Successful 5th Reunion of Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association

By Atsbha Gebru

July 28 2008

It was five years ago around this time that the Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association was established. Believing on the idea that education is the foundation of one country’s development and prosperity, few individuals originally from the awlaelo area got together and organized them- selves under the name of Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association for the purpose of helping all schools of Kilte-Awlaelo to provide better education and to create a comfortable learning environment to all students who attend in the schools of Kilte-Awlaelo. From day to day the organization grew in size and stands strong to accomplish its goals. The number of member attendees of the event increased by huge percentage from year to year.

Our Association believes in making a difference by changing the attitude of people through education. For Educators to educate, they need facilities and materials. There was no facility and educational material in most high schools of Tigrai. Thus students face tough time to pass grade 12th matriculation. They face difficulties in competing with other high schools even though our brothers through arduous efforts managed to graduate from colleges and universities. This is a hard reality our brothers and sisters back home face every day and that is what Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association is trying to change.

Today, I am glad to tell you that Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association successfully celebrated its 5th anniversary on July 19, 2008 in Oakland, Ca. I am also glad to let you know what the Association has done in the past 5 years to help the schools and students of Kilte-Awlaelo.

1. In the calendar year of 2003-2004, when the 12 class rooms and one computer training center were built in Wukro High School, Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association done its share by contributing substantial amount of money for the construction of the class rooms.

2. The Association is currently building a state of the art library in Wukro High School. The library was named after the legendary artist late Kiros Alemayohu and it costs 1.3 Million Birr. Thanks to the Bay Area brothers and sisters who hosted very successful event and to all tigrians and other Ethiopian who reside in the bay area, the last payment for the construction of the library was wired to Wukro yesterday morning.

3. The Association also bought computers and printers to Atsbi, Sinkata, Agulae, and Tsigereda high schools. And the board members of the Association are currently under discussion to send money to Negash High School to help storing Electric power to the high school.

4. In addition to the above projects, Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association has been awarding best performing students and teachers every year at Wukro, Sinkata, and Atsbi High Schools for the past few years. This year, we added Agulae, Negash, and Tsigereda High Schools to the award program. Up to date, 180 students and 33 teachers totally 213 students and teachers received the award. It has been said that this award program has created high computation among the students of Kilte-Awlaelo.

Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association strives to lead by example to enhance the quality of education and to produce more productive citizens in Ethiopia. That is why this year it announced its intention of creating “Awlaelo Youth Network” who can take over the Association in the future. Those of you who attended the reunion night in Oakland have seen the youth promising to take over the Association and carry its agenda in the future. This is a big step and very moving to see these youngsters promising to help their mother land for its betterment.

Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association held the most successful fund raising and re-union event ever. We had collected the highest amount of cash when compared to all prior years. This is the result of the hard work and well preparation of the hosting members. They have asked every Ethiopian in their state and individuals they knew who reside in other states to donate money for this noble project of building the library. They sent donation forms to places they thought they will get support. Their coordinated effort, unadulterated love for their association and the mission it stands make them stand tall and win big. The Oakland brothers and sisters have all the reasons to be proud of them-selves. Because of their hard work and well put organizational effort, our Association raised enough fund to finish the ongoing construction of Kiros Alemayehu Memorial Library in Wukro.

The Oakland people are amazing. Almost every Tigrian who reside in the Bay Area contributed morally and financially to the success of Awlaelo Night in Oakland. Not only tigrians but also other Ethiopians do their part in supporting our Association. Organizations such as Ethiopian Airlines sponsored our reunion night. Bay area sister Alumni Associations such as, Atse Yohannes and Agazi Alumni Associations contributed substantial amount of money. Deki Kidanamihret (a group of women in the Bay area) contributed morally and financially for the success of the event. The event was called “Awlaelo night” but in reality it was really “tigrian night”. As a tigrian, I am very proud of my people of the Bay area. And as an Association, we are very thankful for your generosity, support, and kindness.

Last but not least, while members of Awlaelo Alumni in North America assembled in Oakland, our members in Canada also had a gathering in the same day in Edmonton. Even though this was not the first time to send us money, this was their first time to hold a general get together. This is one step ahead and we hope all our brothers and sisters in Canada will strengthen the Association more in the future. We appreciate their efforts for coming this far to help the needy. We also hope our brothers and sisters in Europe and Australia to follow the footsteps of Canada.

Our 6th reunion will be held in Washington, DC on Saturday July 18, 2009 and we are looking forward to seeing you all in the nation’s capital.

Thank you,

Atsbha Gebru

Reporting for Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association