Baregota-born tour guide Amlaku Yaregal is in New Zealand touring the country with Ric Foxley to raise money so he can make further improvements in his village.

By Kim Parkinson (The Gisborne Herald) |

In June 2009 a chance meeting between Gisborne-born philanthropist Ric Foxley and Ethiopian tour guide Amlaku Yaregal would change both of their lives forever.

Mr Foxley was in Ethiopia looking at projects as part of his work for The Leprosy Mission. During his time there, a young guide took him to visit some 800-year-old churches carved out of solid rock.

At the end of the tour Mr Yaregal told Mr Foxley he wanted to go to university and that he had dreams for his village of Baregota, but needed financial assistance.

This was to be a start of a long and fruitful association.

Amlaku Yaregal is in New Zealand touring the country with Mr Foxley to raise money so he can make further improvements in his village.

Amlaku Yaregal was born in Baregota, a village in a long rising valley connected to neighboring Lalibela by eight kilometers of dusty track.

Amlaku Yaregal attended government school

It did not have any schools, so he left home at 12 and made his way to Lalibela, where he knew he could attend a government school. He slept on the streets so he could get an education and did odd jobs to provide food.

“I did well at school and was a model student. I was very motivated so when I met Ric I asked for him to help me to get to university and he did,” Amlaku said.

In 2013 he graduated with a degree in plant science.

“I had a dream to get a water pump to irrigate the land and to improve seeds and provide fertilizer.”

Continue reading this story on The Gisborne Herald
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