News Release

September 28, 2020

The Shashamane Foundation again sends thanks to all who have supported the Jamaica Rastafari Development Community school (JRDC), now in existence over 20 years.

Last month the Foundation made an appeal for assistance in acquiring additional educational equipment for the children of the JRDC School in Shashamane, Ethiopia. The need came as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The students are being taught using educational packages prepared and distributed to their homes by teachers.

Since the August 28th press release, we received an update from the project Director, Ato Abdisa Gamechu, regarding the status of students enrolment and their parents obligation to contribute 40% to their children’s education through the Charities ‘shared cost‘ clause.


  • 400 students have been registered for the 2019/20 Academic year.
  • Of this total, 244 students have not yet paid their shared-cost school fee over the Covid-19 pandemic period. Only 130 students have paid.
  • 79 students received discounts from JRDC school. Of these, 50% were discounted and the remaining students received 100% discount as per the rules of qualifications and regulations of the JRDC school. We are still awaiting payment from parents who qualify for the discounted fees.

It is clear to see that the JRDC local Charity NGO, in its attempt to lead the institution into the goal of sustainability in 2020, by instituting its shared cost policy and providing 40% of the school’s budget, is still running behind. It is important to note that from 2000-2014, education was free to the children; owed in part to people of goodwill from around the world who contributed through the Shashamane Foundation.

We are providing this information to dispel any apprehension our supporters may have. Your contribution to the JRDC school has been the catalyst by which the children of Ethiopia are being educated. We believe that an educated contributor makes the best supporter.

As you know, the region recently encountered some civil unrest. But through the Grace and Providential design of the Almighty and daily prayers for the school, it was spared. Through the years, the JRDC school has had far reaching positive effect to the needs of all ethnic groups in Shashamane. Over 3000 youths have graduated with an education paid for by many of you. The JRDC school shared-cost school fee was recently implemented through the wise leadership of our Project Director, Ato Abdissa Gemechu, who has worked hard to keep the cost at a minimal in comparison to other private schools in the area. For example, kindergarten fees are ET Bir 230 per month or US $6. First cycle and second cycle range between ET Bir 250 and 270, approximately US$7.30 per month. Other private schools in the region usually charge between ET Bir 350 to 450.

The JRDC Kindergarten and Elementary school, along with all rural schools, are scheduled to reopen on 26th October 2020. The Foundation is still committed to contribute 60% of the operational budget including the salaries of 29 workers each month. Through the Grace of God working through the hearts of our supporters we have been able to achieve this task.

The Annual Fundraiser scheduled for October 17, 2020 has been cancelled due to the pandemic. We are working on a virtual charity event and would love to have your support. We are seeking technical assistance in making the occasion a success. Your names will be listed alongside other contributors as your efforts will not go unrecognized.

Once again, thank you for the continued support.

Please visit our website and see our donation log where we have recorded the names of contributors to the Foundation from 2000-2018. The 2019 contributions are still being audited and will unload to the site once verified. Donations to the Shashamane Foundation can be made through Pay Pal or on our Facebook page. Please visit the website and follow the link. You may also mail a check or money order to:

The Shashamane Foundation
PO Box 5845, Takoma Park, MD 20913, USA



It is both the duty and responsibility of the worlds fortunate few to help fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the unfortunate many.  –  HIM Haile Selassie I

“Ethiopia yesterday, today and forever”