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Poverty Alleviation Projects

May 30, 2011

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your May 2011 report for The $10 Club.

The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP) not only works to save this imperilled species in the wild, but also to support the local communities that share the wolf’s habitat. These communities largely include subsistence farmers whose survival depends on a healthy afroalpine environment that provides them with water, fuel, and grazing opportunities for their livestock.

There is a significant shortage of services available in the region, and students and teachers at the local schools lack the resources to fully engage educationally. Teachers have to cope without adequate teaching materials, and the children often lack the most basic learning tools, such as stationery and desks. Despite these hardships, a surprisingly large number of children still attend school, often walking for many miles to the small, ramshackle buildings where lessons are held.

The EWCP helps provide decent classrooms, desks and stationery, and information about environmental education, encouraging children to protect their surrounding ecosystem. They also help the schools to start tree nurseries, where exotic trees are grown to use as fuel and building material, thereby relieving some of the pressure on the indigenous environment. Indigenous trees are also grown, which are then transplanted back into the wild.

This month, 250 of us joined together to donate $2,500 to support educational development and environmental stewardship in the rural areas of the Northern highlands of Ethiopia. The schools that EWCP will initially target are situated far from towns and villages, high in the Simien Mountains, where resources are scarce and the children who attend school, walking through rain and wind across the desolate highlands, are seen as the lucky ones. Thank you.

With our grant, the EWCP will be able to do the following:
  1. Print 1,500 EWCP exercise books for the children in 10 target schools.
  2. Design and print 50 Teacher’s Resource Manuals for distribution and use in Bale and North Ethiopia. This teaching guide will help with lesson planning, covering major primary school subjects, while incorporating an environmental theme.
  3. Production of fuel efficient, low cost, concrete, cooking stoves by the school nature clubs for distribution within their communities. These stoves reduce the amount of wood needed to cook meals. In many areas, it is illegal to harvest fuel wood, while in other areas these resources are very scarce. We will provide 125 stoves through five different communities.
Anne-Marie Stewart, EWCP Field Director tells me: “I have been to these schools and personally met these kids. They are enthusiastic and friendly, and have a real passion for their mountains and their wildlife. They told me stories about how they go and speak to the young shepherds and encourage them not to chase the wolves or throw stones at the gelada baboons, because they are an important part of the mountains. We want to make their efforts worthwhile and ensure that they are able to get as good an education as possible under the circumstances.”

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,


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