The Fregenet Kidan Lehitsanat School was in full festivity mode on Saturday 10 July while celebrating the graduation of its first grade four class, as well as the advancement of the KG2 class into grade one. The threat of rain failed to deter the hundreds of celebrants who were eager to show support for the recent graduates.
The graduation ceremony commenced with moving words from School Director Asmamaw Kiber, who spoke about the importance of an education and the particular challenges and accomplishments of the graduating students. Audience members were then treated to a morning of entertainment as students performed traditional dances from ethnic tribes across Ethiopia. The spirited performance met with an exuberant crowd as the audience clapped and cheered the dancers along.
Halfway through the ceremony a speech was made by visiting actors Shimeles Aberra ìJorroî and Girum Zenebe, stars of the FKL fundraising production of the play Leireft Yemeta Fikir. Aberra and Zenebe spoke of the necessity of educating Ethiopia’s youth and commended the graduates and their families on their choice to pursue an education. ìYou should be very proud of all you have accomplished,î said Zenebe.
The performance was followed by a reception and refreshments were served while attendees wandered around the School grounds, socializing and viewing artwork created by FKL students. Families were led around the yard by beaming children, eager to show off their creations, classrooms and teachers.
Everyone at the Fregenet Foundation and the Fregenet Kidan Lehitsanat School would like to thank and congratulate the students on their hard work for this incredible accomplishment. We wish the students of the graduating grade four class a happy and successful academic future as they leave FKL School. Good luck to those in the KG2 graduating class as they continue with us on to grade one. Congratulations to all!
The crowds were out again for the Monday 19 July performance of Leireft Yemeta Fikir (Love On Holiday), a popular play written by the Ethiopian playwright Hailu Tsegay. The play was performed as a fundraiser for the FKL School with all proceeds going toward the purchase of currently rented School grounds. The School’s lease, which expires in September of 2011, will not be renewed and so the School must raise 1.7 million birr to purchase the property and remain in the community it serves.
The play’s impressive turnout yielded about 10,000 birr, putting the School well on its way to raising the needed funds. However, money was not the key indicator of success for the event. Regardless of the actual dollar amount that was raised, FKL succeeded in raising awareness about the School and its mission to create educational opportunities for children from underprivileged families in Addis Ababa.
The event took place at Addis Ababa’s National Theatre, whose venerated stage has featured several productions of poet Tsegay G/Medhin’s Shakespearian translations and his own plays. FKL School Manager Selam Negussie opened the night with a speech on the School’s fundraising efforts and mission. Negussie was followed by the FKL students’ well-received rendition of the song Goji Behal and School anthem Anchi Fregenet. The play itself was a hit. The audience delighted in Fikir’s lighthearted humor and the comedic stylings of the actors, while absorbing the play’s underlying message: acceptance of the mentally handicapped.
The Fregenet Foundation would like to thank all who made these special events possible, including The Ethiopian National Theatre; the choreographer, technicians, and cameramen who assisted with the graduation ceremony; our many volunteers; and Graphic Printers Private Limited Co. for their assistance in assembling the FKL yearbook. Thanks to your support and contributions, our students’ graduation and School fundraiser were both a rousing success and are sure to be memories that will be cherished for years to come.
We would also like to extend a very special thank you to Rish Producers and the actors of Leireft Yemeta Fikir; this fundraiser would not have been possible without your willingness to volunteer for the sake of the FKL students. An important thank you as well to Feed the Children for their ongoing support of FKL School through their generous funding of our meals program.
A final thanks to all of those in attendance at the graduation and fundraising events for sharing these special moments with usómost importantly the family and friends of the students, without whose hard work and support the students would not be where they are today. We would also like to recognize the dedicated faculty and staff of FKL School for their commitment to the students of FKL and their belief in the importance of their workóeducating the future of Ethiopia.
The Fregenet Kidan Lehitsanat School, established in 2004 by the Fregenet Foundation, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to Ethiopia’s underserved children. Attendance at the School is determined by families’ financial need and students are provided with a free education, including uniforms, snacks, hot lunches, and basic medical care. A school library was opened in 2008 and computer training is provided for both students and teachers.
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The Fregenet Foundation