Myliham Elementary School promises kept
By Janet Lee
Oct. 07 2010
Many of us have fond childhood memories of our early school years, be it a favorite teacher, a special class, sports, or music. But too few of us take the time to say “Thank you” to those who made a difference to us or to help the next generation to have similar joy or memories. Not so, for Tsehaye Zemenfes and Hideat Alene, who attended Myliham Elementary School in Mekelle and whose paths crossed while both were in the U.S., Teshaye now in DC and Hideat now in Seattle. They spoke to each other often of how they could give back to the school that had given them so much in their early years. A library seemed like an ideal solution, but was such a project within their reach? Tsehaye was familiar with the work of Ato Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Founder and Executive Director of Ethiopia Reads, and made a point of attending one of his presentations while Yohannes was in DC. Although Tigray was not then part of the expansion plans, Ato Yohannes later contacted Tsehaye informing him of a pilot project in Tigray and asked him if he would like to part of the project. Tsehaye and Hideat jumped at the chance.
Like many of the younger generation, Tsehaye and Hideat took advantage of social media such as Facebook and also sent out a wide-spread email campaign using firstgiving.org as a recipient for donations. In their email to friends Tsehaye states: “After coming to the United States for educational opportunities, I have never forgotten the rich and wonderful memories and it always stuck with me that one day I would want to give back to my beloved elementary school…..We are now partnering up with Ethiopia Reads to realize our dream, to sponsor a library in our beloved Myliham Elementary.