She flew the Ethiopian flag at the cityhall
Sept. 27 2009
On September 8, 2009, Ms. Sewasew Meaza was recognized for her outstanding individual contribution to the Ethiopian community in a ceremony held at San Jose City Hall. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed presented her with a special plaque to honor her hard work and personal efforts to offer cultural support to the 25,000 Ethiopian immigrant families in the Bay Area. Ms. Meaza and her colleague Ms. Semunesh Arega founded the Ethiopian Cultural Institute seven years ago where they teach Amharic - the original Ethiopian language - and keep Ethiopian culture and traditions alive. Families appreciate the sense of community and the opportunity to pass the rich Ethiopian heritage on to their children even when they are far from their native land. Over the past seven years, the Ethiopian Cultural Institute has assisted over 300 students and their families.
The Ethiopian language dates back to 200 B.C. and risks being lost over time as new generations cease to use it daily. Ms. Meaza's grandfather was already concerned about this issue decades ago. Ms. Meaza remembers him traveling from village to village in Ethiopia, instructing villagers in Amharic and giving the best speakers in each village the task of passing the language on to the children. Now, she continues that tradition of preserving Amharic with her language school.
In her acceptance speech, Ms. Meaza thanked the community for believing in her and sending their children to learn Amharic. She also thanked Delphi Academy for training her how to teach and how to help children to learn new material easily and effectively. She incorporates many of the teaching methods she learned in her ten years of experience at Delphi into the lessons she gives at her Ethiopian school.
The Ethiopian language has 257 characters in its alphabet. Ms. Meaza has found great success in teaching the children all these letters by using "clay demonstration", a study technique used at Delphi Academy in which students create concepts in clay. She has also utilized other drills and methods gained from her teacher training in Delphi's staff training academy. Ms. Meaza founded the Ethiopian Cultural Institute with the idea of passing on Amharic and a strong sense of cultural identity to her own daughter, Tarick Dereje, who is also a graduate of Delphi Academy.