Meketa is a UK charity dedicated to supporting the remaining Jewish community in Gondar. We have no staff in the UK and our trustees receive no remuneration or expenses: all the money we raise goes to Ethiopia to fund our work there.
Meketa was launched in September 2013 by Rabbi Sybil Sheridan and Hila Bram. They first came to Gondar in 2009 to volunteer at the Jewish school: their main activity was to teach Hebrew, Judaism and other Jewish topics to the schoolteachers. While they were working in the school, they became aware of the great educational and economic needs of the Jewish community.
The situation of the Jewish community in Gondar town is precarious, as most of the adults moved there from rural areas in the hope of emigrating to Israel, and did not have suitable skills for finding work in the town. Following the withdrawl of NACOEJ and the Jewish Agency many of the remaining Jewish community in Gondar were living well below the poverty line. They were used to the support for their families and food and education for the children but were being left to fend for themslves.
Meketa was set up to help the community at a time of great need. The long years of waiting in Gondar have created a dependency culture and inability to plan for the future. But we have a vision of making the community more independent and self-reliant in the long term. Whether the Jews in Gondar remain as an independent community or move to Israel in the future, our goal is to give them the education and tools for a better economic and social future. The way we do this includes creating subsistence level businesses for the poorest families in the community, encouraging children and young people in their education, providing healthcare coverage, and sponsoring further education and training to enable members of the community to better themselves
To provide its services, Meketa works closely with the Gondar office of Link Ethiopia, and their partner The Kindu Trust, who work to support education in Ethiopia, to increase cultural awareness between young people in Ethiopia and the UK and to improve the livelihoods of local children and their families.
We are looking for adventurous, enthusiastic volunteers to help us in Ethiopia during the summer months. We have a summer scheme for Jewish children in Gondar, and we will also be providing training for local youngsters to become youth leaders. Click here for more information.
We also have trips to Ethiopia during the year. Click here for more information.