Last week in numbers
188 children received new school materials for the new school year!
117 children received a hot meal at the Kindu Trust
84 children used the Kindu Library
73 received educational support at the Kindu Klub
44 toddlers learnt their alphabet at Kindu Playgroup
27 children played football together
16 families received medical support
6 home visits were made by the Sponsorship team
The Bakery is Officially ‘Open for Business’!
We’re pleased to announce that The Kindu Trust and Meketa bakery is now open for business! The local authority donated the land and building for the bakery and equipment was selected and brought in from the capital, Addis Ababa, last month by our Project Manager. The staff have attended their vocational training, picking up baking skills as well as business and marketing training.
The opening has not been without obstacles as the statutory price of bread was changed and Ethiopia hit a flour shortage shortly after the bakery opened. However, the bakery staff – a team of 10 parents of disadvantaged children in Gondar – have settled into the bakery and are now refining their cooking techniques and introducing themselves to customers in the local area!
Ethiopia Celebrates Meskel!
Another fortnight, another religious festival in Ethiopia! Last week saw the Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrating ‘Meskel’, also known as the ‘Finding of the True Cross’.
Meskel takes place on the 26th of September and lasts for two days, the first being Demera when a cross is lit on fire and the second being Meskel when people use ashes from the burnt fire to mark themselves with the cross and celebrate with family and friends.
The festival commemorates the finding of the True Cross many centuries ago when Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, is said to have discovered the True Cross on which Christ was crucified. According to the legend, unable to find the Holy Sepulchre, Empress Helena lit incense and prayed for help. The smoke from the burning fire drifted towards the direction of the buried cross. She dug and found three crosses; one of them was the True Cross used to crucify Jesus Christ. Empress Helena then gave a piece of the True Cross to all churches, including the Ethiopian Church. A fragment of the True Cross is reputedly held at the Gishen Mariam, about 70 kilometers northwest of Dessie.
Ethiopians have been celebrating this day for millennium. The first day, Demera, sees bonfires built topped by a cross to which flowers are tied. The flowers are Meskel Daisies. The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church orchestrates the lightening ceremony. After the bonfires are blessed, they are lit and dancing and singing begins around them. Priests in full ceremonial dress sing around the bonfire. People often also build smaller versions of the bonfire at their homes.
On the second day, Meskel, people return to the location of the fire to mark themselves with the form of the cross using the ashes and to observe the way in which the ashes and splinters have fallen, which is believed to indicate something about the coming year. This is followed by the sharing of food and drink with family and neighbours as people continue to colourfully celebrate Meskel throughout the day.