Students from Holy Trinity Catholic School standing in front of the newly built classrooms
The first school to be built in Sebeya was Holy Trinity Catholic School, which was constructed in 1947. As the first school for the community, many church leaders including Hagos Haish, the present Secretary General of the Ethiopian Catholic Church (Caritas Ethiopia) attended this school. However, the school has not been maintained, and the classrooms which are now 68 years old, have been a concern for the local community and the diocese. Currently 250 students in years 6 -13 attend this school. To make it worse, the school is next to a graveyard. Speaking about the school, Abba Solomon said: “This was not really good for young children to see everyday, as members of their families and close relatives are buried there. We had to look for other options for safe classrooms and learning environment for the children.” Thanks to your support, Adigrat Diocese Catholic Secretariat (ADCS), CAFOD’s partner, has helped with the construction of six new classrooms and one clean water source at a new site. Year 6 to Year 9 students are now attending this new primary school. And, the school still expects to build 6 further classrooms for Years 10-13. “We are grateful to the support of ADCS which helped us to build the new classrooms. We pray for and expect the generous support of God to complete the remaining six classrooms” –Abba Solomon.
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Alice Stride works in CAFOD’s PR team.
Gloria Irons with her marvellous marmalade
CAFOD is privileged to have many wonderful supporters. One supporter, ‘Marmalady’ Gloria Irons from Norwich, has raised over £10,000 for us with her marvellous homemade marmalade – and her wonderful work has even been written about in the national press.
Gloria’s marmalade success “started by accident”. She said, “I was going to a fete and I had forgotten to bake anything. I grabbed some jars of marmalade I had made and they sold like hot cakes.”
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By Vanessa Chang, who works on creating gifts for the annual CAFOD World Gifts catalogue.
For me, one of the best things about this festive period is singing Christmas carols and amongst my favourites is Little Donkey.
We often sing and hear about shepherds, wise men and angels but I sometimes forget about the long journey Joseph and heavily pregnant Mary made into Bethlehem. The journey was made easier by a donkey that Mary rode on and Little Donkey reminds us how the donkey carried her safely on the dusty road.
2,000 years later, donkeys are still proving to be trustworthy animals but now the precious load is water.
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In the Erder community of Ethiopia, fetching water is hard, back-breaking work. Rising at dawn, women and girls walk for up to eight hours to the nearest well, filling heavy 20-litre jerry cans that they then must carry home. A donkey, however, can carry this amount of water – and much more – with ease – removing the burden placed upon families. Continue reading
To find out more about Connect2: Ethiopia and how your parish can get involved visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2
And to read more updates from the Connect2: Ethiopia community in Sebeya, click here.
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