Sociocultural and Relief Association of Tigraian Ethiopians in Alberta

By Asgedom Ghebremichael

March 12 2008

Background Facts

With a population that is rapidly approaching 85 million, Ethiopia is a land of all sorts of contrasts. Archeological and anthropological findings as well as historical records reveal that the country is the origin of humankind, the Sociocultural and Relief Association of Tigraian Ethiopians in Albertaland of Lucy, Selam, and Idaltu. Ethiopia is a land of nations, nationalities, and peoples, each of which is proud of its own unique cultural heritage, history, and literature.

Historically, Ethiopia defended itself successfully against European colonial powers to remain the only African country that has never been subjected to colonialism. It is a bastion of freedom to all wronged peoples, particularly to fellow Africans. It is a land of ancient civilization manifested through gigantic obelisks, marvels of rock hewn churches, and so many natural wonders, most of which are registered by UNESCO as heritages for all humanity.

Many believe that the current rapid socio-economic and political transformation would usher in modernity to Ethiopia. However, a pervasive, abject poverty appears to be persistent. There is a need for a concerted effort of all concerned. A not-for-profit, non-political, and secular, the Sociocultural and Relief Association of Tigraian Ethiopians in Alberta (henceforth the Organization) is a legally registered charitable organization. The membership is comprised of people from the State of Tigrai, Ethiopia. These people have experienced all evils of humankind that included misguided, discriminatory policy actions of previous governments; frequent domestic conflicts; historic wars perpetrated by foreign invaders, who were decisively defeated in the battlefields of Tigrai; and recurring spells of drought.

Mission

Based in Edmonton, Alberta, the overarching mission of the Organization is to build a self-reliant Tigraian community of Ethiopian origin that is capable of making contributions to the beauty, growth, and stability of Albertaís socio-cultural mosaic and economic fabric. To that end, our organizationís development program package includes the following: (a) family and youth counseling; (b) English, science, mathematics, and computer tutoring classes for both adults and youth; (c) face-to-face advice and provision of information on small business startup strategies and employment opportunities in Edmonton and elsewhere in Alberta; and (d) sponsoring Ethiopian refugees from the State of Tigrai to settle in Alberta. For more information, please refer a list of short- and long-term specific objectives summarized below.

Vision

Our organization, the Sociocultural and Relief Association of Tigraian Ethiopians in Alberta, envisions all Ethiopian immigrants in Alberta succeeding in all aspects of Canadian life through an effective social capital of their own.

Solicitation Information

The Organization is pleased to provide all donors with this information on the disbursement of all donated funds, in accordance with Section 4(1) of the Charitable Fund-raising Regulations of Alberta. We estimate that total amount of collected funds will be allocated as follows: (a) 20% for administrative activities; and (b) 80% for a variety development projects.

It should be noted that volunteers will manage our organization for sometime, until we feel comfortable that our financial resources will enable us to hire at least an administrator and a secretary.

Summary of Short and Long-term Specific Objectives

  • Forge a support network with humanitarian agencies in Alberta.
  • Establish English, science, mathematics, and computer tutorship program package for both youth and adults.
  • Organize events to promote the sociocultural, history, and economic mosaic of Ethiopia in general and of Tigrai in particular.
  • Welcome Tigraians and other Ethiopians who are newcomers to Alberta.
  • Provide information and advice on opportunities for employment and for establishment of small businesses in Alberta and/or elsewhere in Canada.
  • Help a member or members during his/her difficult times, including family disputes, bereavement, and other personal difficulties.
  • Provide family and youth counseling.
  • Assist a member or members on how to get legal aid, in case of problems that have to do with the Law.
  • Cooperate with other community associations and with law enforcement agencies to ensure social harmony, security, and peace in Alberta.
  • Initiate and execute sustainable development projects in Tigrai, Ethiopia.
  • Contribute to humanitarian relief and environmental rehabilitation projects.
  • Sponsor refugees to settle in Alberta or elsewhere in Canada.
  • Provide financial support to selected number of school children of poor Tigraian families to complete their primary, secondary or post-secondary education in Tigrai, Ethiopia.
  • Provide Canadian corporations and individuals with sufficient information on investment opportunities in Tigrai in particular and in Ethiopia in general.

Further Information
For more information, please contact either:
Dr. Asghedom Ghebremichael
Tel. (780) 435-7298 OR (780) 934-2214 (cell.)
E-mail: email agg0501@telus.net
OR Mr. Solomon Reda
Tel. (780) 432-4153 OR (780) 951-4549 (cell)
E-mail: email tigrai@shaw.ca

Acknowledgments
The Executive Committee (EC) believes that credit should be given to those who deserve it. We acknowledge gratefully the invaluable contributions of Artist Fitsum G. Hiwot. He single handedly - expending his energy, time, materials, and skills - designed the beautiful logo, corporate identification, of our Association. On behalf of our Association, the EC expresses its gratitude to this compatriot admirably.

We were pleased to learn that Fitsum is determined to help in eradicating poverty from the social landscape of Tigrai. In collaboration with TDA, he is managing a special development project. The EC salutes him; and is willing to back him up all the way in anyway it can. We ask all those of good will to offer this active Samaritan their encouraging hands. He can be reached at: (403) 714-7416 or email v_gragorobo@yahoo.ca