Eritrean Democratic Association
EritreaCare.org - EDA's Official Website
Appeal for help to Centers for vulnerable Eritreans in Eastern Sudan: the
Wadisherifery, School for Eritrean Refugee Children and the Association of Disabled
Eritreans; in Kassala.    November 22, 2019


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.

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, thousands 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.

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 humanitarian 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, EDA, ADE and ASEE, 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.

 EDA and Its Operations

The Eritrean Democratic Association (EDA) has been in existence for the last seventeen years. It has so
far been giving relief and rehabilitation services to Eritrean refugees in the Sudan. It now plans to
extend its services to Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia. For many years, EDA has been supporting an
Eritrean refugee school and a war disabled victims’ center in Kassala, Sudan. It also runs the “Sponsor
a Child” program which has helped many Eritrean refugee children.

EDA is founded for public and charitable purposes under the State of California Nonprofit Public Benefit
Corporation Law.  With 501 (C) (3) nonprofit status, EDA has the ability to apply for both federal and
state tax exempt status.  Donations made by individuals or entities to EDA are all tax deductable and
reach the beneficiaries with no overhead expences.  

EDA plans to work with all local and international charity organizations and UN agencies in carrying out
its activities. EDA urges the public and charitable organizations to support its mission in alleviating the
suffering of Eritrean refugees.  

Wad-Sherifey, Eritrean Refugee Children’s School:

Wad-Sherifey Eritrean refugee school was instituted in 1984, i.e. 35 years ago, to provide elementary
and junior high school programs for Eritrean children between the age of 5 and 18.  In 1988, the school
was constructed by a budget donated from a charity organization, BISSCHOPELIKJE VASTENAKTIE in
Holland with the purpose to provide a modern facility and to accommodate larger number of students.  
After some years, the buildings had gotten in bad shape with dire need of repairs.  Thus, in 2005, it
was renovated by Father Marino Haile of Milano and his supporters who raised substantial funds from
church goers.  It offers an integrated conventional elementary and junior high school programs,
including, Eritrean national language instruction. The curriculum is designed to provide Eritrean refugee
children the necessary tools to pursue higher education and be part of society where they can have
the opportunity to work and live.

The Wad-Sherifey school teaches between grades 1 and 6 to Eritrean children in Eritrean curriculum
through the medium of Eritrean languages (Arabic and Tigrinya). Grades 7 and 8 are taught in English.
Beyond grade 8, children who pass the exams join high schools either in the Senior High School of the
Catholic Church in Kassala (formerly the ELF run and UNHCR supported high school in Kassala) or other
Sudanese schools.

          Wad-Sherifey School students lined up to enter their respective classes

Since its foundation in 1984, the school has operated on funds entirely contributed by private
individuals, and by members of EDA in partnership with nonprofit humanitarian organizations whose
mission is to help educate refugee children.

The school uses contributed funds for high priority expenditures of the school, which includes:
•        Students’ textbooks and supplies
•        Salary for 18 fulltime instructors, including one school administrator and his assistant
•        Two fulltime school guards
•        To provide clean drinking water and school uniforms for students

Wad-Sherifey School classes in session. Students taking their final exams.
The Eritrean Refugee School of Wad-Sherifey, located near Kassala in Eastern Sudan,   completed its
35th academic year on 17 March 2019 with 90% promotion in the exams. The school's director Ato
Teklehaimanot Elfu (Wedi Elfu) informed EDA's representative that out of the 604 students who sat at
the final exams, 339 were boys and 265 girls.    He added that the school has also opened with total of
790 students registered for the 2019/2020 academic year.

Administered by the Eritrean Red Cross-Crescent Society (ERCC), which started it way back in 1984,
the ever successful Wad-Sherifey School for Eritrean Refugees is actively supported by charities like the
Geneva-based Association Suisse Enfance-Erythrée (ASEE), the California based Eritrean Democratic
Association (EDA) and individuals of good will.

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 the residents of Milano, Italy, and their partners.
They have been active for the last fifteen years in raising funds for Wad-Sherifey School and in covering
the major expenses of the school, notably operating expenses of the school and other overhead
expenses. In one year alone, the ASEE raised 15,000 US dollars by organizing a fundraising event at
the 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 Wad-Sherifey 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 Wad-Sherifey 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 Wad-
Sherifey School and the Association of Disabled Eritreans count on your donations. It is through the
generosity and commitment of donors like you that the Wad-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

Please Write your checks payable to: EDA, Inc

Email:  hagosna17@gmail.com;  asgedetmeh@att.net;   gteme84011@aol.com

Website:  www.eritreacare.org

D.F. Hagos / President EDA Board of Directors  
Copy: Asghedet Mehretab / Secretary EDA Board of Directors

EDA, Inc. is an IRS-approved 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Since no goods or services were received
in exchange for your gift, 100% of your contribution is tax deductible as allowed by law. Please retain
this letter for your tax records.