This report is a short summary of the activities of Rainbows4Children in the year 2019. More details on any specific issue are available by contacting Max & Kathryn Robinson at
Project Progress - Nicolas Robinson School
1. Building and equipment installed during 2019
Throughout the primary and secondary schools, we completed seating areas for students in the gardens. Essential maintenances was carried out and during the summer the primary school exterior was re-painted as it had got very dirty. At the end of 2018 a borehole was drilled in the secondary school, sponsored by the Relief Society of Tigray (REST). The well was capped and a switching box for the pump was installed in June 2019 and piping dug to the existing farmers hut. The aim now is to grow more crops on the land and also provide the children with drinking quality water. Excess water can be sold to local farmers and building contractors and so generate a small income for the school. Another donation was used to build an “English Zone” for the senior students, to create a conducive environment for studying English, and in particular improving their spoken skills.
2. Students and performance
In the school year 2019-20, the student registration is 280 students in the kindergarten, 760 students in the primary school (grades 1-8) and 345 students in the Secondary School (grades 9-12). A total of 1385 students. Approximately 70% of the students come from families where the parents have disabilities. The male:female ratio is 50:50, and there is no discrimination on gender, politics, religion or race. The Nicolas Robinson School was ranked no.1 in Mekele after an evaluation by the Education Bureau.
3. Nicolas Youth & Adult Learning Centre (NYALC)
In February 2017 formal training started in hospitality in the Nicolas Youth & Adult Training Centre, and by the end of 2019, 6 cycles had completed their training. Students, who chose to take the test, all passed their Certificate of Competence exam and were able to gain employment in local hotels, restaurants and cafes. We also provided practical training for 2 weeks for students of Mekele University Hotel Management Course. This was repeated in 2019. In 2019 we added training in ICT for managers and office workers with the first course being attended by our own teachers. PUM have now led 2 entrepreneurship training sessions very successfully and have now trained our own staff to continue the project for the next training cycle.
4. Sponsorship programme
By the end of 2019, 453 students were sponsored to go to school through the Rainbows4Children sponsorship programme thus giving them a chance that their families could not otherwise afford. In addition, 69 sponsored school students are also now sponsored in their University studies, after they left the school. We still need 200-300 more sponsors.
5. Supplementary food programme
Started in 2011, the supplementary food programme continued for all students at the school. Every day the students are given extra food to provide better nutrition (protein, vitamins) in the form of eggs, banana, milk, orange or other seasonal fruit. This program continues to pay dividends in the form of better health - especially elimination of anaemia, skin ailments and better levels of concentration and learning in class. We have a new sponsor since 2017, who has promised to continue to support the food programme.
During 2019 approximately 20 volunteers from Europe gave their time and skills to teach science, English, sport and teaching techniques. We continually have a need for volunteers and thank those who visited in 2019 for their great support. They really make a difference. PUM provided a volunteer twice, for 2 weeks in 2019. Ton visited to train our trainers in entrepreneurship training and how to run a business game. In 2019, we received a volunteer from Farmer2Farmer again. Ilan helped us with our water management systems to help us ensure that we get as much as possible out of the borehole.
7. Care for the Whole Child
The school’s student welfare director ensures the welfare of all the students in the school and she also provides home counselling when needed. Our school nurse assists us in many of these and related issues. We operate a “special fund” to cope with emergency care for critical cases and also to support families and our students who are experiencing difficulties in their lives at home. The successful intervention to save a young student diagnosed with leukaemia in 2014 was one success of the fund and our supporters.
8. Fund raising activities in 2019
Our annual Swiss fundraiser raised about CHF 70,000. This is the primary single fund-raising event of Rainbows4children.
The charity shop in Stade, Germany (sales of second-hand clothes and household items) closed, but they have kept their German registered foundation active to enable German taxpayers to make donations through them and benefit from tax deductions.
9. Legal and accounting
The statements of the 2019 accounts for the UK Foundation and Swiss registered foundations will be submitted to the appropriate governing authorities after being audited. The trustees of both foundations during 2019 were:-
Switzerland: Richard Max Robinson, Kathryn Robinson, Jean-Paul Rigaudeau.
UK: John Bateson, Paul Reynolds, Philip Stockbridge, Kathryn Robinson, Richard Max Robinson.
Download this and previous Annual reports from the list below