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Sunday, January 8, 2006

Heard in the Hive

Crimsonwing pledges support to remote Ethiopian village

CRIMSONWING has a long established tradition of supporting charitable organisations.

Past years have seen monies go to UK and Malta-based charities such as SCOPE (a UK national disability organisation whose focus is people with cerebral palsy) and Centru Tbexbix- the Cottonera centre for the education, support and development for women and children of low-income families.

With the collaboration of Moviment Missjunarju Gesu fil-Proxxmu, this year's donation has gone to Ethiopia, to a little village called Sakko, nestled in the rural area around the provincial capital of Dembidollo.

Situated in the south-western part of Ethiopia (and some 300 km from the capital, Addis Ababa), Dembidollo is a small town with a hospital, health centre and schools. The rural areas around Dembidollo have sprouted four Catholic activity centres of which Sakko is one.

These activity centres play an important part in educating and dispensing healthcare to people in the surrounding villages.

Health workers, who undertake vaccine programmes and mother and childcare, visit the more remote areas, which are not easily accessible due to the appalling state of the roads.

Crimsonwing's donation was specifically geared towards overcoming two major hurdles. It is a well-known fact that 30 per cent of children living in rural areas do not frequent school, so the first initiative was to build a simple stone structure to house a school.

Works are in progress and the bishop of Nekemte has blessed and laid the foundation stone. This two-roomed building will serve as a school to all children living in the area.

In Ethiopia meat and eggs are a luxury enjoyed by very few and in fact most people subsist on enjerra (a kind of pancake) with a spicy vegetable sauce.

As part of its second initiative, Crimsonwing have (since March) sponsored an ongoing feeding programme. Children attending school are given a proper meal and benefit from a balanced and nutritious diet.

The four Indian Sisters (two nurses, one social worker and one educator) who are running the Sakko school and feeding programme are excited at the prospects.

The addition of a proper school dispensing regular meals for all its students will no doubt help promote learning and self-empowerment in this poorest of regions.

"Crimsonwing are proud to be involved in the Sakko project. We look forward to seeing the school building completed in person and hope the Sakko community benefit fully from the programme," said Natasha Pantovic, head of Business Development at Crimsonwing.

Crimsonwing staff have also established the People Who Care Fund where employees have a small amount of their salary voluntarily deducted and transferred to the fund's bank account. Twice a year the monies are distributed and donated to various local charities.

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