Tag Archives: Ethiopia

Harvest in Sebeya

Sebeya - New Year

In the last update from Sebeya, we heard there was shortage of rain, and the community were praying for rain. Abba Solomon asked for parishes in England and Wales to pray for rain in Sebeya. “God heard our prayer and gave us rain”, says Abba Solomon And I have to thank all brothers and sisters who kept us in your prayers. We always remember you in our prayers.”

Though the rain was late, it arrived and helped the farmers to prepare land and plant different crops.  We were desperate when the rain was too late. God forgave our trespasses and gave us rain. Thanks to God, Sebeya is now green. We expect good harvest this season. It gave us a big hope.”

Since then, the rain distribution and volume has been even better than last year. Sebeya looks greener and farmlands are growing wheat, barley and sorghum (a grain). The crops are bearing fruits and only the wheat plants require a little more rain.

There were further celebrations in Sebeya, and the rest of Ethiopia as the community welcomed in the New Year on the 12 September 2014. Ethiopia’s calendar is seven years behind the rest of the world, so it is now 2007 in Ethiopia. Abba Solomon shares the events that took place in Sebeya:

“At the eve of the New Year, men and young people gathered outside our Sebeya Catholic Church and everyone brought a torch – made of dry sticks and foliage. We prayed together and lit our torches  and walked around the Church. We then came together and made a bonfire. It was a dark evening when we sat together around the bonfire and had bread and tell, a local drink (made of barley and water). The bonfire symbolises leaping from the old, dark year to new and bright year.  On the morning of the New Year, we made coffee and had chicken sauce and injera (a sourdough flatbread) with our neighbours”.  

For more information about Connect2, and how your parish can sign up, visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2




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Praying for rain in Sebeya


Praying for rain

Members of the community praying for rain outside Holy Trinity Catholic Church

For Sebeya farmers, rain is crucial to grow cereal and vegetable crops every year. A little rain in June helps the farmers start preparing farmland, such as plowing the land, and the main rainy month in July is when the famers plant their crops. The rain is then expected to continue in August and September.

However, this year’s rain is extremely in short supply for the farmers. Children and mothers in Sebeya are praying for the rain every day. They present themselves inside and outside Catholic and Orthodox Churches praying for rain. They pray ‘egzihomarene Kristos’, which means ‘O! Jesus Christ, please forgive our trespasses’.

Abba Solomon, the parish priest of Sebeya Holy Trinity Catholic Church speaking about the lack of rain, says:

Normally July is the green month in Sebeya as rain is available. But it is now like in the middle of the dry season – very arid and dusty. I have never seen such a bad drought in recent years. As the planting season is passing, it is very unlikely for the farmers to plant and have harvest for the following season.

My brothers and sisters in England and Wales, I was glad to see you during my recent visit to different parishes. I was amazed by your effort to support people in Ethiopia and elsewhere.

I pray for my people, Lord

You saved this people

Because of your deep love

May you forgive us and remember us

During this depression and suffering.

Let us pray for each other. Please keep Sebeya and my people in your prayers.”

However, while farmers depend completely on rain for agriculture, underground water is used for drinking and sanitation. Recently, two clean water facilities for drinking have been renovated in the villages  of Argit and Adi Ezana, in Sebeya. These are hand-pump type water facilities, which will be used by 300 people in nearly 60 households, who will now have access to a clean, drinking water supply.

To sign your parish up to Connect2: Ethiopia and hear more from the community in Sebeya visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2ethiopia


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Your valuable solidarity gives us strength when we face life’s challenges


Ethiopia Connect2 - Abba Solomon

Abba Solomon, parish priest at Sebeya Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ethiopia, looking at a card and wooden cross sent from a Connect2 parish in England.


It gives me great pleasure to receive messages of solidarity from people in England and Wales. Since we have been connected with the parishes, we have received so many messages and letters and cards, all stating the importance of walking alongside us. I am especially struck by letters from children – children who have taken the time to write amazing messages to other young people they have never met in Sebeya. These messages are encouraging and insightful for Sebeya children, who do not have any idea about life in England and Wales.

This communication through Connect2 helps us to understand each other. And your valuable solidarity gives us strength when we face life’s challenges.

Your solidarity has also supported our community practically: school children and the local community now use a renovated clean water source, and a group of women have started their own business and are keeping chickens. The training and money given to my community has been so very valuable. Hopefully lots of our challenges will be resolved with the support we receive from the people of England and Wales.

If your parish would like to sign up to Connect2, please visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2



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“Your commitment to support us is inspirational and gives us hope”




For two weeks this June, parishes across England welcomed CAFOD’s partners and staff from Ethiopia, to the UK, as part of CAFOD’s Connect2: Ethiopia scheme. The delegates from Ethiopia were Abba Teum, who is the diocesan director of ADCS (Adigrat Diocese Catholic Secretariat), our partner in Ethiopia; Abba Solomon, the parish priest in Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Sebeya; and Tamiru Legesse, CAFOD’s communications officer, who is based in Addis Ababa.

Over their two week visit, the partners visited nine different dioceses in England, giving presentations, sharing stories of life in Ethiopia, and learning about parish and community life here in England.

While in London, supporters from Westminster, Southwark, and Brentwood came together for an evening in CAFOD’s Romero House. Here the partners gave inspirational presentations about the vibrant Ethiopian culture, whilst bringing to life the work achieved in Sebeya, as a result of the support they receive from CAFOD supporters in England and Wales.

As the partners travelled north they visited the diocese of Shrewsbury, where they joined two parishes for a soup lunch, and met the dedicated CAFOD supporters, who have held soup lunches every Friday, to fundraise for CAFOD, for a combined total of 32 years.

Then, at a garden party in the CAFOD Liverpool office, supporters from across Liverpool diocese delighted in hearing how well received and cherished their cards were, that had been sent to the children in Ethiopia, sharing their support and encouragement.

Our Lady Immaculate primary school, in Brentwood diocese, has come together with Our Lady Immaculate and Holy Name parishes to support Connect2: Ethiopia as a community.  At a presentation in the school, pupils were shocked to learn that the main language spoken in the country has more than 200 letters and were excited when they heard that many young people in Ethiopia supported their favourite football teams.

While in St Luke’s parish in East Anglia, Fr John Minh, parish priest, spoke of the relationship between people here in England and Wales, with the community in Sebeya:

“I jumped at the chance of supporting a place through CAFOD where we could get to have proper contact with the people we were actually raising money for. I want the parish to learn from them too. We are not just giving money to them, it is a spiritual connection as well.”

Abba Solomon echoed this saying:

“St Luke’s support gives us strength and helps with many problems in our community.”

Despite a busy schedule, the partners did get some time to take in some wonderful sites, including a visit to Stonehenge, and also a visit the beautiful Cornish coast.

As the partners returned to Ethiopia, Abba Solomon once again thanked the people of England and Wales for their friendship with the community of Sebeya, and although unable to visit all the Connect2 parishes, he sent his thanks and good wishes to these parishes too, saying:

Many of my community members are living on the edge but with a little help of parishes like yours and a lot of hard work, we will be able to turn our life around. Your support helps us not just for a few days, not just for a year, but for life.

“May God bless you for your passion to be part of us and our lives. Your commitment to support us is inspirational and gives us hope. Thank you and bless you.”

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If you would like to learn more about Connect2, visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2, or speak to your local CAFOD office.



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Snippets from Sebeya

In the latest snippet from Sebeya, Selamawit talks about her business skills training and Nagisti shares her thoughts on the relationship she has with people in England and Wales through Connect2: Ethiopia.


 Business Skills Training

Selamawit Selamawit and other women in the community received business skills training from ADCS. From this training Selamawit set up a kiosk where she sells bread, soap, salt, cooking oil, biscuits, vegetables and other items to the local people. Selamawit’s business is doing well, and she is proud of talking about her success:

“I can now cover most of the needs of my family from theprofit I make from this business.”



NagistiNagisti shares her thoughts on Connect2:

 “I had a little information about people who support us from abroad. Today, I saw their pictures and learnt how they are working to help Sebeya. I am inspired by their good works. Their hard work and commitment to work for us inspires me to work harder and do my best.”




BerheA new irrigation facility is being constructed by ADCS. Two water reservoirs have already been constructed, and a water pipeline which connects the dam and the reservoirs is due to be installed. Berhe Amare, who lives near the water reservoir, will be one of the beneficiaries. Berhe is hopeful he will be able to grow fruits and vegetables, which he will be able to eat and sell in the market.


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