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Enlace Estepona-Etiopia 2015, 2016 and 2017-18

Enlace Estepona-Etiopia 2015, 2016 and 2017-18

We take toilets so much for granted these days in our part of the world that we can’t imagine how rare they are in most of the poorer countries. The lack of toilets and proper hygiene has terrible consequences. More than 2.5 billion people - nearly 40% of the world’s population - lack access to good sanitation such as clean water to wash with or proper toilets. Without such basic facilities, illnesses due to diarrhoea go unchecked, killing 2,000 children around the world every day. The problem is most acute in Africa. In sub-Saharan countries for instance, 1 in 3 people don’t have access to any form of sanitation, be it a tap or a toilet. Across the continent, diarrhoea is the leading killer of children under 5 years old, causing more deaths than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. But there are very simple solutions to this problem: clean water, hygienic toilets and effective handwashing.
Emilie Tieken and Richard Hayes, the founders of the Estepona-Ethiopia Link, were volunteers working in education in Ethiopia for two years and saw the need for better access to clean water and decent toilets. Since returning in 2011, they have been raising money for this purpose, among others. 

The other concern is hygiene and particularly as it affects girls in school. When girls enter puberty they are often forced to skip classes or drop out of school, because there are no separate toilets for them which guarantee a minimum of privacy. Lack of separate and decent sanitation and washing facilities discourages girls who are menstruating from attending full time, often adding up to a significant proportion of school days missed. The Ethiopian government is making a big effort to get all girls in to school and at primary level 95% of them are attending. The danger is that they have a greater propensity to drop out, particularly as they enter puberty.  It has been demonstrated that girls’ education is one of the most important factors helping the development of a country. In traditional societies, girls drop out very young, at 12 or 13 to get married and start having children. Therefore, if girls can be encouraged to stay in school through secondary education they marry later, have fewer children, educate their children and are in a better position to work and stand up for their rights. But, even though as these societies develop girls want to stay in education, the lack of separate toilets means they suffer embarrassment and even molestation by boys and then they give up. 

Dear Friends,
I am attaching some photos and video we have just received from our representative in Nekemte, Ethiopia. We sent 2,300 € to finance the construction of benches and desks, as well as latrines in a rural school outside the town. The parents of the children have built the two classrooms themselves because the children of first year primary had to walk more than an hour each way every day to the nearest main primary school. 1,300 € of the money was donated by the Rotary Club Marbella-Guadalmina and the rest from our other fundraising activities in Estepona.
This shows, I think, how what is relatively little money to us can do a lot of good in Ethiopia.
Click here to watch the video

We hope to have your support for our fundraising party on October 2nd, which should be a great event, if the last one in 2013 is anything to go by!

All the best.

Richard and Emilie

Brief report on the visit of Richard and Emilie from the Enlace Estepona-Etiopía to Nekemte, January 2016

a. Follow-up on previous projects
1. Fuel-efficient stoves.

Fuel efficient stoves
Left:  a woman cooking with one of the stoves made two years ago. Right: making the stoves. The work is done by mentally handicapped children and their parents. This project has become completely self-sustaining. They also make blocks for construction.
2 and 3.  Latrines for girls at Nekemte Preparatory School and at Garjo Fite.

Latrines for girls
The latrines were built with money we gave two years ago and parental contributions. They are kept very clean and include a cubicle for washing and changing clothes. More are needed because there are now 2,000 girls in the academic and vocational sections of the school.
To the right, latrines for girls in a rural school at Garjo Fite. The gerry cans are for handwashing, a habit they are trying to inculcate.           

 4 The pump and well at the Sunshine Philanthropic School for Orphans. Still working well.  

5. Furniture and latrines in the Biftu Migna Kilili rural school.
In 2014, we sent money to build furniture and the latrines at this por, rural school. They are trying to add one extra class per year so we are thinking of sending them more money to help in this and are now waiting for the estimates. The majority of the children are girls because the parents allow their boys to walk the hour and a half each way to the nearest state school, but they prefer the girls to study nearer home and that’s why they have financed the building of this satellite school themselves.

Biftu Migna Kilili
6. The library at Dire Jato primary school.
We are not very satisfied with the condition in which we found the library because the university has donated old computers which have been dumped on the tables here without anyone knowing if they work. They are going to get technical help to check if the computers can be put to use. Meanwhile, we suggested they clear the tables so that the room can be used for study purposes. Another room in the building is a class for learning reading:
Dire Jato primary
    b. Money for new projects
1.  Latrines in Burka Babu y Dire Gufte rural schools.
    Right:  The present latrine used by students and staff at Burka Babu.  

Amounts allocated for 4 cubicles (Burka Babu) y 6 cubicles (Dire Gufte) plus 10% extra de be contributed by the community 75.028 ETB        (€3.123,08)

2. Purchase of a sewing machine, notebooks and pens for the Girls’ Club at Chalalaki primary school:         5.862,50 ETB   (€243,99)
Some of the girls at the school carry firewood at day and then attend evening classes to learn to read and write. If they can learn a new skill, it may give them another chance to earn a living.

3. Support with tution and living allowances for 4 women from poor backgrounds to study for 3 years. The women have been chosen for their ability to benefit from this help and they will be strictly monitored to ensure that they are taking full advantage of this opportunity. They may have been involved in the sex trade or been exploited in other ways.       54.700 ETB      (€2.275,24)

4.  Access to two spring cappings financed by Exeter Ethiopia Link. The springs are built and functioning, but they are very hard to get to. The local communities will supply the labour for the work.19.800,00 ETB   (€822,93)

5. Tutorial clases for 43 students from the charity deaf school in Nekemte who are intergrated into the state school system. The need the help of tutors who can explain their studies with sign language in order to take full advantage of the schools and vocational college.15.000 ETB  (€621,19)
Spring cappings and the deaf students
Above right: the 43 deaf students in further education.      Total €7,086.43

         Update 2017

The Service Projects Team assessment framework for this project can be seen here
We have at long last, after a couple of months with no news, received word from our representative in Nekemte, Gobena Atomsa. (He is very busy with Comic Aid  and Exeter Ethiopia Link work as well.) He visited the Nekemte Preparatory School yesterday and took a photo and this short video to show that the toilet block for girls is nearly complete. You will notice that they have built it with concrete blocks this time, rather than the corrugated metal they used for the first 8 units we financed, so that it will last longer and be more hygienic and ensure privacy. The money from your Rotary Club was a large proportion of the money we sent, which made up half of the cost. The rest was financed by parents of students.  We have asked Gobena to send us some more photos when it is completed and painted, together with some girl students, which we will forward to you.
I also attach a photo of the fundraiser we held last week here in Estepona on the occasion of the Cruces de Mayo event. We ran a bar and raised about 1,200 €. We are next financing toilets for girls at a rural school outside Nekemte at a place called Diga. We are just waiting for the estimates of costs.
Richard and Emilie