An estimated 35,000 Tsaara people live in southwest Ethiopia in the region Kaffa (our word "coffee" is said to derive from that). They build their wooden huts in a hilly, very fertile forest area, extending to both sides of a river flowing into the Omo river (after which the family of Omotic languages was named). Tsaara people are farmers, living on corn, sorghum, beans, the Ethiopian t'eff grain, various vegetables, and meat of their livestock (cows, sheep, and goats). They are excellent beekeepers, trading their raw, highly nutritious honey on local markets. Coffee, growing wild in their rampant forests, is also used for trading.
Infrastructure for transportation to and from the Tsaara area is very limited. Only the western region is accessible after half a day driving by landrover. To reach the main village in the eastern region, requires a 6 hour hike on a foot path through a hilly jungle area. There is not even a medical station; 1 out of 4 children die during delivery as a result of the lack of midwifery care.
On the other hand, every Tsaara village has a primary school. Unfortunately, teaching materials are only in Amharic, the official Ethiopian language, which is a foreign language to young Tsaara children.
In 2016 and 2017 we developed an alphabet, and collected traditional Tsaara stories. In March 2018 our team designed a first reading book for adults. This was presented to church and government officials in June 2018. During a festive symposium, they approved of the orthography to be used for printing materials. Since then, reading materials have been introduced, tested, and are now being taught in nine different Tsaara villages.
Adult and teenage reading classes
Spenden (Germany): Kontaktmission e.V.
IBAN: DE37 6205 0000 0013 7365 05, BIC: HEISDE66XXX
Spende Olschowy 31535 + Postadresse des Spenders
oder direkt online hier
Donations (US and Canada):
www.GoKMUSA.org/donate , purpose: for Ute Olschowy
https://kontaktcanada.org/give/, designated to: 052 literacy Ethiopia