Professional Childminder Liz Martin has just returned from a fortnight's visit to view our work and meet our students in Ethiopia - her first visit to Africa. She said she found her time both physically and emotionally demanding - but truly inspirational.
Following a performance by EYES Circus & Band, also attended by an invited audience from three local schools, Liz had time to return and listen to our bright, healthy & energetic students tell their stories of how A-CET/EYES has changed their lives.
In line with our aim to devolve more of our work to Ethiopians, last year's “Christmas” monitoring visit was undertaken by our UK-based Trustee Sammy. Sammy visits annually, partly to visit A-CET's work and partly for his malarial research work
Sammy visited all our completed and future projects and talked to many students. His visits are always positively inspirational for all students who look to him as their role model.
David visits Ethiopia regularly minimally three times a year, often to attend a school dedication, to discuss with local officials, monitor projects, contracts and accounts but always to talk to students.
Whilst A-CET provides students with a vital yet modest long-term scholarship allowance, much of our work is seen as providing support and encouragement to the majority of our students who have no other family. Most of our students need little motivation to study but, like us, always appreciate to be listened to, advice and praise.
When A-CET was “10” a celebration was held in the Mahder Training Centre for all the 300 A-CET past and present students who could come. Two of our graduated students came up from Addis Abeba.
Student Mahder sadly died of Muscular Dystrophy in 2007. His mother made a moving speech on naming the hall after her deceased son. “I have lost my son whom I miss very much, but here I can now see so many Mahiders and I feel so proud”.
EYES Circus entertained with music and performed an evocative ballad about a street boy’s life changing when he joined A-CET. It was sung by a recently displaced young boy from Eritrea. A huge buffet supplied by Yordanos Restaurant was devoured by all.
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