The Ethiopian section of the SMLH-ONM, Société des Membres de la Légion d’Honneur and Ordre National du Merite, as part of their three-month food support project for disadvantaged students of HizbawiSerawit School and their families, donated the second round assistance on Saturday July 11.
The project that was launched on June 6th aims to benefit 100 students and their families in need of support from the school. To realize this project members of SMLH, Omedad Plc, Rened Consultancy & Trading Plc, Galani Coffee, Travel Ethiopia Plc, Laterite Ltd, and other companies and individuals came together to contribute their part as their corporate social responsibilities.
Today our association, SMLH-ONM has provided basic need support for 100 students and their families aiming to alleviate the challenges that they face in relation to the COVID 19 pandemic said TeguestYilma, President of SMLH-ONM Ethiopia. These students were part of the Addis Ababa City Government school feeding initiative that provides breakfast and lunch to children who go to school, but since schools have been closed due to the pandemic, the program has been halted.
“Over 500 family members will be beneficiary of SMLH’s initiative,” Teguest explained saying “this is to encourage the students to focus on reading and studying as much as they can while they stay at home because of the pandemic.” She also offered her condolences to those who lost their lives in the recent violence that shook Oromia Region.
Students and their families received basic food items like teff, edible oil, pasta, flour and sanitary products. This will continue for another one month, until September the end of the rainy season and hopefully school will resume, she said.
For SMLH that is formed to strengthen cooperation and friendship between French and Ethiopian communities, providing support for HizbawiSerawit School is not the first time; the association has also inaugurated a tap water and hygiene facilities for the students. “This is based on friendship, collaboration and good will,” said Colonel Francois David, from the French embassy and SMLH treasurer, thanking the parents and guardians that were present at the event.
During the second round donation held on Saturday July 11, the Director of HizbawiSerawit school, Abraham Atnafu on his part said that these kinds of support will help the students and their families to pass these difficult times. Such initiative, he noted, will also “inspire others to do their part to help our students.” He also urged the parents to assist their children by collecting reading materials from the school so as to be ready for next year’s classes, as they will be joining the next level.
DagneGebru Deputy Head of Addis Ababa Education Bureau said that “We are very grateful for the support SMLH provided today.” He noted that education is key for a better life and encouraged the families present to support their children’s study at home.”
“The ministry is planning to support the primary education through TV programs,” Dagne said.
ZerihunKorme, Yeka Sub City Woreda 2 Education Bureau Head also said that the community should stay vigilant about COVID 19. “The families and the students must be more careful in protecting themselves and others around them in these difficult times.”
Several actions have been carried out by the members of the SMLH for the benefit of the HizbawiSerawit School, in particular through educational projects.
SMLH Ethiopia has supported the school in Addis Ababa which is located in a popular and historic sector north of the capital. Close to the French Embassy, this district, called “Farensaï”, was reserved in the 1960s by emperor Haile Selassié for the settlement of the families of the combatants who participated in the first peacekeeping operations in Korea and Congo.
The association of SMLH Ethiopia was formed in 2013 by the recipients of the French government’s award of the Legion of Honor and Ordre National du Merite in recognition of eminent services rendered to their country and the strengthening of Franco-Ethiopian bilateral relations. SMLH-ONM Ethiopia brings together the decorated of these two French national orders living in Ethiopia, both French and Ethiopian nationals.
Since 2017 the section was joined by those honored with French ministerial awards, mainly academic awards in arts and literatures as well as agricultural merit, and maritime merit among others.