It’s been a successful year of school linking between Queniborough Primary School in Leicestershire and Yekatit 23 School in Bahir Dar. Alongside the usual school linking activities Queniborough and Yekatit 23 have been developing their link through a combination of visits and fundraising.
Abundeje Belay arrived on the 27th June for a week-long visit, this being her second visit to Queniborough and stayed with Joy Hardy and her family. Abundeje was an extremely helpful addition to the staff team all week, observing and supporting in classrooms, and looked at initiatives in school such as ‘Mighty Maths’ and how Queniborough send out reports. The trip was also a chance for Abundeje to meet up with village residents, following up friendships made last year, including Brian and Fay Stanley on Syston Road. Fay was close friends with the granddaughter of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie whilst at school and thus has a unique link with the former ruler of Ethiopia, who still holds a very special place in the hearts of many Ethiopians. It is hoped that two members of Queniborough staff will make a return visit to Ethiopia in October and that Mrs. Mullu, another valued member of staff at Yekatit 23, will have the chance to visit Queniborough at a similar time.
Meanwhile, through an enterprising partnership the students of Queniborough have set up the ‘Kids Who Care’ Enterprise Team, and have recently been selling bags which the children from Yekatit 23 make. The children at Yekatit have been learning the new skill of bag-making, and the ‘Kids Who Care’ team have been selling them at Queniborough, working to maximise the sales of the bags. According to Alisha Geyer (Year 6):
“Altogether we sold 93 bags and raised £280.77. The children hope to continue this project with their Ethiopian counterparts. Next time they hope to be selling friendship bracelets as well as having some more bags available. Some of the funds raised will be used to purchase thread etc to make the friendship bands and bags. The rest constitutes the start our fundraising to help improve the kindergarten facilities in our link school.”
It is hoped that at some point enough money will have been raised to start a Kindergarten Facilities Project. There really has been some excellent work by both Queniborough and Yekatit 23 this year, and it is exciting when schools develop their links as much as these two schools have.