Celebrating Meskel

The Festival of Meskel on 27th September, is one of the biggest celebrations and public holidays in the Ethiopian calendar. Wikipedia: “The Meskel celebration includes the burning of a large bonfire, or Demera, based on the belief that Queen Eleni had a revelation in a dream. She was told that she shall make a bonfire and that the smoke would show her where the true cross was buried. So she ordered the people of Jerusalem to bring wood and make a huge pile. After adding frankincense to it the bonfire was lit and the smoke rose high up to the sky and returned to the ground, exactly to the spot where the Cross had been buried.” After a big party including the burning of the cross in Meskel Square in the centre of Gonder, we headed back to the Boys’ Home for food and festivities. All the girls and boys were there and we had a fun afternoon, which included a drama from the boys and our version of Ethiopian...

School starts for 232 Children

Today (20th September) is the first day of school for most of Ethiopia’s children. This is always an exciting time. This year we gave uniforms and school materials to a record 232 children, up from 155 last year. Handing out all the uniforms, books and pens, and registering everyone is a big job but one we always enjoy. The girls came in the morning and the boys in the afternoon. Only the children have the certificate that they attended school all year are given materials. New children are selected by the local social services to join our programme. We must give thanks to Nosissa for their continuing support in providing the funds to support the children and to Beletu for their new contribution which has allowed 77 more children to attend school this year. It is amazing to see so many children excited about attending school. We have some wonderful photos of the day; thanks to both Eran Yardeni, a visiting photographer from Isreal, and Dan, our cycling...

New Year’s Party … 2003

HAPPY NEW YEAR! No we’ve not got our dates mixed up – in Ethiopia it isn’t 2010, it has just turned 2003. Ethiopia has its own unique calendar. On 11th September we celebrate our New Year. The girls and boys gathered at the Girls’ Home to dance and eat a special festive meal. We were entertained by passing musicians and the girls put on a lengthy drama about some of the troubles of trusting people with too much. The story could use a little improvement however Tsahay, as ever, was a star, making us all cry with...

1st Anniversary of the Girls’ Home: Time to party

Wednesday 8th September marked the 1st Anniversary of the Girls Home. It has been an incredible year. We started with eight girls on the first day and we have now grown to support 16 beautiful and energetic young ladies. We threw a party to celebrate at the home. All the boys were invited as well as some of our good friends. The girls put on a show for us all with music, dancing and their own play. We look forward to many more joy filled years with the girls and we hope that soon all the boys and girls will live together in our Home for...