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TDA and the past 8 months old war in Tigrai


Mulugeta Belay for TDA
Tigrai Online September 2, 2021

Tigrai Development Association/TDA is a non-profit, membership-based non-governmental organization independent of any political and religious affiliations and of other diversities. It is a popular organization which has been able to rally millions of Tegaru from inside and outside Tigrai, including over 1.3 subscribed members behind its noble cause.

It is a public knowledge that TDA has, over the past three decades, exerted a great deal of financial investment in undertaking remarkably tremendous development projects in various areas that could have ameliorated the socio-economic wellbeing of the society of Tigrai, in general.

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Utilizing the financial and material supports TDA garnered from members, donors, and government and non-government stakeholders, it has played a pivotal role in multi-sectoral development of human capital through boosting access and quality of education and health care services; mitigation of youth unemployment through opening up TVET schools; development of culture, language and art of Tigrai through organizing different events that brought together writers, artists, and other stakeholders; women empowerment in socio-economic spheres; construction of small dams and irrigations that bettered agricultural life of the peasantry; creating physically and psychologically healthy youngsters via establishing various sport clubs like circus, marshal art, cycling, football teams, among others.

It is really unforgettable ever what TDA has done after the fall of the fascist Derg regime for the most part in having rehabilitated the war-ravaged Tigrai. It did everything it could to lift our people out of the quagmire they had been plunged into and made the livelihood of the people a far better.

Such a milestone contribution of TDA has resulted from the united efforts, and financial and in-kind supports of Tegaru living in Tigrai and across the globe including, but is not limited to, international and local partners.

Even so, the Tigrai and its heroic hardworking people has now been found totally in a different horrendous situation because of the humanitarian, social and economic catastrophes caused by the unjust war that has unfolded in the region.

The whole society of Tigrai has now been passing through tragic and traumatic moments to an unprecedented degree due to this sinister war, which reportedly displaced millions of our people of all walks of life from their habitat; destroyed their livelihood; deliberately starved them to death by impeding access to assistance and farmers from ploughing; tens of thousands of civilians brutally massacred and youths arbitrarily executed; tens of hundreds of women of any age (gang-) raped; fully or partly damaged socio-economic infrastructures undertaken by TDA, government, business community, and the international NGOs, if any; public and private properties, including our TDA, vandalized and looted. In simple terms, our region has turned back to the era it had been 30 or so years ago during the reign of the Derg regime and even before.

For the past 3 or more years, the fascist forces, who are enemies of the people of Tigrai, along with their fans have orchestrated various smearing campaigns to ruin TDA’s reputation and image, to say the least, trying to give TDA and its exemplary developmental contributions a political color to purposely damage the formidable relationship between TDA, our people and partners.

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Apart from this, these forces and their sympathizers have made use of different tactics ranging from closing our bank accounts, vandalizing and looting our office to displacing our people and taking other wicked actions in order to weaken the overall activities of TDA, while they know TDA operates in accordance with the law and proclamation of CSOs. These and other reasons made TDA in the past 8 months remain incapable to adequately address the humanitarian, social and economic damage encountering our people.

Regardless, TDA staffs were courageously doing everything in our capacity to reach out the IDPs settled in various centers found in Mekelle and Adigrat with cash, food, kitchen items, clothes, mats, mattresses among others that we gathered from the generous residents of Mekelle city.

Furthermore, TDA, in collaboration with Creative International Associates, helped to engage the out-of-school children living in IDP centers in an organized activity to learn, play, recreate and socialize through establishing child-friend-spaces, O’Class, and Accelerated Learning Program. This would in turn enable children get reliefs from the apparent psychological stresses they were experiencing, improve their reading and writing proficiency, and give a chance for parents to go about their daily activities without worrying about their children's safety.

Understanding that the target of the war was to decimate the existence of Tegaru, TDA, during war and afterwards, has stood in solidarity with our Tigrai Defense Forces and delivered clothes and shoes collected from Mekelle residents, food and non-food items, giving up 100% of their salary; and above all, its staffers and leadership have been playing their civic role by joining the popular armed struggle against our enemies to bring about a glimmer of freedom and victory that we are enjoying now.

In order to address the humanitarian and socio-economic crisis of our people, TDA now is making manifold preparations necessary to kick off the rehabilitation process on fully and partly developmental infrastructures and livelihood of our people that includes, but not limited to, humanitarian, school reconstruction, expansion of health services, fulfillment of resources for school and health facilities, to mention a few.

To that end, hailing what you have done for our people thus far, we hereby call upon you all Tegaru and local and international NGOs to actively participate in the rehabilitation process in the form of volunteerism, financial, material and ideal support.

Looking forward to your solidarity!

Tigrai will prevail soon!

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