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Empowering the poorest communities to end child poverty

Blog

Partners for Change Ambassadors – Making a Difference!
By: Pete
Dec 13, 2017

2017 has been an amazing year, our Ambassadors have achieved so much in support of our Woman2Woman programme, which we launched on 8 March – International Woman’s Day.  We are nearly on target to support 100 women this year, giving them the start they need to help support their families. We need support for a further 28 – £100 will change the life of a woman and her family, please click here if you are able to help. We outline our successes below for 2017, how this was achieved and start to think about our goals for 2018:

What is our Ambassador Programme?

We launched our Ambassadors’ campaign a year ago, the support and dedication that the team have shown has been amazing!

  • We now have 28 Adult and Junior Ambassadors based in Cookham, Cambridge, Sheffield and Chiswick.
  • Over the last few years we have raised over £20,000 for Gende Tesfa school in Eastern Ethiopia, where their community there has been badly affected by poverty and leprosy. With the money raised we have built a sports ground, funded the Breakfast Club and funded small business training for 72 parents.
  • We have raised money through the Cookham Running Club Relay Run from Twickenham – Cardiff, an Ultra Marathon and a Ramadan collection.
  • Holy Trinity School in Cookham has been helping Gende Tesfa School for several years. This year the Junior Ambassadors there have made an amazing contribution. They organised “Pennies For Change” where they asked their friends to give up their pennies for Lent. They raised £405.68. Another initiative was “Spring Clean For Change” where pupils brought secondhand clothes to school and through bags2school raised £112.40.

Who are the Ambassadors? 

Partners for Change Ethiopia is different from many other agencies.  We work with the poorest communities, and begin by setting up management groups of local people to plan and manage projects, we provide training and support.  All our staff are Ethiopian nationals, except for our one English staff member who runs our UK office, and this gives us strong local roots within Ethiopia.

What do the Ambassadors do? 

Our Ambassadors are an essential part of the work.  They are more than supporters or fundraisers.  They are partners with us, getting to know the projects and people, representing us in their own home community.  They receive regular news and updates from Ethiopia, and can take part in the annual Ambassadors’ visit to meet the people they support.

How do the Ambassadors keep in touch? 

We arrange visits, the next visit leaves in January 2018.  It will visit the head office in Addis Ababa to meet the staff, stay at our training centre in Debre Zeit.  During their visit they will see how we have set up Urban Agriculture and how it benefits communities; meet community leaders, women’s groups, and beneficiaries; see our community child care methods in action and there will also be time for sight seeing.  We will soon be planning our January visit (there is still time to enrol), if you are interested in joining this or another trip us please get in touch.  One plan is to sell locally made crafts.  Ethiopian religious art is unlike any other style with distinctive crosses, colourful icons and paintings.  You can buy these though us or at shops which support us.  These can be found at Southwark Cathedral in London and Great St Mary’s Church Cambridge.

A Good News Story: 

When we visited the Genda Tesfa project in Dire Dawa, we were distressed to meet Fayo.  A young woman of about 20 she was in a desperate situation.  She was looking after her own child, her younger brother and her mother who had a psychiatric illness.  They lived in a concrete hut with piles of builder’s materials in it. The mother was disturbed, would burn the children’s clothes and throw away the food.  Fayo sometimes resorted to prostitution to earn a little money to feed the children.  We couldn’t see how her situation could be improved.

Image - Fayo

We’d wondered about finding a place to give professional care to the mother, but there was nothing available in the region.  Now we’ve heard have provided support, and things are transformed.  Please watch our short video to find out more – Fayo’s Story.

Special thanks this year go to:

  • Seema Goyal from Goyals, Maidenhead who donated our Ambassador t-shirts this year (see above).
  • Amanda Ayres from Maidenhead Business Girls for her support.
  • Sophie Comas from Rimu Marketing who awarded us first prize in her competition to win a years marketing support and a financial donation which has gone to supporting 3 of our women.
  • Sarah De Mas who organised a fantastic Art for Change event in Cambridge and she raised over £6,000. There were 80 art works available for sale and over 80 people came to support us.  It was a fantastic evening which all enjoyed.
  • Sarah Parfitt from the Media Hub for making the Ambassadors programme such a great success.
  • Emma Billingham and her team at Burnham Grammar School.
  • Holy Trinity C of E Primary School in Cookham.
  • Cookham Running Club.

Other achievements:

  • Caroline Field and friends in Chiswick are in the process of linking William Hogarth School with Debre Berhan School in Ethiopia. Caroline travelled to Ethiopia in November 2016 and took photos at Gende Tesfa School.
  • PFC Ethiopia Director Pete Jones and Ambassador Sarah Parfitt gave a presentation to the Burnham Grammar Interact Club in November. The school is hoping to link up with one of our projects in Ethiopia.

With so much achieved in 2017 next year is going to be even better.  We have just started to outline our plans for 2018 but in summary we would like to:

  • Help an additional 100 women start their own business.
  • Our junior and adult Ambassadors have been so successful with supporting the community of Gende Tesfa we want to extend our support to another area. From 2018 we will be asking new Ambassadors to support the poorest schools (Basso Primary and Biruh Tesfa Primary School) and women in the northern Ethiopian town of Debre Berhan.
  • We will aim to fund and provide a breakfast club, for just £3.10 per child, per day we can provide a nourishing breakfast for the children, often their only meal of the day.
  • For Ambassadors in Holy Trinity School and Cookham we will continue their wonderful link with Gende Tesfa.

If you would like to get involved, we are a supportive team who would love to see how you could help.  Please email Pete Jones at pete@pfcethiopia.org for more information.

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