African Connection Winter 2020

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Dear friends,

Happy New Year. We hope that you remain well in these times of the pandemic. And we hope this update will encourage you.

Graduations:  Because of your generous support, four young women and seven young men from Acheber graduated this year from various universities with undergraduate degrees.  The number of female graduates is inching up slowly.  So far, 74 young people from Acheber, Ethiopia have graduated university because of your gifts. The previous 63 have all been employed, and we will assist the latest graduates to find jobs.

Flour Mills: In an effort to encourage self-sufficiency for our preschools and build infrastructure, we are installing two flour mills—one each in Roben Jirecha and Ginchi.  These mechanical mills will allow the villages to quickly mill their harvests of barley and teff. As we did with the water well in Roben Jirecha, we will charge a small fee to support operation of the preschools. We are grateful to Professor Adu Worku who, through his nonprofit Zoz Amba Foundation, donated $20,000 towards this project.  We added another $5,000 and got the project off ground.  The link below shows a village installing and operating a mill.  Also, see sample picture below.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hplQVFsM8sk

Evangelist in Acheber: After several years of praying and searching for the right person, we are delighted to report that Mr. Amanuel Tekele has been hired as an evangelist to reach out to the community in Acheber.  Amanuel is married with a child, and is currently leading a group of 25 Christians in Acheber town.  Please pray for the Lord to open hearts for the Gospel.

Solar Lights.  Thanks to a generous donation from the Temecula Rotary Club, we purchased and shipped 32 large solar lights--enough to light up an entire hut and help high school students study at night.  The total cost, including shipping, was more than $5,000.  Thank you, members of the Temecula Rotary Club and Mr. Richard Smith, for these gifts.

High School Students AT HOME! You may recall that for many years, we have supported high school students to attend school in a nearby town, 25 miles away from their families.  Recall also that by continuously lobbying the government, we built a high school in Acheber.  Since 2018, the school has been teaching 9th and 10th graders, but beginning in September 2021, 11th and 12th students will begin attending that high school as well. They no longer have to travel 25 miles away from home.  This came to pass because of your gifts and on-going support of EAVO’s commitment to educating the youth of Eastern Ethiopia.

Preschool Construction Update:  Construction of our 9th school (6th preschool in East Africa), is almost complete.  We were informed that the finishing work is underway.  Thanks to Paraklete Foundation, we just wired more than $8,500 to buy desks, office furniture and teaching materials. Thank you, Paraklete Foundation.

Planned Trip: Our Executive Director, Seifu Ibssa, plans to retire from his regular job this spring and travel to Ethiopia this summer, subject to availability of COVID-19 vaccinations. He will spend his time helping teachers and high school students with their English language and computer skills.  He will also be directly involved in many of our projects to make sure they are successful.

We are grateful for your partnership in this journey of spreading support and educational opportunity in Ethiopia. The improvement that we see developing in people’s lives would not be possible without your generosity.

Thank you!


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  • John Van Deman