Diaspora for Development!What a wonderful worth remembering diaspora tour held by Tigrai development Association/TDA! The 2nd International Diaspora Festival Tigrai which brought together diaspora Tegaru from North America, Europe, China, Middle East and Africa for the same objective took place in a wide range of programs in Mekelle, the beautiful Northern Star Capital of Tigray as of 24 to 30 July 2011 E.C. The event was regarded as the most important and timely podium in terms of strengthening the unity of the diaspora Tegaru community to better work for the assurance of the survival and security of Tigrai and Tegaru given the apparent political crisis in the country.
Celebration of the 30th year birthday of Tigrai Development association (TDA) was among the many programs conducted in the compound of the Martyrs’ Monument by variety of beautiful ceremonies. It was a one day event which was marked on the 29th of July 2011 E.C. together with diaspora community under the theme of ''The future for accelerated technological advancement and global competitiveness’’. The program involved a half-daylong symposium focused on what TDA has done thus far and the way forward, sort of carnival accompanied by traditional funny sport games and exhibition of previous projects carried out by daisporas, members, and international donors in the period of 30 years of the founding of TDA.
Diaspora tour was one of the programs TDA planned to conduct in order for the diaspora community to know better of the projects executed by TDA with the financial support of members and themselves; and of government and non-governmental organizations. It also was a golden opportunity for the diaspora, especially for those who had no/little clue of Tigrai and of its visible development activities being undertaken, more importantly. More than 3 hundred diaspora people participated in the journey. It was really successful in terms of building confidence in the diaspora community and of keeping them well aware of what is going on in Tigrai, in general. It amazingly made them say: “Seeing is believing”.
It was with this solemn idea that TDA conducted a 4-day long tour (from 01-04 August 2011) that covered five zones of Tigray such as south-east, central, north-west, west and east including Mekelle. Completed and underway giant projects that included primary and secondary/preparatory schools and science and technology centers have been paid a visit. Wherever the visit was held, the diasporas were warmly and jubilantly welcomed that involved singing, chanting, dancing and planting .
It was such a breath-taking tour when unity of diaspora Tegaru and Tegaru residents were witnessed. What they say throughout the travel was ‘Incredible’ and thereby prompted those to further contribute financial and material backing in the social and economic spheres of the development taking place in their region.
Visited projects included science and technology center in Ras Alula Aba-Nega Secondary school found in woread Dogua Temben, south east zone (with the total budget of birr 9,955,270.27); Laelay Seken Primary School, woreda Kolla Temben, central zone (with the budget of birr 2,311,948.96); Edaga Berhe Secondary School, woreda Laelay Maichew, central zone (with total budget of birr 9,284,020.02); Debreberhan Secondary School, Laelay Maichew, central zone (with total budget of birr 8,313,534.69); Adichomo Complete primary School, woreda Tahitay Koraro, north west zone (with total budget of birr 4,788,390.76); Musie Preparatory School, Shiraro city, north west zone (with total budget of birr 24, 752,991.68); Miglab Feres Complete Primary School, woreda Kafta Humera, west zone (with total budget of birr 5,933,629.10); Charles F.Brush Preparatory School, Dansha town, west zone (with total budget of birr 24,124,401.55); Godgoda Primary School, woreda Wolkait, west zone (with total budget of birr 3,048,670.88); Dedebit Complete Primary School, woreda Asgede Tsimbila, north west zone (with total budget of birr 2,770,219.48); Sobeya Preparatory School, woreda Gulomekeda, east zone (with total budget of birr 8,618,804.27) and Awlaelo Secondary School, Wukro town, east zone (with total budget of birr 9,791,190.80) respectively. It was worth a visit.
During the wonderful and enjoyable diaspora tour, two projects carried out by German TDA and Union of Tigrians in North America namely Godgoda and Dedebit Complete Primary Schools consecutively happened to have been inaugurated ceremoniously in the presence of respective chairpersons of the aforementioned organizations Mr. Solomon Asefa and Berhane Abraha, executive director of TDA Dr. Tadele Hagos, zonal and woreda administrative officials, elders, residents, students and so on. Excitement and exhilaration were seen in every face of the congregation of respective tabias where elders and students expressed their heart-felt gratitude towards TDA through poems, chants and speeches.