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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

Ah, Spring is such a beautiful time of the year, and equally exciting are the many events of summer months.   Likewise excitement abounds in the many C-GSCA activities underway and this edition of the C-GSCA Spring/Summer Newsletter provides a lens into the joy of our members work with our Ethiopian friends.  In this edition, you will find events to attend, activities needing your support, and  partners and volunteers making a difference.
A) Mark your calendar for these events
  • May 1 through May 13, stop by and see your sister cities association display in the Footwise window, Madison and 3rd St, Corvallis, depicting the current activities underway in Gondar, Ethiopia. 
  • May 4-10, we celebrate Sister Cities Week. Visit us at the Saturday Market booth, Saturday, May 4, 9:00-1:00 and have a cup of Ethiopian coffee on us.
  • Saturday, August 17: By popular demand, your annual Walk for Water: Ethiopia,  and Market Village, Saturday, August 17 (moved from May to August to guarantee nicer weather).  
  • August and October: You may wish to join a number of our emmbers who will be traveling to Gondar in late Summer and Fall. (See article, “Summer & Fall Delegations Soon to Go to Gondar, Ethiopia—Join Us!”)
B) Activities Worthy of Your Support
  • Education Work Group: A qualified IT instructor has been hired for the IT computer lab classroom making Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary School, the first elementary public school to have such a classroom. (See article, “Gondar Elementary School Reaches Computer Literacy Goal”). 
  • Water and Watershed Work Group: Plans are underway for drilling more wells in the surrounding areas of Gondar city. Locations are now being identified that will bring water to villages whose residents previously walk more than 3 miles to find water that is often polluted and diseased.  (See article, “ More Wells Planned for Village Residents”)
C) Valuing Our Partners and Volunteers
  • Gondar Partners: We salute three individuals and their respective organizations whose key roles assist C-GSCA in successfully completing our projects from afar. (See article, “A Tribute to Our Gondar Partners”) 
  • A Special Volunteer: Our volunteer members are also special to us and we highlight one of our special members in this edition.  (Read more about, “Volunteer Recognition:  Naomi Hirsch – Using Web technologies to engage with stakeholders”).
Robel Tadesse
President, C-GSCA

Gondar Elementary School Reaches
Computer Literacy Goal

In 2010, C-GSCA’s Education Work Group was asked to assist in establishing a computer classroom at Tsadiku Yoahannes Elementary School and meet the goal of computer literacy for both teachers and students alike. Over a two-year period, a computer/IT classroom was identified, and outfitted with computer desks, and the needed wiring.  In turn, C-GSCA’s Education Work Group supplied the classroom with 18 computers.

By late February 2013,  C-GSCA’s Education Work Group provided funds for the broadband internet connections.  In March of this year, C-GSCA’s Education Work Group received notice that Worku Bizuye, a qualified IT teacher was hired.  Congratulations Ato Worku!

C-GSCA also thanks Yigzaw McKonnen, Berihun, and Tekeba from the Gondar Ministry of Education for their support in the hiring of Worku.  We thank all who made this possible in Gondar!
But one last step remains. The Education Work Group has agreed to fund the first 18 months of internet services at a cost of $65, the amount need for internet connectivity monthly.   After the first 18 months of internet monthly fees have been received, through C-GSCA donations and fund-raising efforts, the Gondar school district will absorb these costs into the school’s budget indefinitely.

May through June “Gondar Gift Giving” Campaign
Goal: C-GSCA’s Education Work Group is committed to paying 18 months of internet fees for Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary School.  $65.00 pays for one month of internet fee services.
Current status of this campaign: Five months are already funded and ONLY 13 donors are needed NOW to reach our goal. Help us by…
  1. Note number of months X $65/monthly internet fees on check.                                
  2. Send check to:  C-GSCA, P.O. Box 424, Corvallis, Oregon 97339                                                         
C-GSCA Thanks You!

More Wells Planned for Gondar Residents

Many people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water in their homes. This is especially true in Ethiopia.  C-GSCA’s Water and Watershed Work Group is serious about bringing clean water to residents in Gondar, having successfully completed eight wells in villages as of 2012.   These wells bring safe, clean drinking water to nearly 5,000 people who formerly had to walk 3 miles or more to find water in rivers often polluted and contaminated.

While past activities were drilled wells with less susceptibility to contamination from surface water, recent research with hand-dug wells provides an added option providing equally safe, clean water at considerably less expense than drilled wells.

Through the kindness of generous donors, the work group has been able to continue our well-building efforts.  In 2013, we are hoping to complete wells in four villages plus two schools serving more than 6,500 residents. Contractor selection is under way, and construction is expected within the next few weeks.

How Can You Help? 
By attending our annual Walk for Water: Ethiopia on August 17, 2013

The Corvallis Gondar Sister Cities Association sponsors an annual "Walk for Water" to raise funds to drill and dig wells for people in Gondar, Ethiopia so they will have a source of clean drinking water. The walk covers 5 km (3.1 miles), and gives participants the opportunity to experience in a small way what it means to have to "walk for water" every day.  Come share an experience you won’t forget!

Event:    Walk for Water: Ethiopia, 2013
Date:      Saturday, August 17, 2013
Time:      8:30 AM - Check in and Registration
               9:30 AM - 5K (3.1 mile)  Walk
              10:00 AM - 1:00 PM "Market Village”
with Ethiopian food and music, kids play and water experiment areas, booths with other vendors working in Africa
Location:  Benton County Fairgrounds, South Lawn.
Summer & Fall Delegations Soon to Go to Gondar, Ethiopia—Join Us!

Two separate delegations are being planned by members of the Education Work Group.

Delegation #1: August 1 – August 22, 2013  
Maxine and Don Prickel, along with Cindy Ertel, a registered nurse, will travel to Gondar to work with teachers and students at Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary School (TY) which serves over 2000 children. Max and Don will assist teachers in using the Internet to design and access curriculum and teaching resources. Cindy will be assessing both teachers and students’ vision and outfit them with eye glasses if needed.

Delegation #2: September 17 – October 11, 2013
Ray and Nancy William will join faculty from the Gondar College of Teacher Education Teacher to assess the current math and science curricula at Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary School (TY).  From this assessment, Ray will collaboratively develop a work plan with staff at TY School bringing back suggestions and recommendations for future actions to be taken by the Education Work Group.
If you are interested in having an equally stimulating and rewarding experience as part of a volunteer delegation to Gondar, Late Summer and/or Fall, 2013, contact Maxine Prickel.


Date:   Saturday, August 17, 2013
Time:   8:30 AM - Check in / Registration

9:30 AM - 5K (3.1 mile)  Walk

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM "Market Village”
 with Ethiopian food and music, kids play and water experiment areas, booths with other vendors working in Africa.

Location:  Benton County Fairgrounds, South Lawn.

How To Help

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 to one of our two “Gondar Gift Giving” Campaigns
Your monetary contribution is tax-deductible and you can specify how you wish your donation to be used and/or which work project you wish to fund.
Education--$65 = one month of internet fee services for our adopted school’s computer lab classroom for teachers and student.
2013 Goal: 18 months of internet monthly fees needs. 13 one month donors contributing $65!  We have received 5 months.
Water and Watershed--Tree Seedling Production: increments of $25 for 625 tree seedlings (at $50/1250; $75/1875; $100/2500)
2013 Goal: plant 100,000 trees, to reduce soil erosion, water contam- ination and extend the life of the reservoir. 
3) Join one of two work groups
         a) Water and Watershed
         b) Education and Schools
4) Attend an  Event
--Sister Cities Week, May 4-10
--Walk4Water: Ethiopia, August 17
Benton County Fairgrounds
See details in this newsletter or
Visit our web page

In This Issue

Computer Literacy Goal Reached

More Wells Planned

Delegates Traveling to Gondar

Walk for Water: Ethiopia

A Tribute to Our Partners

Recognizing a Special Volunteer

Upcoming Events and Meetings

Sister Cities Week, Saturday, May 4 through Friday, May 10
--visit us on Friday, May 4 at the Corvallis Saturday Market
--walk by the Footwise window that displays our many activities
Walk for Water Ethiopia, 2013 Saturday, August 17
--Walk the 5k/3.1 mile pathway,
from the Benton County Fair- grounds and then attend the fun activities for kids, music, food and displays at the Market Village, with all proceeds going towards drilling wells for the citizens of Gondar, Ethiopia.
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 Petts
--Amharic Children’s Classes. (Contact Robel Tadesse)

A Tribute to the Gondar Partners

C-GSCA honors the following partners who have played key roles in C-GSCA’s work in Gondar.
•	Asaye Asnake – Bridge of Hope (BofH)
Asaye Asnake –
Bridge of Hope (BofH) 
Asaye is the director of the Bridge of Hope (BofH), a non-profit organization in Gondar that operates across the following major project areas: 1) institutional (an orphanage) and community-based child care support,  2) urban agriculture for poor people and HIV/AIDs affected communities, 3) HIV/AIDs prevention, care and support, and 4) provision of safe and clean water and natural resources conservation through tree planting and drilling of wells.                             

His expert assistance, guidance and support have allowed C-GSCA’s Water and Watershed Work Group to locate and construct more hand-pump wells annually, expand a watershed restoration project involving tree seedling production and planting, and assitance in the construction of a public  bathroom/shower construction project. C-GSCA is indebted to Asaye and his leadership on the ground in Gondar!
Meleshew Tizazu -
The Gondar College of Teacher Education and

Elsa Kebede - Link Ethiopia
Meleshew Tizazu, Coordinator of Professional Development and In-service Training for Gondar College of Teacher Education (GCTE) and Elsa Kebede, School Links manager for Link Ethiopia (LE)  are two key professionals who have closely worked with C-GSCA’s Education Work Group to assist Shemeles Brile, Director of Tsadiku Yohannes Elementary School (TY) to transform his school into a “model school” for Gondar city.  And what a team they have become!

Meleshew has created an exemplary training program for teachers to advance the skills of faculty at TY School.   In working with teachers at TY school, she and her staff from GCTE, Gondar’s main teacher training institute, models active learning methods, continuous assessment of students, and action research techniques.  Meleshew is inspirational as a teacher and is key to C-GSCA’s work at TY School.

Working closely with Meleshew is Link Ethiopia’s Elsa Kebede.  LE is a non-profit educational agency , whose mission is to improve the quality of teaching and learning in area public schools. Elsa has served as C-GSCA’s main communication and coordination link with staff and director Schemeles,  Meleshew, and the Ministry of Education. Her efforts to represent and act as “our person on the ground” for C-GSCA’s Education Work Group is largely responsible for achieving our goals for TY School.  C-GSCA is indebted to these two dynamic and dedicated professionals.  We thank them for their support of C-GSCA.

Volunteer Recognition: Naomi Hirsch

We “tip off our hats” to Naomi Hirsch, Ed.M.,  our invaluable resource and C-GSCA volunteer. Her connection with C-GSCA initiated with adopting a daughter from Ethiopia. Naomi brought her daughter Keziah (Kezie) home in 2009. 
Naomi  is largely responsible for the design and production of this newsletter.  She also helps with the website for C-GSCA’s annual Walk for Water occurring this year in August. Her ultimate goal is to spend up to a year in Ethiopia on a project that uses her expertise in environmental health and web technologies. She imagines herself creating digital stories and making a difference to the families in Ethiopia, while her and Keziah learn more about the people, culture, and country.

What experiences and expertise does she bring to C-GSCA in addition to her volunteer work with C-GSCA?  Her experiences range from being in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, managing an online information and research center at the University of California, Davis, and currently coordinating a number of health science projects at Oregon State University.  As one can see, her real passion is using Web technologies and social media to enhance communication with stakeholders and engage diverse audiences in the latest health and science research.
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