Click for the Cookham News Front Page



posted 23 October 2014


with thanks to Sarah Rodi and Caroline Field for the photos

click on photo for larger image



I was lucky enough to join HRH Princess Alexandra, Michael Buerk and other VIP guests at a special charity event at the House of Commons on Monday evening to mark the 30th anniversary of the Ethiopia famine. The event was organised by good friend and fellow journalist Sarah Parfitt, who lives in Cookham.
index.7.jpg (68258 bytes)
HRH Princess Alexandra has been Patron of Partners For Change Ethiopia since 1992, and is passionate about the work that the organisation does. 

 'We work with impoverished communities by helping them to care for their orphan children. Together with local people, we provide carers for orphans, give them education, safe drinking water, food – everything children need to lead a fulfilled life,' says Pete Jones, director of PFC Ethiopia.

 index.10.jpg (79047 bytes)
 'Our aim is to work in partnership with locals to eradicate child poverty in Ethiopia. The country has changed a lot since the famine of 1984/5, when hundreds of thousands of people died. Life expectancy has risen from 47 years to 59 years, and the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has decreased to 27%. Partners for Change Ethiopia has been part of that success story, helping more than a million vulnerable people out of poverty.'
index.11.jpg (77575 bytes)
Despite the success of the charity’s work over the last 30 years, there is still a lot more that needs to be done. There are still more than 5 million orphans in Ethiopia and the charity feels that it is vital to provide them with love, security and the opportunities that all children deserve.
Pete Jones says that climate change is proving a major challenge for Ethiopia’s poorest communities because it is making it more difficult for them to grow crops, and they are vulnerable to flash floods and drought. Pete Jones says: 'The rising population is a challenge and an opportunity – we need to make sure that more young people receive an education, vocational training and opportunities to make a better future for themselves and Ethiopia.'
PFC Ethiopia launched their fundraising campaign on Monday evening. All About The Child will focus on the Gende Tesfa community in Dire Dawa, which is located in north-eastern Ethiopia. This stigmatised former leper colony is home to 220 orphans and a further 630 single-parent families who are living in abject poverty. Most children don't have access to fresh water and are not able to go to school, which means that it is difficult for them to get a job when they reach adulthood. Partners for Change Ethiopia wants to create new opportunities for all the children in Gende Tesfa.
The event was a huge success. Partners for Change Ethiopia presented a short film capturing the special quality of their work by award-winning journalist Angela Robson and filmmaker Mike Goldwater. They also launched a summary report about the challenges and opportunities Ethiopia currently faces. We were able to sample delicious Ethiopian coffee and canapés, and were captivated by Ethiopian music and dancing. 

 Sarah Parfitt says: 'Our charity event would not have been possible without the commitment and generosity of so many sponsors and volunteers. We are immensely grateful to them all, and to Laurence Robertson MP for hosting the event for us and to our Patron HRH Princess Alexandra and her team for their support.'


If you would like to find out more about the charity’s work or get involved, please contact Pete Jones at PFC Ethiopia on: 020 7922 7905 or 07506 445 515.


Donate via JustGiving:

Click for the Cookham News Front Page

home    top of page You may need to click more than onceback    any suggestions