TESFA (Tourism in Ethiopia for Sustainable Future Alternatives)

Experience the Real Ethiopia

The threatened Ethiopian Wolf (picture by Martin Harvey in Bale), and the fragile Afro-Alpine of Abuna Yoseph which is their home.

Tackling rural poverty by helping communities develop their own businesses

Through managing their own businesses learning the skills to do this communities develop increasing confidence and pride in their own endeavours.

... and the people love to show their culture and enjoy hosting guests in their communities.

The whole community takes an interest in the tourism business with each household a shareholder in it.

Abuna Yoseph - near Lalibela

Wof Washa Forest in North Shoa. Slow growing Juniper trees are cut down and extacted for firewood. Most of the cut trees are left to rot in the depth of the forest. Without communities being given an economic incentive to maintain the forest, the destruction for firewood, clearing for farm land and 'poaching' of quality timber for furniture will only increase.

Donations (see at bottom of page for how to donate)

TESFA needs your help to expand community-based tourism to other communities in Ethiopia!

Environmental Conservation through the economic incentive of community-based tourism

Tackling rural poverty by helping communities develop their own businesses

Since 2003 TESFA has been developing CbT - community-based tourism on a small scale in Meket Woreda, near Lalibela. Now there is an URGENT need to expand the work to other places.

Why now?

On Abuna Yoseph there are a few remaining Ethiopian Wolves - the most endangered canid in the world. They are an intrinsic part of the Afro-Alpine environment which itself is rare and endangered. Without an intervention that gives the surrounding communities an economic reason to conserve this fragile environment, the wolves will die out. To TESFA this is a challenge we must meet, and epitomises the link between conserving environments and providing communities with meaningful incomes.

Elsewhere in Ethiopia tourism is booming. Numbers may be small by comparison with neighbouring countries but year on year the number of guests is increasing. A few well placed individuals are able to capitalise on this boom and Ethiopia's vast untapped potential, but the majority of the population stands by and watches the tourist vehicles pass by their communities without seeing any benefit. Above all TESFA need to show that the success in Meket is not a one off, but that the CbT model that is being developed can be adapted to work for communities across the country.

TESFA has so far buitl one site on the mountain - a base camp, and with its partner Frankfurt Zoological Society, will plan additional sites in the coming months.

Expansion plans

Initialy TESFA is focusing on continuing to develop the Meket sites. The fifth and sixth sites in Meket will be operational by the end of 2008, and there may be room for two more in Meket before TESFA feels able to end site development in Meket. The sites need to interconnect with planned sites in neighbouring areas to make a continuous chain of sites with trekking that links Lalibela and Abuna Yoseph with Meket

TESFA needs to begin work in the neighbouring woredas such as Gidan.

In addition TESFA is looking to start a new project in a new part of Ethiopia. Ideas, plans and proposals exist to work in Wof Washa forest near Debre Berhan (see Newsletter Vol2), in a forest near Ambo (Chilimo), which it hopes will start before the end of 2008. With support from Irish Aid TESFA also plans to start work in Eastern Tigray before the end of 2008. There are also possibilities to extend the work from North Wollo (Meket) into South Wollo with the sites of Gishen Mariam and Mekdella, and to the Abay (Blue Nile) river and Tisabay (Blue Nile Falls).

Donations can be made in Ethiopia directly to TESFA- for details please contact chapman@ethionet.et (copy to tesfacbt@ethionet.et), or donations can be paid via the Penny Trust a register UK charity - see box alongside:

All contributions will be acknowledged, and all will go towards extending TESFAs work - currently in Meket and on Abuna Yoseph.

While in stock TESFA will send one of the special Ethiopian Calendars to all who contribute to TESFA's programme. ( Pictured left - See Millenium page).

Payment can be made through major credit cards on the fundraising website - justgiving.com - at http://www.justgiving.com/tesfa-ethiopia

Thank you in advance for supporting our work and the communities with whom we work.

How to donate

Donations via the Penny Trust - a registered UK charity (No 265887) can be done through 'Gift Aid' if you are a UK tax payer so that 28p per pound is added to your donation by the Inland Revenue. Standing orders can also be arranged. Donations can be sent direct to:

PENNY TRUST / For TESFA

Antony Ansell

Fullerton Mill, Andover,

Hampshire SP11 7LA

(Cheques made payable to Penny Trust - with a note attached stating for TESFA)

A Gift Aid form can be downloaded here.