Project Report 2019 by project coordinator Dan Amolo
I went to Ethiopia and Kenya at the end of August this year to check on our progress. I visited several projects and met various individuals and groups with whom we work and support.
In Ethiopia we have 4 main categories of support.
We currently have several students in public, schools, colleges and universities. These students most of whom are orphans, some with single parents from very poor backgrounds. Some of the come from far away rural areas or inaccessible mountain areas and have made it through elementary to colleges ONLY through the support of PBF. These students depend on monthly cash transfers for their up keep in colleges. We transfer to them between 25 to 30 fr every month.Due to limited funds available we have reduced the number of these students over the years and we stopped taking new ones despite constant and daily requests for new needy cases.
- THE DESTITUTES:
Currently PBF supports 100 old, sick and orphans with monthly house-hold support for daily survival. Most of these people lived in the streets or in informal settlements begging from tourists visiting the historic Lalibela churches. PBF has built houses for some of them at the Amanuel Village. Some are still living in shanties though. We continue to receive requests for shelter and we do some houses for them based on need and funds availability.
It has been a big challenge for PBF to stop this support because to most of them, their lives depend on this support even though it is not sustainable.
- COMMUNITY AND GROUP PROJECTS
Some of our outstanding Projects belong to this category.
VDI, a Center for the Old and Sick Street People:
This is one of the most important Projects that PBF has supported over the years. The sick and lonely street people find their way into this facility run by volunteers in the middle of Addis Ababa for a hot meal, a bath and medication. This center serves an everage of 100 people in Addis and hundreds more in other towns all over Ethiopia. PBF took the obligation to support them with 2500 fr monthly and occasionally has to contribute in infrastructure maintenance and medical support.
Community housing in Lalibela:
We have built houses for vulnerable groups in two community housing areas, the Bachmann and the Amanuel villages.
Kualit Community water Project:
We constructed a water harvesting unit in a village in the outskirts of Lalibela. This projects unsures the local community and their livestock have access to clean and safe water flowing into a reservoir making it available through out the year.
Community Recreational Hall in Lalibela:
PBF has supported a youth group in Lalibela to construct a recreational facility where local young people practice taekwondo, weight lifting and other sports as well as using it as ameeting point for other town groups.
Bee Keeping and Honey Production:
A local cooperative group of mostly women came together to start a bee keeping Project. Bee Keeping is a very historical activity associated with LALIBELA . PBF built a shed in the mountain slopes of Lalibela and equipped it with both traditional and modern hives to produce honey for the locals and outside market. Unfortunately this project was disrupted by strong storms that blew away the whole facility. We have had repeated requests to restore it but this has not been possible.
Building Block Production:
We have 2 groups doing Block production. One group is young men and the other is a group of women. PBF supported these groups by helping them aquire machines to produce building Blocks for the local market as an income generating activity.
The Pilgrims Village:
Lalibela is Holy City visited by thousands of Pilgrims every year especially during Genna, a very special season in the Orthodox Calender. Being the place where most of PBF activities are based, we as the PBF family have identified a need for a simple safe and affordable shelter to accommodate Pilgrims who brave long distance travel from the far off villages and regions to visit the holy city.
PBF together with our local trustee, Messay have identified a piece of land where we have started putting up shelter for the Pilgrims. This shelter would be be available for back-packers, budget travellers as well as students at modest rates to unsure its sustainability. The Pilgrims Village is going to supliment the charitable and community work of PBF in Lalibela and Ethiopia in general and connect with the people’s spirituality.
Abune Francis School in Durame:
PBF has built a children center in Durame, in the southern region of Ethiopia. The center caters for children from poor families who would otherwise not get any opportunity to access Early Child preparatory education. This center is managed and run by locals together with long time PBF representatives, Abel and Jossy.
Apart from this Early Child education center, PBF has build classrooms for a public Primary school in Doano, a few kilometers about of Durame and Spring water reservoir in the same area.
Other community Projects:
- Car Wash
- Vegetable gardens
- IT Center
- Environmental restoration and conservation
- Miotor Vehicle Garage
- Mstak Workshop
- INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT
We receive numerous direct requests and through our trustees on the ground to support various issues. These include small businesses and sickness(medical)
We try our best to respond to these request and we go a through a difficult process to to choose what to undertake and what to reject. The determinant factor is always the availability/lack of funds.
PROJECTS BEYOND ETHIOPIA
PBF work in other countries is also within the above 4 categories.
In Uganda: We support a community organisation that works with on human rights, education and sustainability in Kassese in Western Uganda.
In Kenya: Support for street children to go to school and motivate them through sports in Mathare Nairobi. Support for Early Childhood Education in a Slum Project in Kibera Nairobi.
Micro finance, Savings and Crafts Project support for a rural community women in Kitui.
In Sri Lanka: Support for a Center for Children with Disability in Chilaw.
Individual medical and upkeep support.
FUNDS RED ALERT
Based on the above overview of our activities, I want sound an alarm to the effect that the CURRENT FINANCIAL POSITION of PBF is not able to fulfil the responsibilities and obligations at hand.
The funds and donations from individual annual donors have been declining over time. This is understandable because most of them are pensioners and their contribution would have to stop at some point. On the other hand, fundraising has become a challenge because new methods are coming up and therefore we may have to reinvent our ways from the traditional methods that dear Dr. Peter Bachmann has used over the years.
My suggestion would be that each and everyone of us could take it upon themselves to use their own ideas and networks to compliment the efforts of Dear Peter.
Of late, we have developed an idea of encouraging people we know to visit Ethiopia by facilitating them through personally arranged tour to individual taste of Ethiopia which includes them visiting our projects. The idea is to interest them in our work with hopes that they join PBF work. We call it RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL. This is just an effort to reach out to possible contributors.
As a Project Coordinator, I thought of sharing this situation we are in so that we can thing together for any possible remedy.
Kind regards, Dan Amolo