2008 Magazine


2008 Magazine
Development Association of Shire North America (DASNA)
The construction
of two-story library
costs 3.7 million
The Building includes: Library,
Museum, Youth
Recreational Areas
and a Research
DASNA has already sent $38,000
U.S. Dollars
($344,049.88 Birr)
to the Headquarters (Shire
The Development Association of Shire successfully
celebrated its 5th anniversary
on June 21 and 22, 2008.
The celebration took place in
Atlanta, Georgia. In fact,
many members have claimed
that it was the best annual
event they had ever attended.
NA Board Meeting 1
Picnic Time
Members Meeting
2nd Party Night
Financial Report
Interview with
Person of the Year 5
Thank you
Mission of DASNA 6
Did You Know???
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our newsletter can best
serve you. Send comments (good or areas of
improvement) to Henok
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1 5 , 2 0 0 8
Three Cheers for Atlanta!
The Atlanta branch surprised
their guests with an energetic fundraiser and a wonderful party atmosphere,
packed with fun and hospitality.
The festival was divided
into five parts:
Part I - North America
Board Members Meeting
Part II- Fund-raising Night
Part III- Picnic Time
Part IV- Member’s Meeting
Part V- 2nd Party Night
Part I - North America Board
Members Meeting
The board members held
their meeting on June 21,
2008. There were several
issues discussed during this
meeting. The agendas included the following:
• What are the current
and future projects
• What did we learn or
ideas gained from
each state branches
• What are the
strengths and weaknesses of the board
• How do we expand
& strengthen
DASNA branches
throughout the world
• What are the means
of collecting a higher
percentage of
pledges during fundraising events, and
• How do we execute
the Atlanta event.
Finally, the board members agreed to present
these agendas to the House
of Assembly.
After dinner, Ato
Zenawi conveyed the message that the establishment
of DASNA was not intended to create division
among the civic organizations; instead DASNA’s
goal is to work collaboratively with others to address
the needs of the underprivileged people. Then, he invited Ato Kiros Araya,
Chairman of DASNA, to
the stage.
Ato Kiros started his
speech by thanking members of DASNA and guests
for attending the event and
helping the association.
Then, he informed the audience about the historical
establishment & objectives
of the association. In April
of 1995 E.C., dedicated and
Part II - Fund-raising Night
The fund-raising night
began Saturday night at
8:00pm. More people attended the event than anticipated! The program
was opened by our Atlanta
branch representative, Ato
Zenawi Mesfin. He welcomed the guests and announced the free delicious
dinner that was prepared
by our tireless Atlanta
members and volunteers.
Ato Kiros Araya, Chairman concerned Deki-Shire
formed the Association at
Endasilassie town. The
main objective was to expand and strengthen some
of the needs that were not
addressed (cont. page 2)
“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be”
by the government and/or
NGO’s such as:
• To preserve the historical sites & cultural
landscapes, and to ensure the highest level
of protections
• To improve the quality
of education & health
care in the region
• To enhance/upsurge
city structures
• To support the youth
and sports affairs
• To participate actively
in the community
“The excellence
of a gift lies in its
rather than in its
Ato Kiros reminded
us how DASNA has been
formed as an associational
structure and operational
working manuals, which
made it transparent and
accountable to the supporters and the general
public. At the conclusion
of his speech, he expounded about the ongoing projects and activities.
Among other things, the
report included the construction of a two-story
library and museum. The
cost of this facility was
approximately 3.7 million
Eth. Birr and so far the
DASNA has sent
US$38,000 ($344,049.88
Birr) to facilitate the construction of this building.
Besides the library and
museum, the two-story
building also includes
youth recreational areas
and a research center.
Finally, Ato Kiros
thanked everyone and encouraged all Ethiopians to
support DASNA and other
civic organizations in fulfilling their missions.
After that the sensational Tigregna singers
took the stage. The artists: Abebe Araya, Reshane Gebre, Mulu Hailu,
Wodi-Shuke, Asemelash
Gezaei, and Kibrom Berhie thrilled the audience
with their breathtaking
songs. The dance floor
was crowded with people
who were entertained with
the best Tigregna and
Ameharic songs. All
guests and members thoroughly enjoyed the party.
Ato Alemseged Mesfin, Boston branch leader,
presented a detailed report
of the letter he brought
from Shire Endasilassie,
Head-quarter of the association. The four page
letter of support was read
aloud to the audience. The
basis of the letter was to
inform the guests, in detail, of how much money
had been raised throughout the Ethiopia states, in
hopes that it would encourage the North American givers to match or exceed what had been done
in Ethiopia.
During the period of
fund-raising, school’s
alumni representatives as
well as most others in attendance participated by
making cash contributions
and pledges. Our members
who were not able to at-
tend the event sent their
pledges with their state’s
representatives. The overall contributions were far
more than what we had
There was a special auction held to commemorate
our heroes. The item auctioned was a beautiful,
framed picture of the Legend Ato Gessese Ayele
(Sihule) that sold for
$2,262 (US). Veteran
Abebe Araya gave a brief
speech on the legacy of
Sihule:- Sihule sacrificed
most of his life for the people of Ethiopia. Since
childhood, he fought for
his country against the Italian fascist army. He served
as a member of Ethiopian
parliament twice, then he
became one of the originators in establishing the
armed struggle of TPLF.
Ato Gessese Ayele was
devoted to the ordinary
citizen. Not only was he an
avid representative and
fighter, he was also humble, kind, and sensitive to
the needs of the unfortunate. He lived and died for
his people.
Part III – Picnic Time
On Sunday, there was
a picnic held at Clarkston
Park. It was a wonderful
Development Association of Shire - North America
time for fun and relaxation.
There was a barbecue as well as
games. Guests played football
and volleyball. Furthermore, in
honor of the association, Ato
Solomon’s daughter (Ariam)
celebrated her 1st birthday with
Part IV - Members Meeting
The member’s meeting encompassed many of the same
agendas that were discussed in
the board meeting. Each state
representatives were given an
opportunity to present their
state’s yearly report on strengths
& weaknesses. Then, it was
reached on mutual understanding to work together effectively.
Finally, the representatives
promised to encourage more
membership & participations,
and a future meeting was set to
discuss about the membership
fee through a teleconference.
The last agenda was about
where we shall celebrate the next
anniversary. Several states like Denver, CO; Seattle, WA; & Washington, DC have requested to host the
next anniversary but the NA Head
Office is now awarded to Seattle,
WA. Mark your calendar,DASNA’s
6thanniversary will be held May 2325, 2009 in Seattle, WA.
Part V - 2nd Party Night
The final gathering took place at
A-town Night Club. It was a funfilled evening of drinks, conversation, and cultural dancing. The
owner, Ato Abraha Tesfayi, graciously contributed the use of his
nightclub for DASNA guests only.
The night was brought to a close at
around 5:00 A.M. on Monday, June
23, 2008.
Interview with Members
The editorial team randomly selected three members to interview
about the roles and challenges of
DASNA. These members were
chosen from different part of the
United States.
W/ro Tsega Abadi (Boston, MA)
Memhier Afeworki
Gebre-Egziabher (Denver, CO)
W/ro Milete Petros (Washington, DC)
(Note: we asked the same questions for all the
DASNA Reporter: To begin with,
tell us which states have you attended on DASNA anniversaries?
W/ro Tsega: I have
been fortunate to be
able to attend all five
anniversary celebrations (Washington, DC;
Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA; Las Vegas, NV; and Atlanta, GA). I am so grateful to be
part of it because this organization
means so much to me.
Memhir Afeworki: I
was unaware that the
association had spread
to North America until a week before the
third anniversary in
Philadelphia, PA. I was unable to
attend the event but sent money to
support it. Since then I have been
able to attend the fourth and fifth
anniversary celebrations. It was
really remarkable & fruitful.
W/ro Milete: I have
attended four of the
five anniversaries
(Washington, Boston,
Philadelphia, and Atlanta). The events were very nice. I
enjoyed myself so much; I have a
strong desire to attend annually.
(Cont. page 4)
Financial Report from Atlanta, GA June 21-22, 2008
Beverage Sale
Donations (cash & check)
Retail Sale
Banquet & Hotel Expenses
Food Expenses
Beverages Expenses (liquor, beer, wine, water/soda)
Other Expenses (plane ticket, decoration, retail
items, music arrangement & compliment to the pianist)
Total Expenses
Total Income
Net Income (Total Income minus Total Expenses) = $13,046.58 (which includes the uncollected income) Reminder
We greatly appreciate and rely on your generous donations. Please send your pledges to: 1446 Chapel Hill Lane, Marietta, GA 30008
Make check payable to: Atlanta Shire Regional Assoc.
DASNA Reporter: What motivates you to
consistently attend DASNA anniversaries?
W/ro Tsega: Even though I was not born
and raised in Shire Enda-Selassie, I was so
interested from day one in becoming part
of this association because I have great
confidence that DASNA will help in providing clear water and an excellent educational system to the underprivileged people of Shire and surroundings. You know
my commitment to DASNA requires a lot
of hard work and effort, I believe that it is
worthy enough since I am helping change
someone else’s life.
“We make a
living by what
we get
We make a life
by what we
Memhir Afeworki: I believe in this association and support what it stands for. I
was looking for Shire association that supports advancing education, agriculture,
and provides infrastructure for disadvantaged. As we all know, many people and
organizations take more than they give to
Shire town, I want to give back. furthermore, I don’t ever want to forget the martyrs for our cause. Those who have sacrificed their lives to benefit the lives of their
people should be remembered and their
cause be furthered.
W/ro Meliete: My main objective is to
donate money to benefit education, build
school facilities, and other community
needs. At the same time I hope to inspire
others to donate money towards the community.
DASNA Reporter: What do you think
some of the main challenges DASNA
face today? In your opinion, how can we
make a difference on those challenges?
W/ro Tsega: Well, I believe that our
greatest challenge at this time is our lack
of adequate leadership for each state. It is
difficult to be successful with weak leadership. However, the Boston branch has a
huge success and I believe that more states
should model their leadership after us. The
Boston branch has in place a monthly
membership fee that we diligently collect,
and host monthly meetings to give members up-to-date information about projects
and news from head-quarter. Another
significant challenge is our communication problems. During 3rd anniversary in
Philadelphia, the organizer team has
failed to collect the money for auctioned
items. For example, the picture of the
town of Shire and the framed picture of
the hero, General Hayelom Araya, payment were never collected. In addition to
these, there was a DVD about the Philadelphia anniversary celebration that was
filmed by professionals. It was supposed
to be available for purchase after the celebration; however, it was never released
for sale due to weaknesses of the organizing team. The solution to these problems
is first we need to learn from these mistakes and then not let them be repeated. In
overall, we need to work together and
complete the project at hand quickly and
begin new projects together.
Memhir Afeworki: DASNA has a great
strength, and that is its Unity. Together
we can make a difference no matter how
great or how small. For example, even if
we do not reach our goals in terms of financial resources it will still make a difference in a child’s life. If we were to
only raise one dollar, it would still buy a
notebook for a child to use in school to
help further his education and change his
life. While this organization does have
unity and accomplishes many things for
the good of others, we do face a few challenges. The greatest of these is our lack
of leadership in each state. Two board
members for each state are not enough.
For it to be considered a board it needs to
have its own budget, a public relations
officer, and executive members. There is
also a lack of complete transparency in
terms of finances, and we have some
board members who are more interested
in furthering their own reputation than
that of the organization. A solution to
these issues might be having a board for
each state with a clear structure and manpower to recruit more members and
increase member participation. I think it would be
beneficial to have a financial audit performed every
six months and the findings given to members to help
ease the hesitations in giving. Finally, I believe that
board members who are in it for personal gain should
be asked to step down. We are lacking these things at
this time, but I believe that we will be able to perfect
this in the future.
W/ro Milete: Well, the participants possess a great
deal of courage and determination, but lack strong
public relations. A specific example is in Washington DC, the board members do not effectively communicate meetings to the members. In Philadelphia,
PA the organizers issued pledge papers, but failed to
collect them and during the meeting, some members
focused on unmerited issues. In order to solve the
problems, the organization needs more structure, to
clearly define the duties for each board member, and
increase the number of active members.
DASNA Reporter: And your last words will be...?
W/ro Tsega: First of all, I would like to thank each
member and supporters of DASNA for their time,
efforts, and financial contributions. Then I would
say... Let’s move forward hand-in-hand, working together for the good of others -- Thank you.
Memhir Afeworki: Well, DASNA is a non-political
organization. This organization will help and work
together with other non-profit organizations with
similar goals. I believe that DASNA organization is
equally as important as other organizations. Meanwhile, DASNA is established on a strong foundation
with a clear vision. Because of this, I encourage all
existing members and new recruits to support
DASNA and its vision to help the less fortunate.
W/ro Milete: You know it is the responsibility of
each member to unify and better serve the disadvantage communities in Ethiopia. Our ultimate goal is
that all members share a strong desire to reach their
potential in helping our brothers and sisters at home.
Person of the Year 2008
DASNA is proud to announce and congratulate Ato
Teshale Tesfayi on becoming the 2008 “Person of
the Year” He has made a significant contribution for
the betterment of the residents
of Shire and surroundings. Ato
Teshale & his family singlehandedly funded the entire construction of an elementary
school in Shire that cost an estimated $400,000 Eth. Birr.
In addition to this, Ato Teshale
Ato Teshale & his family has been actively involved by
generating positive changes in
Ethiopia and leading by example. For more information, you
can check out his interview in
Tigrigna newsletter. If you get an opportunity,
please congratulate Ato Teshale and his family for
their terrific job!
We are very pleased to recognize Ato Belachew
Lemma for his vision and outstanding dedication to
establish DASNA branches in North America. He is
known as one of the greatest advocates for the mission of DASNA and for his tireless devotion to promoting this organization throughout the country.
Thank You
Last but not least, our appreciation and thanks to Atlanta Sisters’ and Brothers’ for their tremendous effort and hard work in preparing the delicious foods
(‘Injera’, variety of ‘Tsebehe’ & ‘Himbasha’) and
the traditional Ethiopian drinks (‘Suwa’ and
‘Miase’). Because of them, the events were very successful and the fun was endless….THANK YOU
“Helping DASNA is
the right choice
because together we
can make a
DASNA Reporter: Thank you!
W/ro Tsega: It’s my pleasure.
Memhir Afeworki: Thank you.
W/ro Milete: Thank you to you too for choosing me
for this interview.
Development Association of Shire - North America (DASNA)
Development Association of Shire ­ North America (DASNA) is a non-political and
non-profit organization, established and shall be operated exclusively for charitable
purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Code of 1986, as
now in effect or as it may hereafter be amended, or under any successor section
thereto (the "Code"), and regulations promulgated thereunder. The purposes of the
corporation include, but are not limited to, the following:
♦ To help poor and distressed or underprivileged persons and their families in
Ethiopia, including but not limited to the town of Shire, Ethiopia, to overcome
the challenges of poverty, inadequate education and insufficient health care;
♦ To provide financial assistance in the form of items such as clothing, shoes,
books, computers, medicines and health care supplies to such persons in Ethiopia
♦ To advance the education and health of and improve the social welfare of the
Development Association
disadvantaged residents of Ethiopia, including but not limited to the residents of
of Shire-North America
Shire, Ethiopia, with targeted assistance intended to benefit the entire commu5311 Horne Street
nity over time, by directing needed materials and supplies to institutions and
Richmond, VA 23226
community members; and
Phone: 804-301-9018
Fax: 304-696-6355
♦ To engage in any lawful act or activity in furtherance of the foregoing and in furWeb: www.dasna.org
therance of the charitable purpose of the corporation
Downtown of Shire D ID
Atlanta DVD is Available
The professionally shot video for the 5th year anniversary celebration will be ready
for sale in October 2008. The cost is only $20.00 and all proceeds will go directly to
fulfilling on-going charitable projects. You can order from Atlanta branch leaders:
Ato Gidey Haftom (404-454-1431) or Ato Solomon Siyoum (770-712-5792).
Section Plan for Shire Library Executive meeting , Shire Endasilassie Multilingual Publication
DASNA Membership
Membership is open to anyone who supports
the objectives of the Association without regard to race, political and religious belief, sex,
or national origin. To find out more, join us
now @ dasna.org and receive exclusive membership benefits.
Site visitation, Shire Endasilassie We are proud to announce that we have
started a multilingual publication of Tigrigna
and English. The editorial team encourages
members to send your articles, comments,
suggestions, and/or questions in any of these
Ato Berhane Ayele, President of DAS *Mark your calendar, DASNA’s 6thanniversary will be held May 23-25, 2009 in Seattle, WA*