After an early flight from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa, Caroline and I headed off to Gende Tesfa School and were welcomed by the Scouts. All of the children, who were aged between 9 and 15, had just been given uniforms by our charity and the boys and girls looked really smart. Unlike the UK, you have to be selected to be a Scout in Ethiopia and normally it is for good behaviour or for excelling at school work. The Scouts learn citizenship skills and help run the urban garden at Gende Tesfa School and sell the produce to raise money for the poorer members of the community. They also visit the elderly and do jobs for them as well as helping with conservation projects.
I presented the boys with badges from Cookham Cubs. It is the first badges they have ever had as the school can’t afford to buy “luxury items”, so they were particularly excited about the gift from the UK.
In the afternoon, we met three women who are part of the Women’s Business Group and each run their own businesses – Saeda, Fatuma and Alfiya. I met Fatuma and her husband Mohammad back in March 2015, so it was lovely to catch up with them both. It was also so impressive to see what all three women had achieved for themselves and their families in very difficult circumstances.
It is so great to be back in Gende Tesfa again….