Currently, parents in Tigray are not able to put food on the table and feed their families. We, friends and colleagues of the staff members of the four universities in Tigray, have initiated this fundraising to plead for your generous contribution to support them during their darkest hours. The act of kindness embedded within your generous gift will certainly be a reason for a desperate parent to hold on for a little longer and hope for a better tomorrow. The universities have endorsed this fundraising and the links of their support letters are listed below.
As you read this appeal letter, humanitarian catastrophe, on an unimaginable scale, continues to unfold in Tigray (North Ethiopia) every day. In January 13, 2022, WHO’s director-general said, “Nowhere in the world are we witnessing a hell as in Tigray. The situation is desperate. It is so dreadful and unimaginable that a government is denying its own people for more than a year food and medicine and the rest to survive.” Amidst the communication blackout, the stories and desperate pleas for help that we continue to receive from our families and friends back in Tigray are heart-wrenching. We, as current or former University staff members, students or affiliates of the four universities in Tigray, continuously receive saddening personal messages and stories from the academic community in Tigray on a daily basis.
The four federally-administered universities in Tigray: Mekelle University, Axum University, Adigrat University and Raya University, have about 30,000 academic and administrative staff members combined. As is the case for all civil servants and government employees in Tigray, these staff members have not been paid their salaries for more than ten months, up until the end of March 2022. In addition, they do not have access to their own savings due to the unavailability of banking services as part of the siege. As a result, they and their families are starving to death. Horrifying news of the death of staff or their family members due to hunger or lack of medication has started to come out. Many of these men and women, who are currently suffering with their family, had an opportunity to stay abroad and live a good life but instead chose to go back to Tigray and serve their people. As friends of all these selfless men and women and their families, we are organizing this initiative to solicit monetary support for the academic and administrative staff members of the four universities to help ease their suffering in any way we can.
It is to be understood that this heartbreaking situation our friends are facing daily is not unique to them but is the reality for almost everyone in Tigray. However, this initiative is just we making a conscious effort not to be overwhelmed and give up by the overall humanitarian situation in Tigray but choosing to fight back for one cause and support one family at a time. We are also aware that the only sustainable solution to end this humanitarian catastrophe is a concerted effort by the international community to end the siege on Tigray urgently, restore services, pay salaries to all civil servants and provide unhindered access to humanitarian aid to everyone who needs it. And hence, we will continue advocating for our people and pleading for help to come sooner than later.
While we wait for a lasting solution, we are organizing this fundraiser on behalf of our friends and their families, out of desperation, to do anything within our capacity to help save theirs’ and their families’ lives. We are here driven by collegiality and desperation to help our friends. We trust you will join us in this endeavor to save lives with your monetary donations and spread this fundraiser to your network and contacts.
Should there be a change in the situation on the ground, the humanitarian siege is lifted, and the universities’ staff are paid their salaries, the fund collected will be directed to a social fund to support the most affected staff members.
Disbursement of Funds:
As per the ‘Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement’ signed between this fundraising team and ECDC (https://www.ecdcus.org/
), a Non-profit organization based in Virginia, ECDC will facilitate the receipt of all donations, including funds collected via GoFundMe. ECDC will place all donations into a restricted fund that can be used solely for the purpose of this fundraiser. The fundraising committee, with the approval of ECDC and in consultation with representatives of the four Universities, will facilitate the disbursement of funds to the staff members of the four universities of Tigray: Adigrat University, Aksum University, Mekelle University and Raya University.
This fundraising is endorsed by:
Thank you for your generosity!
• Prof. Dr Fetien Abay (Mekelle University, Former President, Currently in the USA)
• Dr. Zebib Yenus (Affiliated to Adigrat University, Currently in Canada)
• Mrs. Amlakawit Medhin (USA, Former staff of Mekelle University)
• Dr. Ftwi Yohaness Hagos (Oman, Former staff of Mekelle University)
• Dr. Fisseha Meresa Alemayehu (USA, Former staff of Mekelle University)
• Dr. Mekonnen Gebreslasie Gebrehiwot (Belgium, Former staff of Mekelle University)
• Dr. Gebrekidan Gebresilassie (Affiliated to Mekelle University, Currently in Germany)
• Dr. Hayelom Kebede (Mekelle University, Currently in the USA)
• Prof. Jan Nyssen (Ghent University, Belgium)
• Prof. Catherene Andrea (Canada)
• Prof. Dr. Wolbert Smidt (Germany)
• Prof. Dr. Tony Magaña (USA)
• Prof. Dr. Tesfay Araya (South Africa, Former staff of Mekelle University)
• Mr. Goitom Tegegn (Mekelle University, Currently in Belgium)
• Dr. Meley Mekonen (Norway, Former staff of Mekelle University)
• Dr. Biadgilgn Demissie (Mekelle University, Currently in Belgium)
• Mr. Yemane Kahsay (Adigrat University, Currently in Mexico)
• Dr. Kibrom Alebel (Adigrat University, Currently in Germany)
• Mr. Teweldemedhn Gebretinsae (Aksum University, Currently in Germany)
• Mr. Kahsay Tadesse (Aksum University)
• Mr. Teklu Gebremdhin (Raya University, Currently in Belgium)
To learn more about the humanitarian crisis in Tigray: