre because one day their families said they couldn’t see properly and left them in there, even though they can see – some of them perfectly, others have poor sight but they can still see – although they can attend the public school.  And others can’t see.  They all share the same miserable existence.   And as we are used to getting 100% involved….well, it’s going to be extremely difficult.  We are travelling laden with games, balls that make sounds and maps for the blind, other toys, eyedrops and diverse materials aimed at the children in Sebeta who are in desperate need of everything.

We are in the last phase of achieving accreditation in Ethiopia and we will aim to overcome the obstacles we have with the foreign authorities.

On our last day we will meet up with two of our volunteers, Alejandra and Carolina who will be setting up a new classroom in the Abugida nursery and selecting the new carers.  It’s a pity that we will just miss Conchy and Chaveli by a few hours. They are going to help out as volunteers in Sebeta and Abugida. It’s cheering to know that we have lots of volunteers throughout the summer.
Well, until our return, we hope to come back full of good news.

27 Jun 2011

Home at Last!

On 26th we are returning to Ethiopia and Mikias will be coming with us, back to his home at last. He has spent 14 intense months here and has undergone 6 operations.

We wish to give thanks to all those people who have helped us so that Mikias can lead a normal life back in his home country. Also to Carolyn who, in addition to letting him stay with her family, has been responsible for coordinating his visit, to the other families he has stayed with, volunteers and to the Baleares International School where he has been studying this year.

Thanks also to the wonderful paediatric traumatology team at Son Espases Hospital, led by Dr. Sanpera. To say that they have done some magnificent work with Mikias is an understatement.