“Can you afford to live on 99% of your income? If we all donated 1% of our income, the dent in our finances would be minimal, but the impact on good causes would be huge ... wealthy people may want to give even more.”
Lord Joffe, Chair of the (UK) Giving Campaign.
After a lifetime’s work in Africa surrounded by injustice, poverty and suffering, on retirement David started A-CET ten years ago with donations from a few friends. Every year we have shown a steady increase in both our one-off and regular donor income as friends bring their friends “on board” from all over the world.
Any educational scholarship scheme is only of value if support can be maintained throughout a student’s life, until they have achieved the maximum of their academic potential and into employment. This we achieve and, with our donors help, aim to continue to do so. We do not have huge reserves, and usually spend what we receive every year, keeping about six months general expenditure in reserve. The more we receive, the more we can do. Starting with eight students in 1997 we now support directly and through other local NGOs nearly 800 students, together with helping to upgrade and equip five poor rural Primary Schools with thousands of students and Computer Training Centres for ex high-school girls. Our relatively modest support is making an absolutely life-changing difference to thousands of young lives and should never be under-estimated. We do need your support.
But the more we do the more we realise there is to do. There is an veritable army of grandmothers in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa looking after their grandchildren who are Aids orphans. These grandmothers often have no financial resources but are careful managers with an abundance of pure love. Sadly the situation will get worse before it gets better. A-CET recognises this and can help these children, but we need your and your friends help. Your donations can make a real and immediate difference to a child wanting to continue studying, and that is virtually every Ethiopian.
We may be small in the charity world, but be assured that A-CET is a totally professional organisation. We know we operate efficiently, effectively and are transparent in all our activities. In A-CET we are all dedicated knowlegeable volunteers who have a real passion for what we are doing. Nothing is wasted on unnecessary overheads. We rarely advertise, use professional fund raisers, nor use mail-shots or send out “free” gifts.
Forget Millennium Development Goals with international politicians’ platitudes - none of which are on target, hefty re-hashed reports and empty promises. Forget billions in squandered aid budgets, reports of corruption and the professional “fat cat” aid set. Education is the future for Africa: real targeted development for Africans by Africans. With minimal outlay through A-CET and negligible overheads, we can produce maximum impact and output. We don’t talk about it, we empower Ethiopians and let them get on with it.
It’s no secret, only common sense. Listen to what the Africans want, assess, get the funds, facilitate and then let the Africans implement.
When in the UK, David, student Sammy or our Trustees would be happy to come to talk to any UK or European group about our work. We rely entirely on private donations from your word of mouth personal recommendations.
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Please help us, we can do nothing without your support - we really need you.