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