Saturday, November 26, 2011

Irob Scholarship and Educational Support Program (ISESP) Has Been Established in Ethiopia Operating Under the Umbrella of Irob Development Association (IDA) of Mekele, Tigray, Ethiopia.

Social Media, Committed Citizens and Irob Fund: 

Communiqué from ISESP Committee-Nov 2011

After we have posted the news of proposed fund raising dinner that is slated for December 31st  2011,  many of you have raised some valid questions regarding the status of the program and its legitimacy. It is evident more information is required on the Irob Scholarship and Educational Support Program (ISESP) and this communiqué is issued to answer just that.
What is this all about?

Goron group junior volunteer cadres are committed to social accountability and here is what is achieved so far. But first, for starters let us answer some important questions (in fact three) that may be troubling you all the way. “What is this new round of initiative different from others and why would I give my hard earned money and how would I trust you?”  Since trusting too much these days is unsafe and those who verify before they trust are wise, let us try to convince you that one initiative is different, it is achievable, it’s an idea whose time has come and those on driver’s seat are people of unquestionable integrity and sense of service to the community. Those of you hell-bent on not getting convinced before we make our case, please leave the room. (lol). 

Here we go: there are different groups and names like Goron and others that have emerged in the front of Irob related initiatives. One such initiative that we want to bring to your heart is - Irob Scholarship and Education Support Program. Its objective is not entirely new (except new media is being utilized for social change) as such since many other initiatives have also been concerned with wellbeing of Irob from this or that dimension. The program is about the wellbeing of Irob people through educational opportunities and support – arguably the most reliable and sustainable way of transforming the situation of our people. The program operates under Irob Development Association. This was decided because at this point in time there appeared several small groups with several names in the name of Irob and adding another one to the list in the name of small group of people would seem too much, at least in our view. Therefore, this program abandoned the idea of standing on its own with its legal personality and we went for merging it to IDA with necessary autonomy as it enjoys all the privileges it can get from IDA as far as the basic vision and missions are complementary to each other.
Vision:  The Scholarship and Educational support program (ISESP) aims to empower Irob minority students by supporting their educational efforts though scholarship opportunities. It seeks to make education accessible to academically qualified but financially needy students by providing them financial assistance. Further, it hopes to train and nurture these young men & women to be future leaders of the nation.

Mission: The Irob Scholarship and Educational support program ( ISESP) has a mission to provide disadvantaged students in Irob woreda, and their schools, with support and educational resources so that they may improve their communities and break the cycle of poverty in the region.

Objective: Aims to support Schools in Irob woreda and to provide scholarship opportunities to academically qualified, those who demonstrate leadership qualities but financially needy Irob students by providing them financial assistance. 

This program has working guidelines  and it has principles and maximum possible procedures to ensure impartiality and equal opportunity for Irob students as long as they satisfy the requirements and resources are available. Our target for this year is five hundred thousand birr (500,000.00). We understand this is an ambitious plan but with the support of every one of you it is not something unachievable. 

Achievements So far

Committee Appointed: The program operates under IDA legally but it has its own stirring committee fully authorized and appointed officially by IDA board director and the committee is constituted of the following: Hulluf Weldesilassie, Program coordinator; Ziade Hailu, Addis Ababa representative; Alema Gidey, Europe Representative; Daniel Aduma, Canada & Australia representative; Kahsay Debesu, Assistant Coordinator/Mekelle; Hagos Gebray, USA representative. You are cordially requested to collaborate with these volunteers for a noble purpose of saving a generation and overcoming poverty through education.

Bank Account opened: There are officially appointed Irob individuals to facilitate the actual operation of the program locally – in Adigrat. The local committee is composed of: Hulluf Weldesilassie, Kahsay Debesu, Kassa Zigta Mekonen Bulad . 

The above four with a letter from the IDA board director, had opened a bank account for the program. They shall transact the financial issues or activities of this program. These are individual who we believe are sincerely committed to Irob cause and they shall ensure that all the money is used properly. They will also organize and manage the fundraising occasions locally. The cooperation and support of everyone is requested here too. When you do your contributions please write your full names for record purposes and issuance of some acknowledgement documents.
Committee Established: The scholarship awarding committee is set up, with an understanding to operate under the general guidelines of the ISESP for selection criteria. Educational achievements and leadership qualities are given prominence for selection. Individuals with academic excellence and keen eyes for spotting talent are nominated. 
Proposal Developed: Formal project proposal is developed for first round of beneficiary students to solicit funds and anybody interested to have the document and search for funds is welcome. 

Fund raising: Local Fund raising dinner is arranged at the end of December in Addis Ababa to raise some money and introduce the program to stakeholders. The practice will replicate in other towns and cities as well.
On the need to establish Advisory board: Since this initiative is being run on the bases of volunteerism, more willing souls are required to join the cause to act as advisory board. (The most senior, senior cadres please stand up!) Inputs are still solicited from all of you on innovative ways of running the fund and on its sustainability strategy. You shall be appointed as Advisory board. Thanks to the new media geography is irrelevant; your hearts are what matters. 

That is why we “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world:  indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.