NDCC News April 2020
In March Nicci Golland kindly volunteered at the Centre and stayed for 10 days. She had hoped to stay for longer but unfortunately her visit was cut short due to travel restrictions caused by Covid-19 and she needed to return to the UK before Addis Ababa airport closed.
In the time that she was there she made a huge impact and the staff and students were extremely grateful. Nicci started a fund-raising campaign to help pay for some much needed equipment and materials: the cooks received new uniforms, new chairs were bought, tables were repaired and some books were purchased for the library. Thanks to everyone who donated.
As a qualified TEFL teacher Nicci is experienced in teaching English as a foreign language. Every day she helped the students with their English and organised a range of fun activities to help them improve their language skills and also to build their confidence. She even got them singing Ed Sheeran songs. In Ethiopian schools all classes from grade 6 to grade 12 are taught in English and therefore it is very important students have a good understanding of the language.
The impact of Covid-19 is being felt in Ethiopia and at the NDCC in Bahir Dar. Although the reported number of cases is low there was a period of lock-down and isolation at the end of March. This has now been relaxed a little but schools and universities will remain closed until September at least. As a consequence the Centre is providing essential support to all of our students during this period of disruption.
NDCC university students have returned and we have had to find accommodation for them, either at the Centre or in the local area. Some of our students who graduated last year had struggled to find work but now find themselves unemployed again. The Centre is continuing to support them with accommodation and food. Our younger students are spending all their time at the Centre now that their schools have closed.
The Ethiopian Ministry for Education is trying to arrange alternative ways of teaching students while schools are closed. Access to computer equipment and the internet is very limited and so lessons are being delivered by radio for grades 5 to 8 and television for grades 9 to 12. The Centre has bought a satellite dish to link up to our television so that our students can follow lessons broadcast on the TV.
Fantaye, an NDCC student currently studying anaesthetics at Debre Tabor University and who recently returned to the Centre, wrote:
“Now all of us are in the Centre. We stop education because of corona. The government plan is to cover lessons with radio for elementary students and with television for secondary and high school students. This week the Centre bought DSTV [satellite TV] and most of the students are attending their lesson according to their grade. If the virus continues to spread we cannot go out of the Centre throughout the day and night which is difficult because we are many in number and the risk of transmitting the virus is high if one is infected.”
The Centre will aim to provide the support needed to ensure each student`s education continues and to protect the students as best we can. At present all students and staff are well and healthy.
Support the NDCC
We know that 2020 will be a particularly challenging year. We at the New Day Children`s Centre are doing what we can to look after the young people in our care and continue to provide support for those who are vulnerable. Being able to provide food, accommodation and education is so important, and at its heart the Centre remains a place where young people can spend their time and feel part of a family. With schools and universities closed this is more important than ever and the staff at the Centre are working hard to ensure that all the needs of our students are met. However this is coming at a cost. Due to the Covid-19 crisis food prices are rising and the closure of schools and universities has led to an unexpected increase in our expenses.
Can you help?
£25 provides food for one student for one month
£20 provides accommodation for two students for one month
£15 covers the cost of supporting an NDCC university student for one month