EDA Activities
EDA annual bulletin / 2nd Edition
Prepared by EDA Board of Directors
 
August 15, 2013  

Thank You to Each And Every One of You!

Wadisherifery Eritrean Refugee School and Association of Disabled Eritreans fundraising Campaign Update

Background

The history of Eritrean refugees in Eastern Sudan dates back to the late 60s and early 70s when hundreds and
thousands of Eritreans began to arrive in Eastern Sudan, fleeing Ethiopia’s systematic and massive civilian
persecution carried out in the form of burning entire villages, destroying crops, killing livestock, and executing those
suspected of aiding and sheltering the Eritrean freedom fighters. Throughout the Eritrean independence war and
until 1991, close to one million Eritreans left their country and settled in Eastern Sudan, and few others made their
way to the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Until 1990s, UNHCR in cooperation with the Sudan Commissioner
for Refugees (COR) provided health, basic education, and other needs to the Eritrean refugees. And Eritrean
refugees continued to be welcomed by Sudanese government until 1990 based on the 1951 international convention
and other pertinent laws that protect refugees. However, the UNHCR major operation and aid program came to a
halt after a repatriation agreement was signed with the Eritrean government, which eventually rendered Eritreans in
Eastern Sudan unprotected status whose safety and asylum needs could not be guaranteed any longer.

After Eritrea gained its independence in 1993, the new government of Isayas Afeworki drifted into dictatorship and
began implementing repressive policies, resulting in withdrawing from the repatriation accord it signed with Sudan
and UNCHR, and effectively preventing Eritrean refugees from returning to their country. In addition, since the current
government of Eritrea came to power, hundreds of Eritreans have been fleeing the country into Eastern Sudan and
Ethiopia due to massive persecution and human rights violation perpetrated against them by the regime. According
to UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies, close to 600 Eritreans cross into Eastern Sudan every month.

             
  













  Wadisherifeyl students starting the 2013 / 2014 academic year in a renovated school environment

The repatriation program being out of option and the refugee status of Eritreans not fully recognized by the UNHCR
and Sudan, Eritrean refugees in Sudan began to face tremendous financial and other aid challenges, particularly two
institutions: the Eritrean refugee school at Wadisherifey and the disabled Eritreans in Kassala that used to get aid
from UNHCR and other agencies.

Since UNHCR aid became no longer available, Eritreans and friends of Eritreans of good will began to explore the
possibilities of raising funds for both Wadisherifey Eritrean Refugee School and disabled Eritreans. In response, three
nonprofit organizations were formed, now in operation worldwide. The purpose and function of these nonprofit
organizations is to fill the void left by UNHCR and to raise funds through various fund raising events and cover some
of the basic expenses of both the school and the disabled Eritreans.  

Fundraising Update

1.        Eritrean Democratic Association (EDA) is a California (USA) registered nonprofit association,
permitted to raise funds through fund raising events around the world. The EDA has been engaged in fund raising
efforts for years now in order to cover the expenses of basic school supplies for students (books, pencils, notebooks,
and backpacks), wages of instructors and school guards, school furniture (desks, tables, chairs), and other overhead
expenses, which are necessary to the continued functioning of the school. In the year 2012, EDA held numerous
fundraising events, namely in North America (Oakland, CA; Saskatoon, Canada; Houston, TX; Washington, DC; and
Frankfurt, Germany (at the Eritrean annual Frankfurt festival). Still, a number of other cities are in the process of
organizing fundraising event. Part of the money raised by EDA in the year 2012 was sent to Wadisherifey School and
was spent for repairing the school building (aging roof, leaking walls, faded paints of classroom walls and school
furniture). Wadisherifey School has 651 pupils for the academic year of 2013/2014 of which 574 are enrolled in
elementary and 77 in middle school. The school has a registration backlog due shortage of class rooms and
instructors, which all is attributed to insufficient budget. This is a worrisome situation and unless we double our
efforts to raise more funds, we will have a numbers of Eritrean children with no access to education. Another major
concern is shortage of drinking water and lack of good sanitation at the Wadisherifey School, which also requires
funding. This is a major area of concern for EDA and other partners, and individual donors.
















    Disabled Eritreans in a dire need of wheelchairs                     Their living place is in need of renovation  

2.       
 Association of Disabled Eritreans (ADE), a France based association, has chapters in different parts
of the world. Its main focus is to cover the expenses of food, medical care, and maintaining the ever-deteriorating
house that they live in. The ADE has a volunteer board of directors. The fund it raises comes from Eritreans and
friends of Eritreans. Although the ADE is continuing to engage in raising funds, the current basic expenses of the
disabled Eritreans is far more expensive than the fund the ADE raises. In addition, expenses for maintaining and
repairing wheelchair, crutches, and other walking aids used by the disabled Eritreans is another area where the ADE
is struggling to find ways to address it.   

3.        
Association Suisse Enfance-Erythree (ASEE) is a Geneva, Switzerland based nonprofit organization,
and it works in close cooperation with a resident of Milano, Italy, father Marino Haile and his partners. It has been
active for the last nine years in raising funds for Wadisherifey School and in covering the major expenses of the
school, notably operating expenses of the school and other overhead expenses. In this year alone, the ASEE raised
15,000 US dollars by organizing a fundraising event at the 22nd Annual Geneva Music Festival. Members of the ASEE
sold native Eritrean and Sudanese drinks/foods, as well as Swiss foods during the event and the result was
remarkably successful.

The Challenges

Both the Wadisherifey Eritrean Refugee School and the Association of Disabled Eritreans do not get assistance from
governmental or humanitarian organizations. All their expenses are covered by money donated by Eritreans and
friends of Eritreans every year.  Members of ASEE, EDA, and ADE are volunteers and all money raised in any
fundraising event is sent both to Wadisherifey School and to the disabled Eritreans in Eastern Sudan. Both
institutions have continued to function for the last many years because of the generosity and personal resources of
Eritreans and friends of Eritrean individuals who are steadfastly devoted to helping Eritrean refugee children stay in
school, as well as to assisting and supporting Eritrean disabled persons with their basic needs.  

EDA and its partners appreciate your continued willingness and commitment to support both the Wadisherifey
Eritrean refugee school and the Association of disabled Eritreans. We need each one of you to join us as we continue
our fundraising campaign to make a sustainable difference in the lives of those less fortunate than us, the Eritrean
refugee children and the disabled Eritreans. The Wadisherifey School and the Association of Disabled Eritreans count
on your donations. It is through the generosity and commitment of donors like you that the Wadi sherifey Eritrean
Refugee School and the Association of Disabled Eritreans continue to function.

We also thank you the hundreds of tireless volunteers who continue to lend their valuable time freely to organize
and facilitate our fundraising campaign each year.      

Remember, all donations are tax deductible and all donations go to support these two institutions. Donations can be
made by cash or check in any fundraising event or you may send a check to the below address at any time. Without
your donations, the two institutions may close down. Don't let that happen! In Addition, we are looking for help
finding potential donors in your neighborhood, in the town you live, or in your work place that would be willing to
donate.

Office Address
EDA, Inc.
5438 Giuffrida CT
San Jose, CA 95123
USA

Please Write your checks payable to: EDA, Inc

Email: hagosna@sbcglobal.net; asgedetmeh@comcast.com; gteme84011@aol.com
Website:  www.eritreacare.org

August, 2013