In Honor of Ethiopian Excellence...
Gone are the days of cutesy and earnest UNICEF projects that pour millions of dollars into painting murals in the ghettos of Addis so that poor people can be happy, happy, happy even as they die cruel (yet artistically enriched) deaths.
IHA puts the "Holy" in "Holistic"... as in "an integrated holistic approach to urban development [means] the idea that any lasting improvement to people's lives must consider all of the problems in an area."
Maletim... "One problem cannot be solved without tackling the others. Improvements to the physical environment, community development (including income generation) and social awareness must therefore go hand in hand."
Essssssaye! And not that we are reductionist theorist or nuthin' that fancy, but we take that to mean that if you want to paint murals on them QorQoros, siphon off some paint money to feed the people who have to stare at the damn thing.
Since 1989, IHA/UDP has worked under 3 components (Physical Upgrading, Community Development and Primary Health Care) on 52 projects.
Here's what we like most about it: It is not affiliated with any massive, bureaucratic, international aid agency headed by people who've been heard screaming "I don't care what we have to build in that rural, godforsaken place... build whatever it takes to make my cell phone work... and see if those emaciated cows can produce enough milk for my daily milk baths."
Ehem... where were we?...
IHA/UDP depends on donations from generous individuals like you. It is working on setting up a web page... until then, for more information and to send your donations contact Sister Jember Teferra at PO Box 6889, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Telephone: 71-35-75 ; 71-46-70, or 71-46-71 Fax: 51-21-77 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, the Internet Adbar has shined her CHora on the Diaspora. Ethiowebcast is embarking on a splendid concept of bringing Ethiopians a sense of connection through history and literature. It is presently concluding serializing "A'and Lenatu", Abeaye Gubegna's epic fictionalized story of Atse Tewodros. Accompanied by the mesmerizing voice of the narrator, his tone rising and falling with the nuance of the story, the timber and octave of his tenor painting such vivid pictures of the scenes that it is all we can do not to don our bernos, pretend our "In" box is a Gasha, our letter opener a Tor, and walk around the office muttering "Zeraf!".
Also noteworthy are the thrice weekly "Ye FiQir Mehader"s, short stories of love, Ethiopian style...although we are not sure if anyone we know is (as of yet) entertaining elaborate "Telefa" schemes of an uncooperative loved one. But we can't say that with any kind of certitude.
Check out Ethiowebcast at http://www.ethiowebcast.com/Radio.htm
Habesha.com is the meeting place of Ethiopian college students, a virtual playground where youngish, puckish Ethiopians can network and do cute l'il college stuff. Beside it being a top-notch, U! U! Yemiyasbil design that has us struggling with "Web Envy", as a mirriqat it throws in MP3s of fabulous music from Muluken, Tilahun and Aster. (We could live without someone called Chachi...but we are known curmudgeons. And if the kids like it, who are we to say otherwise.)
Impressive still is that the page, (henceforth known as The "Entuff! Entuff! " Page) is updated regularly with news features, humor (do not miss a cutting satire on the use of the word "Entin"), sports and a growing list of temaris. Not unlike the people behind this genius, Habesha.com is easy on the eyes, user friendly and respectably self-deprecating. (What can we say...? If we were a few decades younger...)
Well, we are impressed! And if there was something like this when we were in college, maybe we could have made something of ourselves... m'ts! But we take comfort in the awesome caliber and potential of young Ethiopian computer types who we want to be successful so that they can continue to fund the Social Security kitty. We want to retire in style.
To be wowed, go to http://habesha.mit.edu
ETHIOPIAN COMPUTER CLUB (ECC) in HOUSTON
Speaking of savvy networkers, we bow down in deference and meekly genuflect at the feet of the people behind ECC in Houston. We see this stuff and we can only say in talaQ akbrot , "Yeaowzer, dear Gussy!"
Established in the early 90's, the ECC is a learning center and meeting hub for Houston's computer kebertays and neophytes alike. Not only does it offer beginner classes in Spreadsheets, Word Processing, Hardware and Operating Systems (to mention but a few of the offerings), but it is also venturing into remarkable fields of family and finance programs, broaching projects such as money management and investing in stocks. (Emboldened by this news, we at SELEDA ourselves are tearing into our firash to recover our savings and do a little stock tinkering.)
ECC's crown jewel is its networking arm where members meet every first Sunday of the month to talk shop. Operating under the tenants of discipline and dedication, it stands to "recognize the talents and knowledge of other Ethiopians and provide them with a forum and opportunity to share that knowledge with others". You just go on with your http selves!
Several "groups" within the membership focus on different aspects of ECC's goals, among them the reading and Internet groups. It also invites Ethiopian professionals to speak to the membership and make presentations on a "variety of subjects", and no doubt it is just a temporary glitch in the system that we have not yet received our invitation to speak on "Smartass-inet on the Web". Bygones.
But, longingly, we read some of the mantra of the ECC, and could not help but weep at anQess 11 (b). "Don't start a project you can not finish, and if you start one, PLAN IT, PRACTICE IT and DELIVER IT". And by the time we got to 11 (f) it was a bone fide "Ey-yay-yay": "Expression of opinion is encouraged freely and openly." We are hoping SELEDA upper management moves to Houston...
SELEDA salutes a great initiative... and if they serve bulla at the Sunday meetings, we are so there faster than you could say, "gebss".
To learn more about ECC, visit http://members.xoom.com/ecchouston/
All rights reserved.