I feel especially privileged to be writing this message as Country Director of Together We Learn Ethiopia. Although the country’s political situation has been complicated, it has got calmer recently. Together We Learn has now become synonymous with our commitment to helping hundreds of disadvantaged families with children’s educational support, provision of scholastic materials, providing teacher training to early grade language teachers, and supporting girls’ education through awareness projects. So many benefit from the amazing variety of programming offered by Together We Learn in different aspects of education.
Looking ahead, we are focused on continuing to build on the strengths of our work. We are excited about expansion plans for our current programmes and have started new girls projects and literacy projects in the Oromia and Amhara regions this year that will increase the scope of our girls and education services. All of which brings positive change to the communities where we work and live.
Our 2020-21 Annual Review
We are pleased to share with you our report on activities and
accounts for the year, from April 2020 to March 2021 - a year that none
of us could have anticipated!
The review covers our merger year, including activities delivered by
Link Ethiopia and The Kindu Trust before we began operating as Together
We Learn from September 2020. Consildated acccounts are presented for the
merged organisations, with links to our full accounts.
The Year in Numbers
2,700 pupils benefited from new school facilities.
995 families received special help through the coronavirus pandemic.
489 students were sponsored through their education.
141 teachers received training to improve the quality of their lessons.
65 students accessed higher education.
9 new classrooms were in use.
Thank you very much to all of you who supported us through this exceptional year. We hope you enjoy reading about all that has been achieved thanks to your generous support.
The situation in Ethiopia has calmed since the start of the new year with fighting pushed back to Tigray and areas of the Afar region. There is no agreement yet about a peace process so we continue to wait and keep a close eye on the situation.
Our sponsored families in Lalibela were directly impacted by the conflict. The town is now back under government control and we are in contact with the families, doing the best we can to provide aid as needed.
In December we provided 50 kilos of flour, and 400 packs of sanitary towels to help families internally dispaced by the conflict. Extra support has also been given to a number of our sponsored families who are struggling with continuing inflation and high costs of everyday materials. We thank all of you who have donated to these efforts.
Thank you to everyone who supported our recent Christmas campaign! With your support we were able to raise £13,500 to build homes for single mothers.
Our team is not wasting an moment and we have already secured the land with the local authority, drawn up construction plans, and established a committee from the families who will live there, so they can fully participate in the development of their new homes.
Last year we researched best practice for supporting girls in education from other countries and developped a comprehensive theory of change and set of session guidelines relevant to the Ethiopian context which will enable us to work with teachers, male and female students at schools to create an open discussion and understanding around issues girls face in education.
We are working with 60 students in 6 schools in Amhara and Oromia and will be running gender separate as well as mixed awareness sessions on a number of topics such as puberty, menstruation and consent.
Christmas, focus group sessions were held with female students which
further showed how important addressing such issues is. 82% of girls
reported that the current learning environment for girls
at their school 'could be improved' or was 'very difficult', while 75% agreed that
bullying of girls during their periods was common at their school.
Lijinete Network Provide Support to 185 Girls
Our final evaluation of Lijinete Women’s Network project has now been completed and we were pleased to record that it has resulted in significant benefits to the community.
The project, in partnership with FORWARD, supported 13 women who had been affected by gender based violence to establish a local network to identify and support other girls at risk in their community. The network mebers participated in Empowerment and Leadership training, did business training, and received business start-up loans. The business support ensured they were able to have financial independence, while the training empowered them to understand and provide support to others.
Since the project began, the network members have provided support and advice to over 185 other girls and women in their community and described the most significant changes in their lives due to the project, below.
We are confident that the Lijinete Network will continue their important community work under their own steam and have succeeded in building up succesful businesses which continue to run. We will continue to connect with the network members and involve them in our other projects. They will be joining us as guest speakers in our Future Girls: Confidence in Education project where they will lead sessions with male and female students to explore difficult topics such as consent and early marriage.
Fun Ways to Raise Funds in 2022
There are some great events in 2022 for you to take part in - they provide the opportunity to travel, improve fitness and have fun, while raising funds for important work in Ethiopia.
Edinburgh marathon - the UK's 'fastest marathon' with a flat route, great for PB's and first timers.
Great Ethiopian Run - take full advantage of travelling and run with the best of them at Addis Ababa's own 10k run.
Royal Parks Half Marathon - take in the sights of central London at this famous half marathon.
Kilomathon - try out a new distance at this 13.1 kilometre event in Scotland
We can help you secure places at any of these events, with fundraising targets for you to aim for. The funds would cover a spot on the run, a race day shirt and medal, and all other funds raised will go directly to our projects in Ethiopia.
Not a fan of running? You can help raise funds just by going on holiday...
international travel is now possible again, many of you may be eagerly
looking at booking holidays. If you’re planning your next holiday,
please consider booking with Charitable Travel, a social enterprise that
supports charity through its work.
Travel are a registered social enterprise and a financially protected
travel agency. When you book a holiday or cruise with them,
they sacrifice travel agency commission so you can make a free five
percent donation to a charity of your choice - including Together We Learn.
They offer travel expertise, a wide choice of holiday options,
quality, great value and a unique way of creating travel-for-good. Find out more at: https://charitable.travel/
Pottery Building Property
We would like to say a special thank you to one of our fundraisers, John Wright, a professional potter, who has been using proceeds from his pottery sales to support our community projects.
John is part of a community in Barrow Upon Soar who have visited Gondar and have been raising funds to support families there for a number of years. Donations from his pottery sales have contributed towards building and renovating homes for families in low quality housing.