Thank you for the children

You may recall a post I did last year: “Who are those children”.

It was about a small school in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, where children or teachers had no drinkable water, and no real toilets to speak of. A project was launched by my former schoolmates of the Franco-Ethiopian Lycée Guebre Mariam, in Addis, using crowdfunding, the help of the Rotary and a lot of work on behalf of the team “on the ground”.


I am pleased to report that the project has been successfully completed: 4 toilets for the girls, 4 for the boys, 10 washing hands faucets (or taps), two shower stalls for the teachers, and, last but not least, 10 faucets for drinkable water (with a purifying machine).


To all those who have supported this project, there is only one word: Egzar-Yistelign. (May God reward you). It is pronounced more like ez-zere-stel-lin, but my Amharik is but a handful of words. I had to ask my former schoolmate Brook about the correct spelling. The Amharik version is: እግዜር:ይስጥልኝ


The project team in Addis included:

Aster Zewdé (Whom I remember as Aster “Zaoudé”, my former classmate in Senior High at the Franco-Ethiopian Lycée Guebre Mariam). (Salut Aster!)

Getahoun Yitbarek

Tiguest Girma

Renato Gula

Girma Dominique

Tadesse Guessesse

Zerihoun Tecle

Félicitations à tous!


This, I believe is a very good example of a well-conducted “development” project. One school only. A small manageable project. Crowdfunding. No big million dollar World Bank thing. (Which does have its usefulness but takes a  bit more time). A local team driving the efforts. And at the end, drinkable water for 300 children. No more, no less. Congratulations again to the entire team. (A special mention for Brook who runs one of the Lycée’s alumni networks, keeps us informed of what happens in the community and has done a lot to publicize this project.)


Next time you open the tap or faucet to brush your teeth think about how privileged most of us are. (And cut the water off whilst you are actually brushing your teeth). 🙂

Again, thank you, grazie, merci, egzar-yistelign to all who’ve contributed to make this wonderful project a reality.


39 thoughts on “Thank you for the children

  1. Wonderful and grand. The future for all of us is the children. They are the future leaders, scientists, inventors, and so much more. I read about micro lending and micro banks. The idea is what you said, no overly large scale hard to get done items and much more manageable small scale loans for local projects the local both are involved in and benefit from. I have just one question. I noticed in a couple posts that there is a high fence around the school. I was wondering why? Hugs

    • Agreed. Small scale is most probably more efficient. High fence? I don’t’t know. Africa (or Latin America) have lots of security and violence and crime issues. Probably for the safety of the children… 😦

    • Well, I wouldn’t want to be the one to say: “you are grounded!” 😉 But, yes… There are so many things we take for granted. Drinkable running water for instance. 783 million people do not have access to clean water. 2.5 billion (out of 7.5) do not have access to adequate sanitation. Which is why I value this (tiny) initiative so much. Thanks for your words.

    • Thank you my friend. Yes the team over there is quite amazing. And again, many people in the “West” don’t realize what simple access to water means. They don’t even imagine frequent power cuts! tsss. Take care

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