2008 – Update

Dear friends of the Ethiopian Food Appeal,

I wish to update you on the recent events in 2008 that enabled the EFA to undertake some very meaningful work in Ethiopia in support of the more than 1,000 children it has been helping since 2002.

The November fundraiser was a huge success. The two day bazaar held during the weekend of 15 to 16 November 2008 at Awash restaurant was well frequented. Having the bazaar on Saturday as well as Sunday helped to ensure that more people could attend.

Please read the Letters from Ethiopia section with reports from Brigitte and Kiki

Watch the YouTube video of the 2007 trip to Ethiopian here .

Not only did they buy the beautiful jewellery that was on sale but the scarves and baskets sold well and many friends stayed on for either lunch or dinner or for just a tasting session of the delicious Ethiopian fare that was on offer. The meat and vegetable samosas were also a big hit and everyone loved the Ethiopian coffee tasting ceremony.

Much of the jewellery on sale was designed by Brigitte Benaissa who worked tirelessly during her free time to design more than 100 pieces of original necklaces featuring beads from Ghana and silver from Ethiopia.

Although some thought the jewellery was a bit pricey, given all of the work she put into making the jewellery, most found the prices appropriate especially considering that all proceeds went to the charity. Carmeluz had also worked incessantly to create beautiful paintings in honour of the bazaar.

It was her first time exhibiting to the public and her worked was highly appreciated by visitors. She sold several paintings and a portion of the proceeds went to the Food Appeal. In addition, Awash restaurant offered a beautiful painting as a tombolo prize, which was won by a young Kenyan lady working at WHO.

We had a fashion show where two young sisters and their girlfriend modelled the Ethiopian clothes and jewellery on sale. Several friends dropped off their teenage kids to help me during the weekend and it was wonderful to see young students living privileged lives in Switzerland eagerly helping to raise funds to help students less privileged.

Special thanks go to Minako who came from Munich, Germany, to help during the bazaar as well as Tiese, Kiki, Maya, Brigitte, Helen, Diana, Nancy, Andrew, and Catherine for their boundless energy in helping me during the bazaar. They were great salespersons and representatives of the EFA.

Special mention must go to Mrs. Rahel Zewdie and her daughter, Helina.

They both travelled at their own expense from Ethiopia to help during the bazaar. Rahel is the owner of K design which is a company in Ethiopia that employs more than 100 weavers making fabrics that are designed into fashionable scarves, dresses, blankets, and tableware and bed wear.

She has supported the Ethiopian Food Appeal since its inception by providing all the textiles we sell at the bazaar at very reasonable prices. And of course, very special thanks go to my husband for his tireless efforts year in and year out to ensure the bazaar’s success.

A special delegation of students from the Cesar Ritz College of Hotel Management in Brig, Switzerland, visited the Bazaar on Saturday. The students were able to donate 500 sfrs to the EFA as a result of their own fundraiser in Brig.

The Ethiopian Food Appeal also had a stand at the WHO Solidarity Fund in early December. Brigitte and I took the day off from work to be there. This was the second year that the Food Appeal was invited to participate. The day was a great success and many of the WHO staffers showed their generosity of spirit by buying their Christmas gifts at our stand rather than in town.

Many indicated that they preferred to buy something beautiful from Ethiopia with the knowledge that all proceeds were going to charity instead of buying from a commercial enterprise during this tumultuous year of financial and economic crises. A special thanks goes to WHO colleagues, Maria Dweggah, for enabling the EFA to partake in this fun and worthwhile event.

Owing to all of the generous contributions made, including a donation raised by the Gymnasium “Am Burgwall”, a small German grammar school in Treuenbrietzen (60km from Berlin) that raised funds for the EFA during its “Day for Africa” in June 2008and by the Holy Trinity Anglican Church of Geneva, the Ethiopian Food Appeal was able to deliver 6,000 kilos of wheat to more than 250 students and their families at the Melka Oba School located in the Oromo region of Ethiopia near a village called Sodorre. The Melka Oba School is a very poor rural school about three hours away from the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

It is located in a very remote and dusty area of the Rift valley and has about 250 students ranging from six years old to 16 years of age. The students help their parents to farm and to herd cattle. They attend school in the mornings only in order to help their families in the afternoon to look after cattle and to farm. The school is very poor and without electricity, running water facilities and other amenities. Last year the EFA delivered more than 2,000 pieces of clothing as well as school books and supplies and Christmas treats to this school and to the Sodorre school.

Pictures:
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