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posted 12 May 2012, 06:28 by David Male

Kath Roper in Ethiopia

Following my recent note about being able to send over £1500 to Kath in Ethiopia for her various projects, I have received a wonderful letter, to you, from her which is printed below.

Kath is coming back to England for a break from mid August to mid September and we are hoping to have a special money raising event whilst she is home so that she has even more money to take back. She will be bringing back with her some pashmina scarves, netellas (which are a type of white scarf), wooden puzzles and leather keyrings. Many of these things will have been made by disabled people in Ethiopia so we will be supporting them in two ways. Please keep a look out in your parish magazines for further details. If anyone is willing to help with this event, which will happen in The Manor Arms, Abberley and will include refreshments, or has any other ideas of how we can raise money on the night then please get in touch.

Sallie Butcher
01299 896837

Debre Birhan

Dear Friends and Great Supporters,

What an amazing amount of money appeared in my Ethiopian bank account today. The balance stood at 53 birr and 29 cents, worth about £3, before your colossal deposit appeared and once more I am overwhelmed by your continuing and huge generosity.

Although I don’t hear much of world news here I am aware that there are great financial crises everywhere and though Ethiopian people generally have no savings to lose they are very much affected by inflation, especially in food prices. They are also affected by the scarcity of jobs.

The plight of the street orphans is worse than ever, as people can’t afford to give them the little jobs that used to feed them. However, there is much road building going on everywhere in Ethiopia and females are often used as labourers carrying short stretchers piled with stones, soil or cement, or digging or flattening ground with spades. Many look most picturesque in long chiffon skirts, sequinned scarves and floppy straw hats, but it is very hard work for them, especially on little food and in blazing sun.

It seems that beggars have increased in number and I am told that sometimes men will commit some minor crime just to be taken to prison. Having visited two prisons I can only say that I would very much hate having to live there, but I suppose a roof over the head and guaranteed food is much better than having nowhere and nothing.

Due to your great kindness at least some of the young street orphans of Debre Birhan will eventually be rescued from their miserable existence and given hope for a brighter future. As I ran out of money, building the Girls’ House had to cease for a while, but thanks to all of you, work can now begin again.

People have sometimes said to me that they consider I am doing a great job here, but I can only say that I am just an enabler fortunate enough to be in the country, so able to see where the needs lie. Without the support of each one of you I should be able to help no one so I can truly say that it is YOU who are doing the great job.

An enormous thank you then to each and every one of you, to all my very good friends, to Sallie and Richard Butcher who have worked tirelessly to raise, co-ordinate and collect and make sure that donations arrive safely, to Jennifer Burg-Howle (what a brave lady), to Muriel and Trevor Nott, so generous, the Great Witley and Abberley Cubs, the Tuesday coffee morningers and all of those un-named, but no less important, individuals who made personal donations.

I remember reading somewhere that, “Big deeds are a lot of little deeds one after the other”. Well, what a deed you have ensured by your constant support over the two years I have been in Ethiopia. My heart, love and gratitude go out to all of you.