The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

One Month in Ethiopia

Author - Jean Bailey

Earlier this year in March/April I spent one month working in Ethiopia mainly with one project but I managed to visit two others as well. This is a brief update on their work.

Leicester/Gondar university hospitals link

I facilitated with Sandra Kemp, a colleague from Aran, Scotland (she previously worked in Leicester) the end of the second phase of a leadership and management programme for head nurses from Gondar university hospital. This programme is part of a wider programme of activities led by Leicester teaching hospitals trust to improve the provision of health care in Gondar university hospital.

A group of Gondar head nurses visiting the Fistula hospital in Addis Ababa.
Photo - © Jean Bailey

All the head nurses in Gondar have gained experience visiting other government and nongovernment hospitals as part of this development to see how good practice is being achieved there. Many of the nurses have never visited another hospital in Ethiopia or had any in-service training for many years. The hospitals visited were St Luke's Catholic mission hospital in Wolliso, and the Fistula hospital and St Paulos hospital in Addis Ababa. These visits have led to a lot of enthusiasm to improve the laundry services and patient meals as well as to rethink many nursing practices. All the funding for the programme has to be generated through voluntary fund raising in the UK. We now need to raise funds for the next phase. Contributions can be made by cheque payable to Leicester Gondar Link.

Please post to: Dr Peter Houtman,1, Robert Hall Road, Arnesby, Leicester LE8 5 UX

Aysanew Kassa Trust

Three happy children with new uniforms outside new classrooms in Azezo both provided by the Aysanew Kassa Trust.
Photo - © Jean Bailey

I took the opportunity of being in Gondar to visit some schools in order to gain information to guide the forthcoming work of the Aysanew Kassa Trust who aim to support the education of children in Azezo. I had a very fruitful meeting with the mayor of Gondar to seek his support to get land in Azezo to build a community library and associated activities to ensure its sustainability, such as an internet café, coffee shop and commercial outlets for girls to sell local produce. The formal application has now been made so watch this space for future developments.

The challenge now is to raise the £50,000! If you wish to help then you can do so by direct cash gifts to the Aysanew Kassa Trust. Please email me, Jean Bailey, on

Bruh Tesfa Youth Centre and Orphanage, Adigrat, Tigray

Girls and boys from the Bruh Tesfah Youth Centre in Adigrat playing basketball.
Photo - © Jean Bailey

This highly innovative project set up by the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) is attempting to cater for the needs of really poor young people in Adrigrat, Tigray. I was a guest there for one week and saw how some young lives are being transformed.

If there are young people from the UK who want a challenging gap year/months teaching English to these orphans and young people whilst staying in a good friendly secure environment, just contact me via email on If you have surplus new/good used clothes/books/educational videos then both the Aysanew Kassa Trust and Bruh Tesfa would welcome them. Also Bruh Tesfa would welcome knitting wool and embroidery threads as well as simple paper dress and skirt patterns. They can be sent in small packages directly by post to:

Melash Fikadu (marked donation for Aysanew Kassa Trust)
PO Box 74, Azezo, Ethiopia
Bruh Tesfa Youth Centre, PO Box, Adigrat, Tigray, Ethiopia

General information

For those of you planning a trip to Ethiopia in the next few months there are a couple of developments worth mentioning. In Gondar a well, built by the Italians more than 70 years ago, has recently been reopened to supply water to Kebele 16 and Giorgis Church and many artefacts have been discovered at the bottom. So far I have not discovered where they have been removed to.

The other is in order to improve the mountain road between Adwa and Mekelle the section between Bizet and Adigrat is closed. There is a new road being used as an alternative with stunning views but it is very dusty and adds 40km to the journey - however it takes in views of Debra Damo from all sides without the need to leave your vehicle!

First Published in News File Summer 2008

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