30th Anniversary Appeal Latest News
30th Anniversary Appeal
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Ethiopia was suffering from a devastating famine 30 years ago with millions of people being affected. Many
of you will remember the distressing BBC reports and the Live Aid fund-raising concerts. During that time,
Partners for Change Ethiopia rescued and provided a loving home for 1000 orphaned children.
In 2016 the need for assistance still
exists. Again there is famine in the
north of the country. This time affecting
18 million people, now 30% of the
Ethiopian population are classified as
living in abject poverty, surviving on less
than $1.25 a day.
The good news is that 30 years on
we have developed a more effective
way to help the poorest people. We
don’t give handouts and we don’t
send children to orphanages. We
assist families and communities to find
long term, achievable and sustainable
ways not only to care for vulnerable
children; families are being equipped
with skills which will raise them out of
Together we have been part of an
amazing success story. Our approach
has demonstrated that through working
closely with the poorest we can lift
people out of poverty for good.
We need to continue this work and
show the world that it is possible for
countries such as Ethiopia to build a
better future for all its citizens.
World Bank 2015, Ethiopia Poverty Assessment
‘Since 2000, when Ethiopia had one of the highest poverty rates in the world, households have experienced
a decade of remarkable progress in well-being and the country has seen a 33 percent reduction in the share
of the population living in poverty.
This progress is not without its challenges, poverty remains widespread and the very poorest have not seen
improvements – to the contrary, even a worsening of consumption since 2005, which poses a challenge to
achieving shared prosperity in Ethiopia.’
Formerly known as St Matthew’s
Children’s Fund Ethiopia (SMCF Ethiopia)
A visit to Gende Tesfa
All About the Child supports Gende Tesfa, a community in one of our many project areas. In this
former leprosy colony on the edge of Dire Dawa there are 15,000 people, with 800 children classified
as extremely vulnerable, and over 200 orphans. When we started work in Gende Tesfa in 2014 there
was one water point and conditions were desperate. In October 2015 when our chairperson, John Binns
visited, he found there was a new sense of hope as the projects were under way.
‘I arrived on day two of a three day training session for the
first group of orphan-guardians. I met the 15 women, caring
for a total of 49 children between them. The next day they
would receive 3000 birr each, about £100, to start up new
businesses, this will give a secure, long term future for their
families. They’ll be helped to put their ideas into practice, and
our community workers (an amazing group of people from
the local community who are totally committed and receive
only £15 a month salary) will support them. As well as this
start-up money the orphan-guardians also receive £3 per
month per child for one year to help with food and medical
costs. I calculated that this means £150 enables a family in
desperate need to escape the poverty trap.
After the meeting they took me to see their homes and meet
Adanech is a tough and enterprising woman and has already
got started in her business. She’s caring for her nephew
and niece whose parents have both died. We’d met them
last year when little Ebsudink had proudly showed us that
she could write her name. Mikias, her younger brother, was
so traumatised by his parents’ death that he could not talk.
Adanech had gone out to wash clothes for people. Half the
tiny amount of money she earned was for food and half she
had saved to start a small shop by her house. This was a
shack with just a few odd items for sale.
She’d also had house problems - living in a borrowed house
liable to flooding. By digging a ditch at the back of the house
her neighbours had cleared up the flooding. This year
Ebsudink and Mikias looked well dressed, alert and happy and
Mikias will soon start school. But Adanech says she’s tired,
and has pain in her legs. Her plan for the start-up money
is to spend half on roof repairs for the shop and half on
Partners for Change
I went to see Zahara, who is looking after her four grandchildren. The children’s parents are day labourers, and can’t
even support themselves. Zahara’s idea is to buy goats. A
young goat costs £15, and after it has been fattened for
three months it should raise £28 at market. She’ll make a
fence to keep them in. She seems strong and determined, but
‘I get sick and depressed as I sit at home and worry about
the future. And the state of the latrine is always a worry’.
The sanitary conditions are very poor; this is one of the
houses Partners for Change plans to renovate.
I was looking forward to catching up with Saeda, a 40 year
old lady of amazing warmth with six children. As well as her
own children she’s caring for four other children. Among
these four, is Samira, who is now 15. Samira’s mother died
when she was five, and her father married again. The new
wife threw Samira out of the house and she was destitute till
Saeda took her in. Then there’s Habsa, aged 9. Her father
became mentally ill and her mother left the area. So Saeda
is looking after her too. This expanded family of eleven is
supported by the wages of Saeda’s husband, who earns £22
per month as a gardener. Saeda supplements this by collecting the sweepings from a local grain mill, picking out the bits
of grain and selling it on. This earns her £2 per month. With
her start-up funds she’ll buy grain at wholesale prices and
become a local distributor.
Last year we were distressed by Fayo’s story. Fayo, aged 22,
cares for her own child, her younger brother and sister and
her sick mother, Nuriya. They live in a builder’s hut with
absolutely no furniture or possessions because the mother
destroys anything they have. To get enough money for food
for the family Fayo was forced into prostitution to supplement the small amount she earnt as a day labourer sorting
coffee. Previously she had worked in a small shop and would
like to start her own. She asked sadly how she could do this,
since she’d need to have a locked store to protect the stock
from her mother. A locked store would be expensive. Unknown to Fayo, as well as assisting her to start her business,
PfC staff are trying to find suitable residential medical care
for Nuriya in Addis Ababa. Fayo’s house is at the top of the
list for renovation.
This is life in Gende Tesfa (a name which actually means
Village of Hope in the local language). There are many more
children who need our help. Helping these 15 guardians is
only the beginning. I’m looking forward to going back to
see how their ideas work out and meet the next group of
This is our partnership. There are these heroic women, and
the amazing local staff in Ethiopia, and our single paid staff
member in our London office – and you.
Together we are Partners for Change Ethiopia – achieving
great results from small beginnings for some of the poorest
children in the world. Thank you.’
Partners for Change
All About the Child, our thirtieth
anniversary campaign is coming to
A launch in the House of Commons in the presence of our patron,
HRH Princess Alexandra. This room was sponsored by Laurence
Robertson MP and all the food, wine and services were donated by
companies and individuals.
In February the BBC journalist Michael Buerk presented a Radio 4
Appeal. (Listen again on our website).
Holy Trinity School in Cookham decided to partner Gende Tesfa School. Through a series of fundraisers, the children, parents,
teachers and friends raised sufficient money to fund a breakfast club for the poorest children and a sports ground. The pupils
have learnt what life is like for children from a poor community in Ethiopia. This has inspired local churches in Cookham to
come together to help raise more funds.
The campaign has raised just over £50,000 – bringing us halfway to our target. For a small charity with one full time employee
this has been a great achievement but we want to make one final push and see if we can boost funds to reach as many of the
poorest children in Gende Tesfa as possible.
PLEASE GIVE NOW USING THE DONATION FORM
Here are some other ideas how you can join the campaign;
Become a PfC Ambassador – a new approach to local support! Our ambassadors bring people together in their
locality to support the work of PfC. They coordinate any activities and utilise the skills, enthusiasm and resources in their
local community. PfC is arranging Ethiopia visits for ambassadors at cost price to see first-hand the work we do and meet
people we work with. There will also be social events and you will receive regular information and updates.
Leap for Ethiopia! – 2016 is a leap year and we are asking people ‘What will you do with your extra day?’ You, your
family or friends could do a sponsored hop, skip or jump. In Cookham children will be doing a sponsored leapfrog and
their parents will be doing a sponsored bungee jump. Anything that lifts you off your feet can be a leap for Ethiopia! You
can bank your extra day and do your leap any time in the year.
Support our new Social Enterprise programmes – we see social enterprise as a long term solution. PfC is working
with small coffee farmers in Ethiopia and have brought them together in a co-operative. In 2016 we are planning to import
their coffee to the UK. We need to provide training and support in the short term and are looking for people to help us
enable the farmers to develop a lasting solution to the poverty they currently face.
Partners For Change, 32-36 Loman Street, Southwark, London SE1 0EH
Contact: Peter Jones (Director) • T: +44 (0) 20 7922 7904/5 E: [email protected]
web: www.pfcethiopia.org email: [email protected]
Registered Charity no. 297391