Tigrai Development Association is a tax exempted none profit making organization established 25 years ago. The association in collaboration with its members, supporters and development partners implement over four thousand projects that benefited over four million people. It primarily focuses on alleviating problems on the education sector. For the sake of this important reason, TDA constructed and furnished over six hundred schools in Tigrai. Furthermore, TDA implemented projects on the health sector, reduction of unemployment, supporting culture, art and sports of the region.
TDA as a member based organization has chapters all over Tigrai, 30 chapters in major Cities of Ethiopia, 30 chapters and sub chapters in different countries of Europe, America, the middle east, Africa.
TDA – Germany is one of the leading chapters that TDA has. The chapter together with its members and development partners constructed four primary schools, shipped bio – engineering equipments that worth over 100 million birr, sent professionals that offer medical service etc. On top of this, the chapter provide Tigrai health institutions with professionals that transfer their knowledge in installation, maintenance and operation of medical equipments.
This task of TDA – Germany is fruitful especially when the name of its reliable development partner Etio – Witten is stated. Etio – Witten as its name reveals is a charitable organization homed in Witten City of Germany. This organization is established and led by Dr. Ahmedin Indres and his friends. The organization has been providing health services, trainings and equipments to health institutions in Tigrai in general and Ayder referral hospital in particular.
Years had pass since Mekelle University, particularly Ayder referral hospital joined TDA, TDA – Germany and Etio – Witten in executing development endeavours in Tigrai. It took its share when TDA – Germany and Etio – Witten as well as TDA initiates any project.
Our point here is not to tell our readers on all past performance of TDA, TDA – Germany, Etio – Witten and Mekell University. The point is to disclose what was done by the four organizations last week.
It was last year members of Etio – Witten, namely Brigets, Helga and Tina paid a visit to one of makeshift schools in Wereda Kolla Tembien. The school is Duramba Primary School with over 400 students. The three kind and honest ladies touched by what they saw in the school. Little beautiful kids sat on stones; Follow their classes attentively; suffered from the bitter heat and wind. Having these touching stories, the three ladies flew back home (Germany) and started to look for funds that enable them to convert the makeshift school to proper one. Using different fund raising methods, they managed to collect enough amount of money and came back to Ethiopia last week to realize the project.
From left to right: Helga, Tina and Birgets
The three ladies together with other Etio – Witten members, vice chairman of TDA – Germany, Staff of TDA Headquarters, and members of the media started their journey to Duramba Primary School on the morning of 24th of February 2015. Going through the town of Hagere Selam and Agbe the group arrived at Abiadi.
I ordered Azeb Coffee House to prepare a coffee, something to eat and water. As per the order Azeb served the group with hot coffee and nice aroma of roasted coffee beans.
After a short moment in Abiadi, the group headed to the Duramba Primary School. 7 KMs drive later, the group arrived at Endamariam Etsiwto where the school is found. Priests with their religious dressings, students holding the national flag, women dancing cultural dances welcomed the group.
Moments later the community invited the group honey with bread, fruits of Bananas, orange etc. later that time speeches were delivered by the community leader, Wereda administrator, Chairperson of Etio – Witten, TDA, and TDA – Germany. Short after this, German artists, embodied with the group, performed for the locals and students. Following this, some game and educational materials were handed over to students by the etio – Witten group.
Then after, the representatives of the organization together with administrator of the Wereda laid the corner stone.
Saying good bye to Endamariam Etsiwuto residents, the group headed to visit another school named Lealay Seken Primary School. Alongside a warm welcome from the community, the group had a look on how kids attend classes in the school. The group, as they did at Duramba, handed over gifts to students and the school.
Thanking for everything the community was done so far, the group began its journey to Mekelle. Since everyone was tiered, a moment of refreshment was needed and Dr. Ahmedin recommended Maylomin lodge. The group, as per the recommendation, headed and spent some moments in the lodge. Having all the memories of the trip in mind, the group returned to Mekelle right after 12:00 o’clock in the after none.
26th of February 2015 was a remarkable day for cultural ties between Ethiopia and Germany. A group of Germen Artists, through the efforts of TDA – Germany, Etio –Witten and Mekelle University, came to Ethiopia. The artists joined, as stated earlier, the Etio – Witten members in laying the Duramba corner stone. A day later, the group together with Circus Tigrai and artists from Cultural Association of Tigrai performed at Hawelti Semaetat. It was astonishing to see the three groups performing for the same purpose. They all rock it in front of over five thousand residents of Mekelle.
It was at this time Dr. Ahmedin, executive director of Etio – Witten, posed me a request to find any other makeshift school and invite the three ladies (Berigets, Helga and Tina) to visit it. I discussed the issue with Dr. Taddele, executive director of TDA, and came to decision to take the ladies to Wereda Wereeleke, Melea Primary School. I immediately Called and informed the Wereda. Short after this, I told Berigets, Helga and Tina that we will began the journey early in the morning of 12:00 AM. However, our car didn’t fuel adequately enough. I and Solomon, our driver, visited three gas stations. We couldn’t find any gas. I suggested Solomon first to go to meet the ladies and soon went to Axum Hotel. We already were late 30 minutes and Berigets, was already counting on me. I apologized for the incident and began the journey. Five of use again visited one gas station and couldn’t find a gas. We went again to another one and luckily find what we need.
Having fuelled our car, our one day journey began through the asphalted road Mekelle – Maikinetal. Using the rough road from Maikinetal to Edagaarbi, our journey continued East wards. Ato Tsehaye, Head of Education office, met us at Edagaarbi. Taking the way from Edagaarbi to Nebelet, our car led the car where the Wereda officials were. Since we didn’t exactly know the where about of Melea Primary School, we drove five kilometres from the turning point. Ato Tsehaye, as noticed we missed the point, called on my phone and informed me to return back. The sharp minded Berigets noticed what was happened and asked me how many Kilometres we are far from the point. I put again my unwise estimation and say about three kilometres. We drove about five kilometres and she counted for a second time on me.
Following Ato Tsehaye and his crew, we headed to Melea Primary School and finally arrived at the school.
The students and the community paid us a warm welcome!! Immediately, we started visiting the whole situation of the school. We were heartbroken!! The young and beautiful kids were attending classes in a very unpleasant situation. Having discussing on our visit with the local community, we took a short break.
At the break time the local elders asked me to give them some time and fetch for the guests some honey as a gift. I accepted their request and want technically delayed our journey by taking photos of a nearby clinic. I told Berigets and the group I need three minutes for that. However, the locals delayed a lot and so does my tactic, too. Berigets angrily pressed the beep button of the car. She asked me why I took thirty minutes of their time to take photos after saying three minutes. I couldn’t give her a sound reason!! For the third time, she counted on me. Shortly the elders came with a jar of honey and we began our journey to Nebelet.
The road was too rough and tiresome!! However, we tried to cover it by discussing on what we saw at Melea Primary school. We took a short break at Hawzien and continued our way to Mekelle.
I felt the things they saw at the school from all their gesture and descusion. They were very sand and promised me to do whatever it takes to convert the makeshift school into a standard one.
For further information on TDA
· Website: www.tdaint.org
· Facebook: www.facebook.com/tdaint
· Youtube: www.youtube.com/tdaint
· Twitter: www.twitter.com/tdaint
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