Gobaith i Ethiopia - Hope for Ethiopia is a charity which initially grew from an informal arrangement of a group of people in Wrexham in North Wales who decided to help fund a feeding programme in the kindergarten of the Abba Gebremichael High School in the city of Mekele in Tigray the northern province of Ethiopia. Through personal contacts, it was discovered that as a result of poverty many of the children had been dropping out of education because their parents were unable to provide them with the food that other children were able to bring to school.
Following a visit to Ethiopia by five of the group in 2005, where the people we met in Mekele impressed us with their warmth and hospitality, despite their meagre resources, it was decided to expand our horizons and attempt to help fund the construction of a new purpose built nursery. With this new vision it was decided to place the fundraising on a new level and to register as a charity. Hence Gobaith i Ethiopia - Hope for Ethiopia was born.
Thanks to generous help from individuals and grants from international corporations such as the Airbus Foundation and JCB, from other local charities as well as support from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action - Wales Africa Community Links, and thanks to local fund raising events, this target was achieved as well as providing additional funds for playground equipment for the nursery children, computers for the older children and refurbishment of the toilet facilities in the main school.
Gobaith i Ethiopia - Hope for Ethiopia is run by a small group of people who donate their services freely, keeping administrative costs to a minimum. Over 95% of funds currently go directly to projects in Ethiopia.
Whilst we continue to support the feeding programme at the school, we are currently also supporting St Vincent’s Youth Centre which provides not only facilities for young people to meet together, but more importantly, provides a well used library where students can continue their studies both before and after school, providing books, desks and other materials for the children to work with. These would not be available to them in their homes. The library is in desperate need of up to date books and equipment.
We work alongside and in support of established organisations, principally the Catholic Church in Ethiopia, who have the infrastructure to help provide the governance and overview of how the money raised is spent. All projects are open to all, irrespective of gender and denomination. They support children from Christian, both Catholic and Orthodox, and Muslim backgrounds and try to ensure that girls are given the same opportunities as boys.
Gobaith i Ethiopia works closely with the Vincentian Fathers and the Daughters of Charity who provide services for the poor, the deprived and the marginalised from all sections of society.
It is one of our aims to build up direct links between pupils in and communities in North Wales and the pupils and people of Mekele, the main city of Tigray Province.