Welcome to our new on-line eNewsetter. Please share!
Our Mission:
To collaborate with the people of Gondar to develop sustainable solutions and promote cultural awareness, respect, and understanding

Words from the President

On behalf of the entire Corvallis-Gondar Sister Cities Association (C-GSCA), we wish you a very happy holiday season!  We extend to you and your families a heart-felt blessing of peace, health, and prosperity through this season and the new year.  Your support has enabled C-GSCA to work continuously  and successfully with our friends and citizens in Gondar, Ethiopia, our sister city.
There is a change at our Board of Director’s level.   I am honored to serve as your new president.  We thank Don Prickel for his past 2.5 years as President on the Board of Directors, as he assumes a few new roles.  Don will continue to serve as Vice-President on the C-GSCA Board and will also assume a new role of Public Information Coordinator.  He’ll be co-managing this newsletter with Naomi Hirsch, assisting in memberships with Kathy Seeburger, and assisting our Board of Directors, the Water and Watershed and Education Work Groups in announcing the many annual activities that are planned through this new year.

I hope you enjoy this new format of our newsletter. Please share your comments with us, so we can communicate with you effectively.

On behalf of C-GSCA, I extend to you wishes for a healthy and peaceful 2013!
Robel Tadesse
President, C-GSCA

“Gondar Gift Giving”

C-GSCA is launching Gondar Gift Giving , an exciting way you can financially support two projects currently underway by our Education and Water Work Groups respectively.

A) Education Work Group Campaign: A month’s internet fees = $65. (From January through June, 2013) $65 pays for one month of internet services for the computer classroom at Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary School, our sister school.

Goal: We are committed to 18 months of internet fees, after which the Gondar’s Ministry of Education will assume expenses indefinitely.
Four $65 donations already have been received. All we need are 14 more donations!

B) Water and Watershed Work Group Campaign:  Tree Seedling Production = increments of $25 for 625 tree seedlings (at $50/1250; $75/1875; $100/2500)

One year 2013 Goal:  It costs $1.00 to raise and plant approximately 25 tree seedlings. This campaign seeks to plant 100,000+ tree seedlings ( or approximately $4000.00)  in the Angereb watershed to reduce soil erosion, water contamination and extend the life of the reservoir.

Current Status of Campaign:
  $ Received = Tree Seedlings  Goal Remaining
  $125 = 3,125 seedlings  $3,875 needed =  96,875
  tree seedlings
C-GSCA Thanks You!

Sending Jeanne Raymond
a Standing Ovation

Jeanne Raymond ends her term on the Corvallis  City Council, Ward 7 officially on December 31,  2012.  Now as she retires for the second time,  the first time as a K-12 grade educator, she will be DEEPLY missed as the Corvallis City Council Liaison to the Corvallis Sister Cities Association (Gondar, Ethiopia and Uzhorrod, Ukraine).  During her term, she attended quarterly meetings of the Corvallis  Sister Cities Association’s (CSCA) Board of Directors,  attended our many events, advocated for supportive funding, and volunteered to help at various fund-raisers.

In addition, she served as Liaison to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, served on the Human Services Committee, and has also been able to work with the Corvallis Alliance for Diversity, the Sustainability Coalition, the Positive Youth Development Committee, and many others in the Corvallis Community.

“Councilor Raymond epitomizes the generous and compassionate spirit of service above self and for that she deserves our gratitude and thanks,” said  Jim Patterson, City Manager.
Jeanne, we certainly echo these words.  C-GSCA and your many friends of Corvallis give you a “standing ovation” for your dedication and service to the Corvallis community.  You are an example to us all.

Ethiopian Cultural
Dinner, Sale & Auction

Enjoy a cultural evening with authentic Ethiopian foods, coffee, ethnic costumes, and a brief explanation about the people and their religions.

Funds raised will support teacher training, science equipment, and teachers from Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary School to visit Corvallis schools.
Date: Sunday, January 27, 2013
Time: 5:00-8:00 pm
Location: First Congregational United Church of Christ, 4515 SW. West Hills Rd.
$22 (adults), $10 (ages 7-14), 6 and under free
Tickets available:
  • In person at Grass Roots Bookstore in Corvallis,
  • On-line on the web site
  • Or call Crystal at 541-754-6364 for questions or ticket sales.

Toilet/Shower Construction Project a Success

Members of C-GSCA’s Water and Watershed Work Group, under the leadership of Lee March, are to be congratulated on the success of this 3-year project in Gondar, Ethiopia. All major construction work has now been completed on four public restroom/shower facilities and a community public health information center funded by a 2009 grant from Sister Cities International for $115,000. The four restroom/shower facilities now serve two locations in the Azezo kebele (community), one in the Arbegnoch market area, and one in Tseda. The health center is in the Maraki kebele (village).

As with any large project, some details still need to be completed. The Arbegnoch site cannot be opened until a safe access is provided by the City of Gondar in conjunction with a City street widening project. Operation at the Tseda site is limited to the daytime hours because the facility is not yet connected to Gondar’s electric power grid. C-GSCA representatives will continue to work with their counterparts in Gondar to address all remaining issues.

The kebele administrators have employed facility operators, two at each site, to insure cleanliness and ongoing maintenance.   Reasonable user fees have been established (1 birr for shower [5 cents, USD] and 0.50 birr [2.5 cents, USD] for toilet use) to offset costs of maintenance and operator salaries.

Under the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, C-GSCA will track usage over the next year and document the positive impacts on the surrounding areas.

The health center was requested by the Maraki  kebele administrators once it was determined that the geology of the site would preclude the construction of a restroom septic system.  A contract revision was processed and a new contractor was hired to complete the work in less than 60 days.  The  residents of this kebele will greatly benefit from increased access to medical services.

Education Delegation to Gondar A Success!

A delegation of five Corvallis volunteers (Els Lofgren, Karen Sundseth, Don and Maxine Prickel, and Rebeka Dorr) traveled to Gondar, Ethiopia this past fall (September 25 to October 12, 2012).  During the previous two years, administrators and teaching faculty at Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary School (TY), our sister school, have continued to ask for C-GSCA’s assistance in achieving a 3-year plan of becoming a model public school in their city of Gondar. 

The following provides a small picture of the many activities, experiences, and tasks engaged in by our C-GSCA’s delegates during their 3-week stay with TY teaching faculty:

  • Assisted in renovating, repainting and designing a classroom to be used as a model for continued professional development of teachers;
  • Built classroom bulletin and teaching boards;
  • Created learner-centered math, science, and reading materials;
  • Assisted in a one-week professional development workshop for teachers conducted by the Gondar College of  Teacher Education;
  • Demonstrated teaching approaches and use of interactive materials introduced computer software programs for classroom learning; and
  • Initiated a series of seminars for 6th and 7th grade girls, on topics of nutrition and health.
In addition, seven additional computers were added to the school’s computer classroom, 150 soccer shirts were donated by Don Marcum from St. Mary’s School in Albany, and 2 dozen balls  donated by Sarah Maxwell and Rebeka Dorr, both of Corvallis. A number of math games produced by Stephanie Swenson’s Linus Pauling 7th grade students, a Corvallis Alphabet Book created by Lori Tubbs’ 3rd grade students from Mt. View  Elementary School, and an Oregon Wildlife set of photos with informative descriptions developed by Jill Sisson’s 5th grade students at Ashbrook Independent School were also presented to the school.
In This Issue

Gondar Gift Giving!

Honoring Jeanne Raymond

Gondar Sister Cities Association

Ethiopian Cultural Dinner and Auction

Construction Project a Success

Education Delegation

In Appreciation

Upcoming Events and Meetings

Ethiopian Cultural Dinner, Sale & Auction: 
Date: Sunday, January 27, 2013
Time: 5:00-8:00 pm
Get more details below
Membership Month: November-December, 2012 Enroll as a new member and/or renew your membership.  Tax-deductible. 
Monthly Meetings:

C-GSCA Board of Directors, 3rd Monday of each month, 6:00 pm., Madison Avenue Conference Room (Contact Robel:

Education Work Group, 3rd Wednesday of each month, 5:30 pm, Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, 9th St. and Monroe. (Contact Maxine:

Water and Watershed Work Group, 3rd Thursday of each month, 6:00 pm., Benton County/Corvallis Public Library. (Contact Lee:

Other Member-Related Activities:

Parents of Adopted Ethiopian Children: Support Group.  TBA. (Contact Jamie:

Amharic Children’s Classes. (Contact Robel:

Sister Cities Association Formed in Gondar 

With the vision of Gondar administrators and its Deputy Mayor, Getinet Amare, the Gondar Sister Cities Association was officially established this past summer.  This  10-member board will work closely with the Corvallis-Gondar Sister Cities Association’s (C-GSCA) Board of Directors and work groups.  The Gondar Association will assist C-GSCA to meet the following outcomes:

Identify Gondar’s more immediate and future needs and priorities;

2) Collaborate more closely in facilitating current and future projects;,

3) Increase the degree of efficiency (time and labor costs) on all work tasks; and

4) Establish a system for monthly communications that sustains a positive and supportive relationship between both sister cities.

C-GSCA wishes to congratulate Deputy Mayor Getinet  Amare and the following members of Gondar Sister City Association who will assist C-GSCA’s many important activities in Gondar: 
Chair: Professor Yigzaw Kebede, Vice-Chair: Shumye Woldeselassie, Ambassador Zemene Kassegn, Dr. Gashaw Messele, Menber Enyew, AsayeAsnake, Dires Feleke, Girmachew Moges, Kassahun Tarekegn, Ayanaw Mengesha

In Appreciation

The entire family of C-GSCA wish to thank two organizations which have supported  our outreach efforts.


We thank the many members of the Church of Doxology and its pastor, Pete Kelly, for their holiday donation campaign that raised in excess of $32,000.  These funds will be used exclusively to dig more wells in the rural areas of Gondar, Ethiopia, our sister city.  Families, mostly women and children, spend a greater portion of the day walking up to three miles to get water that is likely to be contaminated and/or polluted.

Starker Forest
We thank Starker Forest for their continued support in our tree planting efforts. We appreciate the $500 annual contribution which will add 12,500 new trees to be planted this year in the Angereb Watershed, Gondar Ethiopia.
Our Web Site
The bathroom constructed.
The Health Center constructed by the Water and Watershed Workgroup.
Demonstrating a math game (Karen and TY teacher with kids)
New "model" classroom
Enjoying new computers
Copyright © 2012 Corvallis-Gondar Sister Cities Association, All rights reserved.