The Friends of the Hudad Primary School and Development Project

By Friends of the Hudad Inc

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The Friends of the Hudad is a grassroots organisation based in Melbourne, founded by  a small group of people who have personal ties to Ethiopia. Others have joined along the way. Together with volunteers and the local Hudad community we aim to physically build a school. We are a registered NGO with charity status in Australia and Ethiopia.

The Community

The Hudad Community consists of around 100 farming families living in the mountains above Lalibela. They live in mud huts, without access to electricity or running water. Since a population boom last century, the landscape can no longer support their farming techniques. They go hungry for several months each year. The children have no access to education, as the nearest town, Lalibela, is a three hour walk on a small track which is inaccessible by vehicles.

The Hudad area, located at 3300 metres, is the gateway to the Abune Yosef National Park, Ethiopia's second highest mountain. Despite stunning views of peaks and valleys, the landscape is highly degraded due to extensive deforestation. The region is rich in ecological and cultural diversity, however poverty and poor land use practices are threatening livelihoods. A remnant forest is among the last remaining examples of this unique highland ecosystem. The forest, home to a number of endangered and endemic species is at risk of encroachment.

The school site - a plateau 3300 m high

The project aims to improve livelihoods through education, capacity building and sustainable landscapes.

We are building a school where children will be taught the National Ethiopian Curriculum for Grades 1 to 8.

A water project is bringing water to the school site and villages. Land management training, re-forestation and farming initiatives will enable the community to restore the landscape and improve productivity to gain food security. Income from surplus produce will generate opportunities and economic development.


All money raised will go towards completing the construction of the school & water project as well as assisting the community with land management training, re-forestation and farming initiatives.

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Team Members

Jacqueline Exton