Empower 600 Students in Shashamane Ethiopia

by Shashamane Sunrise
New KG toilets
New KG toilets

January is back to school time for many of the children that we support. It is usually a time of great excitement for students as they are keen to share stories of the schools holidays, vacation activities with their families and the gifts and presents they received. For students who live in the rural and inner city communities we serve it can be a time of great anxiety and they struggle to find the necessary school and classroom supplies to start the school term. A report from the Director of the JRDC is attached and is included at the end of this report.

Shashamane Sunrise has been selected as one of four charities to take part in the January Education Appeal
of global donor marketplace Global Giving UK. The appeal highlights our effort at Okoboi Primary School in Ngora, Uganda to help reconstruct the school’s dilapidated roof and buildings.  For more information see our Project Page or our website

You can help. Give us two minutes of your time.

Help us promote the Back to School Appeal:


  • Like us on Facebook,Twitter and refer a friend or colleague
  • Make a donation
  • Host a Back To School Fundraiser

During the campaign, everyone who makes a donation of USD$25 or more will receive a Shash Tee. Additionally, if you host your own Shashamane Sunrise Fundraiser, one lucky person will be eligible to receive a
roundtrip ticket to one of our Shash Tours during the year. For more information e-mail: shashamanesunrise@gmail.com. The current schedule for the Shash Service Tours is:


  • ShashT&T: 23-30Jun
  • ShashJAM: 1-7 Jul
  • ShashUGX: 18-24 Aug  
  • ShashKEN: 25-31 Aug
  • ShashETH: 1-14 Sep
  • ShashHTI: 27 Nov - 1

We are currently seeking volunteers for our Shashamane Service Tour to Ethiopia in September. Please visit our website for more information. http://www.shashamanesunrise.org/service-tours

Best wishes for the new year.


From Director of JRDC School. Sis Lorna Curtis. Also see a  video on our Shash Channel ( http://youtube.com/shashamanesunrise) of an interview we did with the Director during one of our volunteers service visit.

2012 Accomplishments

First we must give thanks to Gad for his loving kindness in allowing us to complete another successful year at the JRDC Kindergarten and Elementary school. The year had its challenges some small and some large however, we overcame them as they presented themselves through the grace of Jah.

We had over 500 hundred students registered with 125 of them in Kindergarten.  We did experience some overcrowding in many of our classrooms due to the overwhelming demand to attend our school.

The JRDC School is rated among the top three schools in the Shashemene area and because of our international affiliation we are in demand. It is important that we the Rastafarians continue our efforts to keep the school running, as it represents our collective effort in making a meaningful contribution to the development of the Shashemene area in educating the next generation.

Achievements for the Academic Year:

  • 125 kindergarten students graduated with 90% of them continuing on to our
    Elementary School.
  • 38 grade eight students graduated with very impressive results in the National exams.  Our students did exceptionally well with seven students earning 99% and 18 students earning between 90% and 98%.  The lowest score was 87%.
  • All other grades maintained very high standard for the academic year.
  • In the Regional Football competition our Girls Football Team received second place.
  • The School received donation of laptops and desk tops which enabled us to add computer
    training to our curriculum.
  • With donations from Shashamane Sunrise, one of our donors, we built 2 proper flush toilet and
    hand washing sinks for the KG Students. The team also donated school and classroom supplies during their annual Service Tour in January and they ran some sports workshops and career talks.
  • Creative media from England sent funds which assisted with repairs and fixing the ceilings of
    some classrooms.
  • We repaired and added several benches and desks for the students.
  • Summer 2012 with donations from Motherland Promotions we built a fence to separate the KG
    from the Elementary school as required by the Education Department. We also repaired the front fence of the school.

We must give a special thanks to Shashamane Settlement Community Development Foundation in the Washington D.C. for their continued relentless effort in funding the operational expenses for the School for the past 12 years. We encourage all interested parties to support their efforts by making regular contribution to this organization so they may continue this noble feat.

Lorna Curtis
JRDC Board

Shash Service Tour 2012
Shash Service Tour 2012
JRDC Graduation
JRDC Graduation
JRDC Extra Curricular Activities
JRDC Extra Curricular Activities



The start of the the new school year usually represents a time of great excitement for our young children who are eager to learn but for the parents and students who live in rural communities in Africa and the Caribbean it can be a time of great anxiety as they frequently do not have the resources to purchase much needed school and classroom supplies. This has been one area in which we have tried to support the students and their parents. We appreciate your donations in helping to provide these basic needs.

We are also very pleased to learn about the academic results from the previous school year. Last year for the 4th year in a row, the students received 100% passes on the school leaving exams with some students scoring in the higest percentile. These results show that with your help together with the hard work of the administators on the ground our students can achieve great things.

On the capital project side, work has begun to try to partition the Kindergarten and the Elementary School. We hope that with your help this project along with our other priorities for the 2012-2013 Academic year can be accomplished.

Blessed Luv distributes remaining school supplies
Blessed Luv distributes remaining school supplies

A team from Shashamane Sunrise visited the JRDC Schools in Jan 2012 for a Service Tour & Site Visit. The team included Shash co-founders Dr Rene Zazou Williamson and Ras Markos Rose and Shash Ambassadors Leah Marville, (Miss Barbados World 2009, Owner Miss Barbados Franchise), Simba Amani (Reggae and Soca Musician from Trinidad and Tobago) and Andru 'Blessed Luv' Curtis.

The team departed London’s Heathrow Airport, on Thursday, January 12, 2012 on Ethiopian Airlines and arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia early the next morning. We were received by a party, including Shash Ethiopia Station Chief, Ras Mengesha Afework (Menge) and our driver Chi Chi (Gi Gi).

After we had breakfast and checked in with the Principal of the JRDC School, Minyahil Kifle, we headed directly to meet with the students. We arrived in Shashamane four hours later. The students and staff of the JRDC were on hand to greet us upon our arrival. It was a sincere pleasure to receive such a warm welcome for our group, which had travelled from Port of Spain, New York, Miami and London.

After meeting with the school Principal and Teachers, the Shash Team met with students who had gathered in one of the classrooms. Approximately 50 students were present along with 6 teachers, including the Principal. Following some inspirational words and greetings from Shash Ambassadors Leah Marville and Simba Amani (translated to Amharic by Principal Kifle), the students were given various prizes and gifts, including t-shirts, school supplies and hygiene products.

During a touching moment, Miss Barbados 2009, Leah Marville comforted a 5 year old girl, who had been crying prior to our arrival. It was so touching as we witnessed the track of her tears making a line on her dust covered face. Leah helped the little girl put on her t-shirt and took a picture with her. It was good to see the young girl smile again.

Approximately 2 hours later, after receiving some reports from Principal Kifle about the school’s stellar academic results (90% graduation rate and 100% passes on National Examinations for the 5th year in a row) and viewing the KG toilets (boys and girls), which were funded by Shashamane Sunrise, the team left the school for its hotel, the Lily of the Valley Hotel in Shashamane.

The Lily of the Valley has been a longtime supporter of Shashamane Sunrise, as it has been the accommodation of choice for Shash Volunteers since 2005. The hotel is owned and managed by a couple who migrated from Trinidad to Shashamane. The hotel is well kept and the grounds are immaculate.

The following morning the Shash Team met with Principal Kifle to discuss the developments at the school. During the meeting we discussed his participation in the Shashamane Principal Program. The Shashamane Principal program uses high achieving students in tertiary-education programs around the world as well as mid career and end of career professionals (especially education professionals) to shadow the Principal of a Shashamane Sunrise Sponsored School and explore all the components needed to achieve Model School Status. The program also allows for further educational training for Local Principals. Shashamane agreed to consider Principal Kifle’s request for support.

In Shashamane, we also met with Ras Mark Playter, who is also known as Joseph, a longtime Shashamane
Volunteer and former teacher at JRDC. Mark is a Bajan immigrant to Shashamane and he currently works as a DJ and a producer of natural juices. The Shash Team asked for Mark’s help as a project manager and promotions partner for the Ethiopian leg of the Global Concert Series in Ethiopia. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 8, 2012, at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa, to coincide with New Year’s Celebrations (2008 Ethiopian Calendar) and Meskel Celebration.

About noon, the team departed the Lily of the Valley Hotel for Addis Ababa. At the Sheraton in Addis Ababa, we met executives from a potential promotions partner for the Shash Global Concert Series. The team currently manages local Reggae Artiste Haile Roots, and they have previously worked with Teddy Afro, Ethiopia’s musical star.

The Shashamane Team met with Esayas Berhanu, Chairman of the Tesfaye Organization (Amharic for My
Hope), an educational non-profit that supports street children from the Yeka and Arada Kebele communities in Addis Ababa. The organization currently sponsors 100 of the 600 students at the school. Shashamane Sunrise has conducted a Needs Assessment of the school to explore whether it can be a potential new sponsored school in that region of the country.

Esayas, an Investment Banker in Vienna Austria, who is originally from the slums of Addis Ababa, is an example of what is possible for our young people when given the opportunity.

Overall the Ethiopian leg of the Shash East Africa Service Tour and Site Visit was an overwhelming success.

A moment with you girl
A moment with you girl
Group photo JRDC students
Group photo JRDC students
Shash funded toilets
Shash funded toilets


ShashETH 2011 - KG Toilet Construction
ShashETH 2011 - KG Toilet Construction

 We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who has support Shashamne Sunrise in its projects
in Ethiopia during 2011 a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2012.

Next week, 12-19 January, a team from Shashamane Sunrise will visit Ethioia (Jan 12-16), Kenya (Jan16-17), Uganda (Jan17-18) on a Service Visit to our school in East Africa. We will visit nearly 2300 students in the five Shashamane sponsored schools: JRDC School in Shashamane Ethiopia (600), Senator Obama Primary & Secondary Schools (990) and Mutumbu Girls Secondary School (200) in Kogelo and Mutumbu Kenya and Ngora Okoboi Primary School (510) in Ngora Uganda.

Among the travelling part will be Shashamane Ambassador Ms Leah Marville, Miss Barbados 2009 and Shash Global Concert Series Artiste Simba Amani and musician Andrew “Blessed Love” Curtis.

In July 2011, Shashamane Ethiopia commenced Phase I of a two-phase project to construct security fencing around
the perimeter of the JRDC school (to protect students and staff as well as school property), construct a fence to separate the KG classes from the elementary school classes per new Ethiopian Board of Education regluations and
the construction of sanitation facilities, one for boys and one for girls, for the KG Class.

An individual donor appeal was launched to raise funds for this critical first phase of the overall infrastructure and capital improvements plan. The budget for Phase I is USD$2500. The project got underway on 11 July 2011 after the Kindergarten Graduation. The project has moved very rapidly since we started. The sanitation facilities were constructed first and the project was completed in September 2011. Our expectation is that Phase II of the project can be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2012.

To see pictures from the groundbreaking please visit our Our Website or our Facebook Page.

The pictures below tell the overall story. Students now have access to sanitary facilities thanks to your help.


The Rocks Arrive
The Rocks Arrive


Sanitation Facilities and Secure Fencing

After assessing the school’s needs from the School Needs Questionnaire we received at the beginning of the school year, the school’s most urgent priorities were to construct security fencing around the perimeter of the school, to protect students and staff as well as school property, construction a fence to separate the KG classes from the elementary school classes per new Ethiopian Board of Education regulations and the construction of sanitation facilities, one for boys and one for girls. This is Shashamane’s priority for 2011.

An individual donor appeal was launched to raise funds for this critical first phase of the overall infrastructure and capital improvements plan. The budget for Phase I is USD$2500. The project got underway on 11 July 2011 after the Kindergarten Graduation. The project has moved very rapidly since we started. The concrete structure for the new sanitation facility is now almost complete. The next step is to commence the plumbing and roofing of the new toilets. The installation of the security and perimeter fencing will commence after the sanitation facility is complete. The project is expected to be completed by the end of August 2011.

To see pictures from the groundbreaking please visit our Our Website or our Facebook Page.

The contractor estimates for Phase I of the project are now available as an attachment to this report.

Thank you for your contributions and please continue to recruit you friends to our cause and post our appeal on your
social media platforms. Visit: Global Giving to donate online.

Please also check out our Shashamane Channel for video updates. Watch it here.

The Blocks And Sand
The Blocks And Sand
The Foundation
The Foundation
The Structure Rises
The Structure Rises
Rapid Progress
Rapid Progress
Building Up
Building Up
Concrete Work Done!
Concrete Work Done!



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Organization Information

Shashamane Sunrise

Location: Stamford, CT - USA
Website: http:/​/​shashamanesunrise.org
Shashamane Sunrise
Project Leader:
Shashamane Sunrise
Stamford, CT United States

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