By Tego Wolasa
What comes to mind when you hear the word Covid-19? Mask? Death? Lockdown? Curfew? Nothing pleasant, I guess. But wait until you read the inspiring story that I am sharing today.
At dark moments such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, every nation needs courageous, skillful leaders who seize the opportunity to change things for the better.
A set of eight heroic stars brightened the Burji Nation’s skies, which corona clouds had darkened.
Our stars defied all odds, suppressed all doubts, accepted all criticism, and faced all the fears. And Rose!
True to John Eliot’s words, exceptional thinkers ignore their critics and go about their business making history.
And Indeed, they made history by forming a voluntary group named Burji anti-Covid-19.
The group was founded in April 2020, during the height of the coronavirus outbreak, by eight Burji Professionals based in Ethiopia.
Why Did They Form Burji Anti Covid-19?
The group set out with its initial objective of cautioning the Burji Community against the virus’s effects.
Their objectives later expanded to solving the socio-economic problems of the Burji people and building an adaptive, resilient community that can thrive in any part of the world.
To achieve the above, they set out an eight-point objective outlined below.
Even as we list the objective, it should be clear that they intend to achieve the same through you and me.
Disaster Preparedness – On top of their agenda is preparing and supporting the Burji people against natural and human-made calamities.
Improvement of Social Amenities – They intend to undertake the construction of hospitals where there are none and equip the existing ones.
Improvement of Education – Education is one of the cornerstones of every nation. Burji anti-Covid-19 aims to create linkages and networks between different education sector stakeholders both and without the district. Similarly, they desire to construct and stock community based public library.
Burji Unity – Without unity, we will not achieve much. Thus, the team also aims to strengthen the unity of the Burji people in Ethiopia and worldwide. To accomplish lasting harmony, the team is tirelessly working on creating a respectful, tolerant and reasonable connection between various stakeholders within the Burji community.
Poverty Alleviation – The group was also formed to uplift the welfare of the needy within the society. Besides helping the needy, they wish to teach different wealth creation methods. Similarly, they want to develop and cultivate the culture of helping one another in the community.
Investors’ attraction – Burji District is a rich country with numerous natural resources waiting to be exploited. Because of that, the Burji anti-Covid-19 team aims to attract investors to the homeland. The attraction of investors is among the methods through which they intend to work with all stakeholders in uplifting the economic situation in the Burji District.
Cultural Tourism – Burji anti-covid-19 has already undertaken various steps in advertising the rich culture, language, history, and natural resources of the Burji to attract tourists from all over the world.
Improved Agriculture – The team wants to see the introduction of mechanized farming and improve the existing technology.
What Have They Achieved So Far?
Among the key achievements include;
Funds drive – The group has to date managed to raise 2.4million birr (USD 61,000) from the Burji across the world and the non-Burji who want to see the Burji Prosper. I guess you all agree with me that we can do more. Don’t we?
Donation of medical supplies
Medical Supplies – The team supplied a total of 28 thermometers in the Burji District. One thermometer to each of the twenty-four rural kebeles and 4 for the two kebeles in Soyama.
The group successfully distributed 28 thermometers, thousands of face masks, and sanitizers during the height of coronavirus lockdown. They have also purchased Ultrasound, Chemistry, and Complete blood count machines.
Donations – On numerous occasions, the group has distributed Grains, Cooking Oil, Sugar, and cash to cover miscellaneous needs.
Investment – They have attracted a handful of investors to invest in Burji District and have continued to engage more.
At Kelale lake in Burji
So, Who Are the Brains Behind the Noble Movement?
According to Thomas Carlyle, the history of the world is but the biography of great men. I do not doubt that our heroes’ history will make an integral part of the Burji history.
Abraham Yoseph Aden – An industrial engineer by profession, Abraham graduated with BSC Industrial Engineering from Mekelle University in 2019
Samuel Shano Wata – Samuel is a budding businessman. The diploma holder is the group’s official cameraman.
Hussein Abdela Hussein – Currently working as private Businessmen in Dilla town, Hussein graduated from Dilla University in 2010 with a BSC in Animal Science and Rangeland management [ARM].
Habibi Tuke Ali – Habibi works with Ethiopian Custom Commission at Moyale Custom Commission branch office as a law advisory and advocator. The young lawyer graduated with a degree in Law from School Law, Bahir Dar University, in 2017. His social media name is HabiGo Tuke.
Shibiya Odda Mare – Popularly known as GOS Burji on Social media platforms, Shibia graduated with BSC Clinical Pharmacist from Hawassa University in December 2020.
Jillo Bate Kanno – Jillo is a successful Businessman in Moyale, Kenya. He is an economist by training, having graduated with BSC in Economics from Bahir Dar University in 2009.
Burje Shade Koko – Currently working as a Public prosecutor in Burji District, Burje graduated with a degree in Law from Hawassa University in 2018.
Yididiya Gina Shike – Yididiya is currently working as a customer service professional at the Gedo branch of the Ethiopian Custom Commission. He graduated in 2019 with a BSC in Business Management from Zion University College, Hawassa.
From Burji anti-Covid-19, I learned that Burji professionals could indeed come together and make a positive contribution to community welfare.
It doesn’t have to be politics all the time. I, however, feel that we have not done enough to support the Burji anti-Covid-19 team.
Let us learn from them, but most importantly, let us heed Burji anti-Covid-19 team calls and contribute! Won’t we?