Ethiopia - Crosslinks

Jenny Merritt has worked as a teacher of deaf children in Ethiopia for eighteen years. She is now back in Britain and is based in the Chichester area. She worked in Nekemte, where she started a school for deaf children and established a community based rehabilitation programme for children with a wide range of disabilities. She is also writing up programmes and teaching manuals to be used by schools for the deaf in Ethiopia. She continues to be involved with the school in Nekemte, organising visits by specialist teams and supporting plans for the school to move into a new purpose built premises. 

Jenny believes that she has a continuing role in promoting education for the deaf in Ethiopia which is vital work, since without communication skills, deaf people cannot find employment.

Her work enables Jenny to bring the Gospel to many people.

 St Pancras Church, bringing help to Ethiopia.

Welcome to our 2012 Christmas newsletter. As usual it has been a busy past six months. At the School for the Deaf a new academic year has started with increased numbers and our graduates have started at a mainstream high school in Nekemte which is a fantastic development. Our Community Based Rehabilitation Social Workers have been busy working supporting people with disabilities in particular through microfinance and we have been celebrating International Disability Day in various locations.

Again I would like to thank all our partners. Nekemte Town Education office have supported us in helping our children access mainstream high school education. Town, Labour and Social Affairs in the various locations we are working, have been great partners in supporting people with disabilities in their localities. We are incredibly grateful to our two main funders the Church of Sweden and CBM who cover our core costs. With funds tight we have managed in 2012 to also get support for small disability projects from Exeter Ethiopia Link, Jenny Merritt & Crosslinks. The Souter Trust, The Noel Buxton Trust, The Woodward Trust and the Jephcott Trust. We have benefited from volunteers from the Dutch Rotary Doctor Scheme which has enabled children from the school to get free dental treatment. Oceanhills Church in the USA provided us with around 40 wheelchairs to distribute and Paignton Zoo gave resources for our learning disability centre. VSO volunteers Marc Zuiderveen and Jo Keenahan have helped us lots. Marc comes every Sunday to coach our school's volleyball team and Jo helped improve the quality of teaching amongst children with learning disabilities. Finally a big thank-you to SEDFA (Supporting Education and Development For All) and their director Mark Smith who has helped us write our funding proposals. Thank-you to you all. I am reminded of Mother Teresa's words; “what you do is a drop in the ocean but the ocean is made up of many drops!”

Finally I want to wish everybody a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2013. God bless you all.  Jenny

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