One of the scheduled events to raise fund for famine victims in Ethiopia,
"Dinner for a Cause", was successfully concluded on Saturday February 22,
2003. The dinner was attended by many Canadians, out numbering Ethio-Canadians residents of Winnipeg.
It was very encouraging to see invited Ministers of the government of Manitoba
and MLAs attending the event. Honourable Steve Ashton minister of conservation and Honourable Greg Salenger,
minister of finance attended the event. The guest speaker of the night representing Premier Gary Doer was Mr. Doug Martindale, MLA
for Burrows constituency. Mr. Martindale addressed the audience and eloquently explained the man made and the natural
causes of famine in Ethiopia. Mr. Steve Ashton brought
greetings on behalf of the government of Manitoba.
The program began by observing a minute of silence for the famine victims. Following
that the President of Ethiopian society of Winnipeg Mr.Taye Zegeye addressed the audience. In his brief remark
Mr. Zegeye mentioned to the audience that Ethiopia is beyond
what is being shown on TV. He stressed that Ethiopia
is not just what many people in the west think, ie, a dry and desert land, a country of perpetual famine and poverty,
a country of war...etc. He said, it is a country where unique plants and animals
species are found, a country that has plenty of resources with a potential of not only feeding its population but also able
to export food to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the president said, the potential could not be realized because
of both man-made and natural disasters. He appealed to the audience to once again show their generosity and help Ethiopians
who are threatened by famine. After the presidents speech a poem, "Not yet landed"
(available on this site) was read by a very talented award winning 12 years old young artist, Missale Ali. After breaking for Dinner a slide show was presented by Miss Pearl Gottschalk, a student of the University
of Winnipeg who performed an excellent voluntary service in Ethiopia
this past summer. Pearl, who is an
active member of the fund raising committee, has been participating in the weekly committee meetings since December. In her brief presentation, Pearl did not
just talk about the famine but also the human side, the generosity and hospitality of Ethiopians. Pearl has written few articles about her true experience in
Ethiopia on community newsletters including on the Manitoban,
the official students paper of the University of Manitoba. Before the closing remark the Tis Abay Cultural Dance group and Winnipeg Performing
Art dance group presented a wonderful show. Closing remark was made by Mr. Hassen
Salah, chairperson of the Ethiopian Society of Winnipeg.
During the dinner a painting that was generously donated by The Social Planning Council
of Winnipeg was auctioned. It was sold for $1000.00. The buyers, Mr. Daniel Nureye and Constable Kiflom Girma, donated the painting back to the Ethiopian Society
of Winnipeg. Thank you very much. A
DVD player, which was generously donated by Mr. Dawit Gebru, was also raffled. The
raffle generated revenue of close to $ 400. We will update the final figure of
the fund raising campaign once the campaign is officially concluded, June 30th,
2003. We are glad to let you know that you can still make donations
from anywhere on this planet. Use one of the following options to make donation.