Welcome to C-GSCA's Fall, 2013 Newsletter.
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Our Mission:
To collaborate with the people of Gondar to develop sustainable solutions and promote cultural awareness, respect, and understanding

Words from the President

Welcome to our Fall edition of the Corvallis-Gondar Sister Cities (C-GSCA) Newsletter. In this edition, you will find personal quotes and stories  about how our projects are having a positive impact on the lives of the people in Gondar, Ethiopia.
 I am also thankful to the seven C-GSCA members who traveled to Gondar this past Summer and Fall and who worked so effortlessly on the many projects shared in this newsletter.
Lastly, our work could not be done without you, our friends and members, and your generous support throughout these past years.
With humility and gratitude,
Robel Tadesse

Wells…More Than Just Water:
An Amazing Story

It was a dramatic day in June 2012 when a well was drilled for the villagers of Sabiya Sayina.  People were dancing when they saw the water flowing from the new well. In June 2013, Richard Raymond, C-GSCA member, returned to Gondar to check on the well and see how things were going.  He received a big surprise.         
"While chatting with the village administrator, he pulled me aside and pointed to two new buildings," Richard remembers.  "See those", the administrator said, "that is a new library and a new science laboratory for the high school. We would never have been able to build them without the water from the new well. And now, the new high school will open in the fall."
As Richard reflects now, "It was a surprise to me to think that a simple well was providing not only water, but a high school education in the village of Sabiya Sayina.” 

Opening Doors:
Computers and the Internet

In August, Don and Maxine Prickel, C-GSCA members, provided a 3 week teacher training module in the use and application of internet for 20 teachers at Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary School in Gondar.  Read about what teachers and students say as a result of their computer trainings.
Amsal Alemseged, Social Sciences teacher

Text Box: Insert pic“Having the computers is very nice.  I have an email address (now) and can search the internet … to research some geography facts for a lesson, how many continents there which is the biggest, the smallest, where is the highest mountain and other information. “

Yeshembet Dognew, Grade 8 student

Text Box: Insert jpg“I can now use computers; open, close, draw, paint and create documents.  The course has given us more knowledge and is very helpful for the future…”  She is excited about being trained this year to use the internet.
Alemayehu Zeleke, Deputy Director and Social Science teacher: “Before the training I didn’t know how to use internet, but now I do.  I want to (make) contact with other social science teachers to help my teaching, which the internet can help me do.” 
Mara Manasibe, Grade 5 student: “I can use different computer programs and create different documents.”
Sosena Sheferaw, Grade 7 student: “Since the training I’ve been able to open programs, write in word and create other documents.  I am now confidence in using computers.”

Eyes: Windows to the Soul

In August, Cindy Ertle, public health nurse and C-GSCA member, conducted eye screenings of teachers, students, and community members.
                                     Disappointed when her 534 pairs of used reading glasses, donated by the Corvallis Lions Club, were denied entrance by customs officials, and determined not to disappoint, Cindy continued to provide eye screenings at TY School. After locating 150 pairs of eye glasses supplied by a street vendor in Gondar, Cindy saw and heard how eyeglasses importantly matter!  Cindy reported, “ I had an elderly tailor, with declining eyesight and unable to thread a needle, find improved vision and a way to restore his income. His new eye glasses have become his lifesaver!”

Listening & Learning:
A New Library Addition

Also in August  2013 C-GSCA members added eleven sets of books with tapes and three listening centers (three tape recorders with 5 headsets each) to the school’s library. With training provided by Maxine Prickel in the use of the centers, the library became a media center overnight. Here you see Librarian Serawit and TY students using the listening centers. C-GSCA thanks Karen Sundseth for obtaining the listening centers from a school that was closing in Albany.

Surprises, and More:
Science and Math Training

In October, Dr. Ray William, C-GSCA member, provided training in active learning methods for a group of 32 science and math teachers from 7 elementary schools throughout Gondar.

“A group of older biology teachers had been giving me a hard time, fussing about this and that, so my expectations were any- thing but good,” says  Dr. Ray. “However, all four contributed actively to a stellar demonstration of what and how to engage students in learning the 5 senses!” 

Beyond the Imagination:
Sowing Gardens in Gondar

In 2012, C-GSCA was approached by Slow Food Corvallis, a local organization whose mission largely is the thoughtful preparation and consumption of foods and beverages, to partner with Yenege Tesfa, (“Hope for Tomorrow”), an organization which houses and educates street orphans in Gondar.  $1100 was transferred in May of 2013. Little did anyone imagine what would be accomplished in just three months!

Nigisti Gebreselassie, Yenege Tesfa’s able manager, along with staff and residents constructed a set of raised beds that are already producing beets, onion, tomatoes, garlic, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, spinach and peppers. As Nigisti reports, the project “has managed to grow a large amount of vegetables using a very small surface of land,” demonstrating how productive urban agriculture can occur, when resources are carefully used. 

Toward a Sustainable Future

Since 2005, Corvallis and Gondar, Ethiopia, have planted more than 1.5 million trees to reduce sedimentation in the city’s Angereb water reservoir. In October, Dr. Ray William met with local farmers and city officials who reported the need for an integrated approach using many methods to preserve land resources, livelihoods, and the life of the reservoir as a sole source of Gondar city’s potable water.

With leadership from Bridge of Hope, the University of Gondar, and Corvallis-Gondar Sister Cities (C-GSCA), 17 stakeholders representing farmers, agricultural agents and specialists, and non-profits developed a wide range of actions summarized in a document, “Improving Water Supply to the City of Gondar and Livelihood of Smallholder Farmers through Integrated Development of Angereb Watershed” (
for details visit the web site). As a next step, C-GSCA will be working with the Gondar leadership to develop proposals for action and funding.

Tejetu's Journey:
The Serendipity of Sponsorship

Tejetu was orphaned at the age of 12 due to her parents recent deaths. She suffered from ascites, a liver disease that seriously threatened her life.  Tejetu’s health continues to deteriorate.

Serendipitously, the Prickels’, on their first trip to Gondar, meet and become emotionally drawn to her, deciding to “sponsor” her.  By coincidence, they meet a physician in Gondar willing to perform surgery and prescribe on-going medications as a possible treatment plan. Tejetu’s life miraculously changes as her health improves.

Fast forward! She graduates from high school, and dreams to further her education. She told the Prickels’, “I was sick often and in the hospital.  I remember seeing the difficulties women were having during childbirth in my village.  When I saw the value of nursing while I was in the hospital, I decided to become a midwife nurse.” 

 In August, 2013, The Prickels’ celebrated Tejetu graduation from midwifery school. She graduated third in a class of 150. 
Inspiring? Yes!
Fall 2013
In This Issue

Wells...More Than Water

Opening Doors: Computers & Internet

Eyes: Windows to the Soul

Listening & Learning: A New Addition

Surprises: Science & Math Training

Beyond Imagination: Sowing Gardens

Agroforestry and Sustainability

Tejetu's Journey

Your Are Invited! 


2014 Ethiopian Cultural Dinner and Auction

January 26

5:00-8:00 pm

Enjoy an evening with authentic Ethiopian foods (with new menu items), coffee, ethnic costumes,
music and explanations about the people and their culture.

Location: First Congregational United Church of Christ, 4515 SW. West Hills Rd., Corvallis.

Tickets: $22 (adults), $10 (ages 7-14), free
(ages 6 and under) available at Grass Roots Bookstore,
 or call Crystal for ticket sales at 541-754-6364 after January 2, 2013.
ON SALE: Jump Ropes 
Parents of Ethiopian Adoptees have embarked on a project to make Ethiopian-inspired jump ropes (yellow, green, and red) for children in the sister city of Gondar.   All proceeds will be 
donated to C-GSCA’s Education Work Group.

Plans are underway to send additional jump ropes to Ethiopia when the next Corvallis delegation visits Gondar in October, 2014.

Wishing to purchases jump ropes?  $5.00 each.  Contact Crystal at 541-754-6364 for purchases and/or donations to Gondar. 

Interested in hearing about and/or joining the Parents group?

Contact Jamie Petts

The following projects are currently being planned or being researched as possible projects for the future in our sister city, Gondar.

1) Menstrual Pad Project: A project to train girls and mothers to make their own menstrual pads "Teaching pre-menstrual/early menstrual girls how to make washable menstrual pads is critical for keeping many young girls in school and not dropping out of school after their cycles start," reports Els Lofgren, a nurse practitioner and C-GSCA member. 

2) Micro-Financing/Income Generation:  Members of the Water and Watershed Work Group have been researching the benefits and potential for developing financial systems to help individuals in Gondar to start and launch new businesses.

3) Corvallis Delegation to Gondar:  Interested in traveling to Gondar and working with with members of C-GSCA's work groups?   Areas of work tasks involve water and wells, watershed rehabilitation, making classroom materials, conducting summer camps, rehabilitation of classrooms, and training teachers. 

Interested in any of these projects?  
Email us

Volunteer - Donate - Join Us!

1) Become a Member
Become a member by visiting our web page 
If you are already a member, ask a friend or relative to join C-GSCA.
2) Donate items of clothing, school supplies, computers, books or Cash

3) Join one of two work groups
a) Water and Watershed (Contact Lee March)
b) Education and Schools (Contact Maxine Prickel)
4) Attend an Event:
Sunday, January 26
Ethiopian Cultural Dinner and Auction
First Congregational United Church of Christ,
4515 SW. West Hills Rd., Corvallis.
See details in this newsletter or
Visit our web page


The production of tree seedlings and their eventual replanting annually of such are a major goal in any watershed rehabilitation effort.  C-GSCA’s campaign seeks to plant 100,000+ tree seedlings (at an approximate cost of $4,000) in the Angereb watershed to reduce soil erosion, water contamination and to extend the life of the reservoir.  

Here is what a donation can accomplish:

It takes…
$1.00 to raise and plant approximately 25 tree seedlings.

$25 for 625 tree seedlings

$50 for 1250 tree seedlings
$75 for 1875 tree seedlings

$100 for 2500 tree seedlings


Donate to the Water and Watershed Campaign


Sponsor a Child

You can sponsor a child in our sister city of Gondar by contacting us or contacting one of our preferred and highly recommended organizations below: 

World’s Children, a charity that facilitates sponsorship of HIV orphans in Ethiopia and working directly with Bridge of Hope, an orphanage located in Gondar, serving a number of children with HIV/AIDS. 

Contact: P.O.Box 2708, Corvallis, Or. 97339; 541-230-1191

World of Good: an organization in Junction City, Oregon that helps coordinate sponsorship of orphans with WOGEN in Gondar, an organization that seeks to keep orphaned children in the homes of relatives through monthly sponsorship fees.

Contact:  P.O. Box 602, Junction City, Oregon 97448
Our Web Site
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