Ethiopia, Africa

ETH03 - Begaimeder Academy: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: May 13, 2016

Report from BHW Field Director


tough timesRecent Events


There is a fair amount of general unrest in the Amhara region at the moment which is resulting in many ethnic clashes and a number of people being killed. The government has given land to Sudan and the Kemant / Qimant people are not happy about it. They are the ethnic group most affected by this and have begun to protest. They want the land given back and to obtain autonomy in terms of determining their own future. Many of the ethnic minorities want some form of self-government and are now refusing to pay taxes. 

These people are those around Gonder so the protests are largely in the area where Worku is operating. More than 100 people have been killed in the area around Gonder including Tikel Dingaye where one of the care centres is based. 

Many people have been displaced. Each State has it's own army and the local governments are using these to enforce their will. However, the federal government has shifted in the main army and there are frequent clashes. Many of the members of local committees have disappeared and people are becoming increasingly infuriated.  

operating well


Senior Citizen Care Charitable Association has been registered and the care of the vulnerable now comes under it. It has been good to get the final approval for this and separate it from the school and the church planting and development. This separation is a positive thing but it has taken a lot of time to get the final approval. 

The three care centres are operating well (ETH02b, 02l, 02m). They now have a store room available which is good as it takes the pressure off the purchasing and makes them much more efficient. There are a number of cost savings as well being able to purchase in bulk. 

The programme at Asezo (ETH02l) now has 70 people involved since the amount we sent was increased. 

The blind young people (ETH02k) continue to do well in school and are amazing the teachers and school leaders. 

growing in numbersThe church planting and development continues to grow (ETH02a, 02c). Worku is very encouraged by the growth in numbers and in the development of new groups. In fact, he’s very excited. They were able to repair three of the five church buildings that were damaged by tornados about nine months ago. However, the remaining two have been a real problem to repair. The local people have caused a lot of grief, mocking them because of their inability to fix them so we agreed to let them use a little of the training funds to renovate. The new Christians were confused and discouraged by the attitude of other groups in the community and we being drawn away. This has been completed now. 

The major emphasis at the moment is on the development of the school buildings (ETH03). Unless this can be continued then the ability of the school to fund ministry will be compromised. Worku is very hard at work, and under a fair amount of pressure. He has to be on site most of the time supervising the workers and contractors and to do all the purchasing. He says he is very busy, but very encouraged. 

lots more work to doHe is under pressure to have the first phase of the main building ready for operations by June. Many parents are reluctant to send their children to the kindergarten if the primary school is not operating. If parents have more than one child, they don’t want to send their kids to different schools.  He is therefore rushing to be open in September for the addition of grades 1–4 but that means he has to be approved by the education people in June. He is busy rushing to get windows, floors levelled and plastered, painting, water, sewage, toilets, doors, walkways and safety barriers to the other parts of the building. 

He has ordered two school buses from Dubai. There were some issues with the order so it has been delayed, but they should be there about now. These will be a great addition to the school. Not having enough buses has been a major barrier for parents sending their children to the school as it is a little out of town. 


Partnership's Influence within the Community

great benefitThe partnership is significant in influence. Everyone who comes in contact with Worku is impressed and challenged by his integrity. This doesn’t always make life easier for him, in fact in some ways it makes it more difficult. 

The local government people are very happy with the partnership over the care of the elderly and vulnerable. He added more to the Asezo project, but they now want more already!

The Blind Association continue to be happy with progress and the education people are amazed at the progress of the students but also impressed by the partnership between Worku and the Blind Association. It is not something that happens easily in Ethiopia. 

Many people come in for a look at the school, especially parents wanting their children to come. This takes a lot of time. Many teachers come to look and then want to work there. The current headmistress is doing a great job with the school and is a blessing. There will be no problem obtaining teachers when they are required. 

high standardThe Amhara regional governors are very complimentary about the project and the standard it is setting. The school development continues to amaze the locals and education people. They want to make the school a model for the whole region. Worku is concerned about this as he doesn’t want to make waves or be too observable. However, that is going to be difficult with a facility in that location. 

The current students are doing really well. There are 70 children in Kindergarten class at the moment and it grows every week. There are three classes. 


Plans for the Future

The first major event is to obtain the approval to open the primary school, the assessment is held in June. 

In June there will be an official opening of the school. They will have a large number of important people come to attend. 

In September he expects to open the kindergarten with a full complement, around 350 children. And to have around 250 children in grades 1-4. At the moment they are doing a lot of advertising in the community. It will be interesting to see how that develops. 

I plan to visit again in October with a team from Chase Oaks. We will focus on visiting the Gumuz area and then back to Gonder. 


Current Issues and Challenges

need more busesWorku’s busyness and the pressure of important deadlines. 

The clearing of the buses from Dubai so this doesn’t cause issues when the new school year commences in September. 

Safety and health for Worku. This partnership is entirely dependent on him being there and able to function well. 


Prayer and Praise Points

1) The good reputation in the community with all the ministries. 
2) The progress with the school, however, this needs to continue
3) The ongoing development of the church planting, especially in the Gumuz area
4) That the ongoing ethnic tensions won’t erupt and especially not create issues for Worku and his work. He is Kemant as well and pray he doesn’t get drawn into the issues.



very impressiveWorku has borrowed money from a bank to take the project into the profit phase. In February the value of the property was assessed at ETB22,000,000 (just over $US1,000,000). On the basis of that he borrowed ETB4,000,000 ($US180,000). This loan is for 5 years and is to complete the building and development to get it to earning profit. 

The plan is to significantly reduce the support from Chase Oaks Church at the end of 2016 for the following year. This may cause some issues that BHW might have to be willing to underwrite, especially in the area of the widows, however COC is very keen to make it work with a reasonable transition. The key is to get as many children into the school as soon as possible, and that requires the building to remain on track.  

I intend to go there twice a year for the next couple of years, once with Chase Oaks around October and again early in the year to get an "on-the-spot" report. 


high standard