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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Renowned agronomist speaks at Ethiopia fundraiser

Ottawa Citizen

In September 1994, renowned Ethiopian scientist Melaku Worede was invited to give a talk to a packed house at the Addis Café on Wellington Street, owned and managed by his compatriot, Solomon Dawit.

Worede was awarded the 1989 Right Livelihood Award (the alternative Nobel Prize) for bringing to light the role that farmers in Ethiopia and elsewhere have played for millennia in developing the thousands of food crop varieties that the rest of humanity depends on to this very day.
Read more…

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Enebla! Let’s Eat! SDF / USC Canada Fundraising Dinner!

 Saturday, April 27th! Don't miss out on delicious

 Ethiopian food, music, special guest Dr. Melaku Worede,

 a silent auction, and much more! Get your tickets fast!
Saturday, March 23, 2013

Youth Project in Southern Wollo

Dear friends and SDF supporters:

As you may recall, in August 2012 SDF initiated a youth project in Southern Wollo in partnership with USC Canada.  The key objectives of this initiative are to strengthen the livelihoods of the rural youth; to enhance their role in local socio-economic and environmental development; and, to contribute towards addressing environmental degradation, outward migration of youth from rural area as well as to create an opportunity for self-employment within their community.

The key activates that the Foundation is currently engaged includes technical training and providing tools and resources for the young farmers in Kalu and Woreilu districts.  The young farmers who are organized in these two districts are currently engaged in growing and marketing tree seedlings as well as vegetables.  The other activity is to provide support for school nature clubs to enhance the curriculum in the area of environmental education with an aim of raising awareness among school youth about local agro-biodiversity resources and its contribution to sustainable development..

This past January, I had the opportunity to visit the youth in Kalu district.  It was very encouraging to hear directly from the youth on how your contribution through SDF is already making a big difference in the lives of these young farmers.  They shared with me their great appreciation to the supporters of the Foundation.  They were touched most particularly by the fact that there are people who live far away and outside Ethiopia that cared about them and their community.  They shared with me their personal stories and their collective accomplishment to date.  They highlighted how this kind of support has already created a positive momentum and outlook among the participant youth and the community.  Thanks to this initiative, they now see how they can help themselves and contribute positively to their community.  I hope one day you will all have an opportunity to visit these projects and see it for yourself.  It is very encouraging and motivating to see how our collective effort has contributed to changing the hope and the lives of young people in these communities.  Attached please find a mid-term report prepared by USC.  It highlights in more detail the key activities and what has been achieved to date through this initiative.

Thanks to your continuous generosity and inspiration these and many youth will continue to achieve their dreams and have hope and aspiration to live and work in their own community.  This initiative also has a much wider impact on the environment and the socio-economic development of the community.

I also would like to take this opportunity to invite you to a special dinner event organized by SDF in partnership with USC.  On Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 6-11 p.m. at Sandy Hill Community Centre, there will be a dinner with a guest speaker Dr. Melaku Worede.  The ticked is $25 includes Ethiopian dinner, a presentation by a world renowned agronomist from Etiopia Dr. Worede, music, dance and inspiring auctions etc.  I hope you will not miss it.  The proceed from this event will go to SDF in  particular towards this innovative and inspiring youth initiative.  For tickets, please call USC Canada at 613-234-6827. or SDF at 613-884-7487.  If you would like to support the event but will not be able to attend, we would also be happy to receive your contribution by contacting USC or SDF at the number mentioned above.  For more information regarding Dr  Melaku Worede and the event, please see the attached poster and the link to an article in Ottawa Citizen.


Bersabel Ephrem
Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thank You

Dear Friends and SDF Supporters:

SDFIt has been two years since we have lost a good friend, a loving father and a committed husband. Even though, he departed physically from this earth, I know Solomon continues to live in the hearts and minds of many of us. Thanks to all of you, his dreams have been kept alive through the work of the Solomon Dawit Foundation (SDF).

On behalf of the Board members of SDF, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you what we have accomplished together under the Solomon Dawit Foundation. Building on your generous contribution, the Foundation carried out two fundraising activities, one in May 2010 and the second one in May 2011. As a result, we have been able to raise around $15,000 Canadian.
To date, we have been able to support the following two projects:

With your support, we will continue to advance the mission and objectives of the Solomon Dawit Foundation. I thank you again for your generous support. I will keep you abreast of any new development as we continue to advance our collective mission.

Bersabel Ephrem

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How SDF is making an impact

Since SDF’s inception in 2010, our members have been working tirelessly to identify projects that are aligned with our funding priorities. As we close the year 2011, we are pleased to announce that we have impacted the lives of Ethiopians by implementing these two projects.

Construction of Washrooms for the Badessa School

Working with the Badessa Community and the Badessa Catholic Mission, the SDF supported the construction of 10-room cost-effective washroom facilities for the students of Badessa Secondary and Primary School.

Before

Before

After

After

The Badessa Secondary and Primary school, which was founded in 1960, is the only school in this district that provides service to a total of 23 community associations. Most of the students are from economically disadvantaged families. The school did not have appropriate and sufficient washrooms for its 3000-plus students. This situation posed major public health risks, led to poor sanitation and contributed to a high degree of absenteeism. The objective of this particular project was to construct washrooms to meet the hygienic needs of the students, reduce public health risks and create a positive learning environment for all students.

Providing help to destitute elders

ElderlyAs you are aware, currently in Ethiopia, there are countless of elderly people with no family and/or government support. This problem is evident from the increasing number of homeless elderly people who sleep on the streets of many cities. In August 2011, SDF signed an agreement with Finot Rotary Club of Addis Ababa to provide a monthly allowance of $100.00 birr to twenty elders who have no other support and are not able to generate income for themselves. SDF, in partnership with Finot Rotary Club, is currently providing assistance to 18 elderly in Cherkos, Addis Abeba.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Foundation Updates

It was a year ago since you have opened up your hearts and wallets to turn SDF’s first fundraising event into a remarkable success. Over that last year, we have been working to establish the structure of SDF, one of the initial crucial steps towards becoming a registered charity organization. In addition, SDF is actively studying various projects in the agricultural, environmental, humanitarian and educational sectors.

Projects under consideration in the agricultural and environmental sectors include seedling production, home gardening/vegetable production, poultry production and bee keeping.These activities, all designed to empower and enable the youth, are planned to be undertaken in partnership with strong local organizations like the Ethio-Organic Seed Action (EOSA), a local NGO that promotes integrated conservation, use and management of agro-biodiversity.

In the humanitarian sector, one of the initiatives being studied is the ‘Helping the Elderly’ initiative, which aims to provide a regular financial allowance to a group of elders who have otherwise no one to support them. Several initiatives are being studied in the educational sector. Two examples are the ‘Scholarships for Outstanding Girls’ initiative, which aims to provide quality education to girls with excellent academic records, and the ‘Enable our Remote High-Schools’ initiative, which provides logistical support for high-schools in remote areas.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Addis Cafe

Monday, June 7, 2010

Solomon Dawit: “To Know Him is to Love Him”

There’s a reason why those who have known Solomon Dawit line up to support the Solomon Dawit Foundation. The mission of the Foundation embodies the dreams, the very character, of the man in whose honour it’s been established.

Indeed, one of the defining things about him was how his dreams reflected who he really was. He was the best father possible to his two daughters and the most caring uncle possible to everyone else. He combined patriotic loyalty to Canada, his adopted home, with an enduring love for Ethiopia, the land of his birth.

Listen to Solomon’s father’s friend and fellow diplomat who knew Solomon both as a child and as a young man. Solomon, he said, was a good father to his two daughters, Behtel and Tamara, and a good husband to his wife Bersabel Ephrem.

Or listen to the voice of the youth. Solomon, one of them says, was always respectful to the youth. He treated them like grown-ups, said another. He bridged the gap between youth and adults, and was never judgmental. “I was always listening to his life stories,” says a third. “He was like a close uncle.” He was, said yet another, “like a kid in an adult’s body.”

Another young man said that, unlike most Ethiopian men, Solomon was not shy about showing love to his wife both in public and in private. And listen to the testimony of the sister of this young man. If she were to choose parents to emulate, she says, she would choose Solomon and Bersabel.

Then hear the voices of his employees. “He was,” says one ex-employee, “more a brother than a boss.” He would, she continued, never let the demands of his business get in the way of her interests as a student.

And now listen to his friends, those with whom he shared his dreams to make a better world. Solomon, says one, was a fountain of ideas. Not ideas to earn wealth for himself. No, ideas to defeat poverty facing many Ethiopians.

Solomon’s project ideas, his friends say, found resonance in the way he lived his life. His hatred of women’s working in the kitchen while men sat and chatted led him to help wash dishes when invited to dine at friends’ homes. His advocacy of microcredit was mirrored in his giving to youths selling a few cigarettes on Ethiopian streets money so they could sell other items and make a better living. His belief in helping Ethiopian immigrants to Canada to build their self-esteem led to his insistence that a young man, who had never worked, find something worthwhile from his life experience to put in a resume before he would offer that young man what became the first job in his entire life.

This was the kind of person Solomon Dawit was. This is why those who knew best him admired him most. In the words of a once popular song, “to know, know, know him is to love, love, love him.” Those engaged in the establishment of the Foundation express that love by helping Solomon to complete in death what he would have completed in life if the end had not come so soon. Their hope is that you, too, would come to know Solomon, to love him, and to help him finish his work.

{Written by Frank A. Campbell, Ottawa, Ontario, May 28, 2010}