The association can now look back on 10 years of successful kindergarten operation in Adigrat!
In December 2012, the kindergarten was opened with an initial 50 children, i.e. two groups, quickly followed by the completion of the second building in 2013.
Since then, almost continuously 110-120 children between three and seven years old were cared for in the kindergarten full time including two meals/day. Due to the Corona pandemic, the kindergarten was closed in spring 2020, and shortly after its reopening in autumn 2020, the civil war between the Tigray region and the Ethiopian National Army, which continues to this day, broke out with the participation of Eritrean troops. In the meantime, the kindergarten buildings served as a home for displaced women and children mainly from western Tigray.
Despite the peace agreement in early November between Ethiopia and the Tigray region, fighting continues to this day, again with heavy involvement of the Eritrean army. For this reason, the kindergarten has been closed again for a month.
The head of the NGO Adigrat Vision in Ethiopia Hagos Gebremariam created this flyer on the occasion of the anniversary!!!
Many thanks for this, Hagos!
Number of members
As of December 2021: 48 members (36 full members, 8 youth, 4 corporate memberships).
Special donations 2021
Due to the difficult situation on the ground, no special donations were raised.
Special challenges 2021
The war between the Tigray region and the central government, which started on 4 November 2020, continued to rage in 2021 with the participation of Eritreans from the north and Amharic neighbours in the west. A ceasefire allowed temporary resumption of our operations.
Impact of the war
Association members were not on the ground in 2021.
Communication with our local staff was sporadic.
The banks were closed and access to our account in Adigrat has not been possible since October 2021. It was and is extremely difficult to bring money locally. Ways were via private connections or messengers organised from Turkey. We passed a board resolution on this.
Looting also in Adigrat, especially by Eritreans, from which our facilities were fortunately spared, also due to the special commitment of our staff.
Very tense supply situation, as almost no more goods were allowed into the country (hunger as a weapon).
Virtually no medical care, as the hospital was also looted and partially destroyed.
Of our projects, only the kindergarten and the library could continue to operate temporarily.
Staff on the ground
The staff of Adigrat Vision e.V. have survived the war so far and are working with the utmost dedication on possible relief for their beneficiaries and the local community. In doing so, they show great resourcefulness and deep commitment to the projects. The many contacts of our Country Director Hagos Gebremariam are very helpful in this context. Thanks to various ways of transferring money, salaries could largely continue to be paid.
All staff members deserve special thanks and respect for their tireless work under sometimes very difficult conditions.
The closure due to the war continued for the time being in 2021.
Instead, food was given to the families of our children throughout the closure period.
Re-launched in April 21 under the name Adigrat Vision DP Centre as a shelter for over 100 refugees (women with children) from West Tigray, who were provided with meals but also medical and psychological care. The staff also provided psychological support to the women and wrote down their stories.
Growing vegetables on the grounds of the kindergarten to improve the supply situation.
In October 2021, kindergarten operations could start again. Initially with 60 children. Simple food (bread and tea) and limited medical care could be offered.
All the surrounding schools with which we had worked were initially closed, partly destroyed and looted. There was no school at all or only very limited schooling for the lower classes.
The library was closed until almost the end of 2021. An extension of our services for refugees to the library was considered, but discarded for fear of drawing too much attention to our projects.
The tables and chairs were moved to surrounding houses to avoid looting, which was successful.
In November 21, the reading rooms were reopened and a discussion group for traumatised women who had experienced violence was offered, which was very well received.
met 7 times live or via ZOOM.
The main task was to keep contact with our Country Director Hagos Gebremariam and to raise money locally in various ways.
In the AV kindergarten, a mother - child health center MCHC has been established!
Since much of the infrastructure in the hospitals has been destroyed, the need for amulant medical care among the population is increasing enormously. Hagos Gebremariam, the manager of Adigrat Vision, tries to close this gap together with the pediatrician Dr. Berhane and the gynecologist Dr. Gebremedhin, as well as the nurse Mulu.
Both doctors work unpaid half days two days a week in the new health center, which was built in the former volunteer room. The nurse Mulu receives training every week in the hospital in order to be able to support the doctors adequately. With great difficulty, Hagos was able to find medical equipment such as a sterilizer, a microscope, a centrifuge and a gynecological examination chair in Mekelle and transport it to Adigrat. Presumably, it is donated material that has never been used. Medicines and dressing material were left in Adigrat by the organization "Doctors without Borders" when they left during the military conflict - thank you very much for that!
The offer for medical help is accepted with enthusiasm by the families of the area, long queues of needy women with their children form.
The association in Munich is always enthusiastic and impressed how our staff, led by Hagos Gebremariam, initiate and realize new projects in these difficult times with imagination, creativity and perseverance.
The vegetables and lettuce at AV Kindergarten grow well thanks to adequate irrigation from rainwater storage tanks and contribute to the children's daily vitamin intake. The staff planted carrots, tomatoes, onions and lettuce, among others.
In addition, the project manager Hagos Gebremariam was able to receive an aid delivery of 700 kg of food (rice, beans and oil) from the government in Mekelle. Thus, the supply of the kindergarten children is secured for the time being.
Apart from this positive news, the situation in Tigray and thus also in Adigrat remains tense. Our team in Munich tries again and again to transfer money to Adigrat in various ways - more or less successfully.
Tigray's complete isolation from the rest of Ethiopia and the world continues. There are still no telephone connections and only sporadic Internet access through the offices of international aid organizations in Mekelle, the regional capital. The supply of food and medicine continues to deteriorate. For the most part, international aid shipments are blocked by the Ethiopian central government. Food prices are rising immeasurably due to the extreme inflation caused by the closed trade circuit in Tigray. Banks also remain closed. Many towns are repeatedly bombed with drones, Adigrat has been spared so far.
Through the TDA Tigray Development Association, an organization of the Tigrayan diaspora, the association was able to send money in small amounts to Mekelle, where it was paid to the project manager. This way, the salaries of the employees, who are all working full time again, as well as the meals for the 120 kindergarten children can be paid. Of course, the meals are more than meager, but a piece of bread is already heaven on earth at the moment. Many people, also in Adigrat, die of hunger or lack of vital medicines, such as insulin. As always, the elderly and children are particularly at risk.
In this really extremely difficult situation, the employees of Adigrat Vision are doing the almost impossible:
The kindergarten - fully occupied with 120 children - seems to create a bit of normality for the children and their families.
In the school library, the children study so eagerly that slots of three hours are issued so that everyone who wants to learn can do so. On Sundays, the premises are used to hold discussion groups with traumatized women who have been raped. About 900 women and girls are registered as war rape victims in Adigrat. In small groups, the women can talk to each other in the protected space of the library.
The Adigrat Vision team in Munich is proud and grateful for the incredibly dedicated staff in Adigrat. With diligence, zeal, team spirit and creativity, they succeed under the leadership of Hagos Gebremariam in creating a bit of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation.