Experience the film, Sincerely Ethiopia, September 29th, 5:30 PM, University of Denver, Lindsay Auditorium. The price is $12 and it is a Fundraiser. It is Hosted by Regis University and University of Denver Students for Africa. ” Learn more
Picnic in the Park Come to Axum Park Map to celebrate the many cultures of Denver. Sunday, August 25th, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. City of Axum Park Martin Luther King Blvd & Cherry Street We will have hot dogs, Learn more
Join us in celebrating the culture of Ethiopia at our annual event: What: Ethiopian Buffet Speakers Traditional Coffee Ceremony Date: January 20, 2013 Time: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Location: Africana Restaurant 5091 E Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80220 Learn more
Plans are underway for a delegation to Ethiopia. Travel will include Addis Ababa and the historic cities of the north. Dates and prices will be available soon. Contact Gayle Stallings at email@example.com if you are interested in joining us. Learn more
We will be reading Cutting for Stone the debut novel and New York Times best seller by Abraham Verghese.A riveting saga of twin brothers born of a tragic union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at Learn more
The Axum Committee will hold its Annual Holiday Party and International Auction on Sunday, January 22, 2012 from 3:00- 6:00pm at the Africana Ethiopian Restaurant. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for students. To make a reservation call the DSCI Learn more
Join us on August 21st for the re-dedication of the newly renovated City of Axum Park at Martin Luther King Blvd. and Cherry
The Axum Alumni Association will be hosting their reunion this year in Denver. Guests are welcome to attend.
Axum Sister City has partnered with Metropolitan State College Denver to support projects in Ethiopia. A container of books, school supplies and pumps just arrived in Ethiopia. The books are for Axum University and the school supplies are for Learn more
Axum (Aksum) is located in north central Ethiopia near the border of Eritrea. It is a city unique in rich history, religious focus and archeological treasures.
- The history of Axum dates back from about 2nd to 1st century BC
- The early city was located on the trade route between India, Arabia and Africa – the seat of a large empire that stretched from the Nile River in the west to southern Arabia
- It became one of the earliest holy cities in Ethiopia when Christianity became the state religion in 350 AD.
- The same year, the Saint Mary of Zion (Orthodox Church of Ethiopia) was the first church to be built. This church is reputed to house the Ark of the Covenant in its vault.
- Having found Palace ruins outside of town, archeologists believe the Queen of Sheba (1000 BC) lived in the area of Axum
- The Axumite Empire (100 BC to 1,100 AD) was one of the most powerful empires of the day. A highly advanced civilization, the Axumites developed writing and minted gold coins to carry out their maritime commerce with the Roman Empire, Persia, India, and China.
- Axum is a popular destination because of its ancient history and its artifacts. It plays a key role in the major industries in Northern Ethiopia – tourism and agriculture.
- In addition to the rumored original Ark of the Convent, the St. Mary of Zion Church houses an impressive collection of bibles, crosses and crowns of early rulers.
- The city is equally famous for its tall stellae (obelisks) located in a historic portion of the city. Among the greatest human architectural and engineering marvels, these upright stone works are carved from single granite blocks – many of the original are still standing, nearly 85 feet high. Most impressive is that tools and evidence have been found that the massive stellae were constructed and transported from 5 km in distance.
- An estimated seventy-five percent of the people in Axum are members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church
- Significiant religious celebrations are the T’imk’et Festival in early January, and Festival of Maryam Zion in early November
- Due to their historical value, UNESCO added Axum’s archaeological wonders to its list of World Heritage Sites in 1980
- In 2005, the country of Italy diplomatically returned a 24m tall, 1,700 year old obelisk to Ethiopia after soldiers from WWI had taken the engineering marvel back to Rome. As a symbol of national identity, the return of the obelisk was met with a joyous and large public celebration. In July 2008, the obelisk was fully erected and re-installed in the city of Axum.
The Axum-Denver relationship began well before 1995 – when Daniel Yohannes, the late Councilman Hiawatha Davis, Tsegaye Hailu and others prepared an application for Axum to become an official Sister City. After nearly twenty years of civil war, and recurring drought and famine, the city of Axum needed peace-loving people from around the world to reach out and embrace it. Recognizing the many similarities between Axum and Denver, the relationship evolved into a natural fit. Axum in its time, was a gateway between the east and west, as Denver is coming to be today. Economic well-being and rich civilizations in both cities came about from area natural resources and a dedication to environmental stewardship.
On January 20, 1995 Denver Mayor Wellington Webb signed the Proclamation and declared the day as Axum Day. On November 12th, Mayor Webb – along with First Lady Wilma Webb, Lieutenant Governor Gail Schoettler, and Daniel Yohannes – led a delegation of ten prominent officials and business leaders on a visit to Axum. The people of Axum turned out in droves, lining up along the streets and giving the delegation a royal welcome. To commemorate the occasion, a “Denver Street” was re-named in the middle of the town.
The long-term goals of DSCI in Axum are to improve the health and welfare of the citizens, through improved water and sanitation facilities, which in turn will help the City’s economy that is heavily dependent on the tourist industry.
For 2010, we will complete the pilot program and latrine at the Hawelti Elementary School, initiate the sale of affordable water-purification packets in shops in the City, continue the pen-pal and City in a Suitcase programs, and continue to raise funds to obtain the septic tank truck. The Axum Committee is always in need of new members to volunteer their time and ideas to help meet these goals, and to participate in DSCI activities.
DSCI has been very active in Axum. In particular, we have been involved with several water and sanitation projects intended to improve the health and welfare of the City’s people. We have designed a low-cost, low-tech and sustainable water-treatment facility for the City, and have been raising funds to provide a septic-tank truck and pumps to insure sanitary latrine facilities on which the City heavily depends. We provided the City’s sanitation workers with safety equipment and supplies through a grant in 2008, and in 2009 conducted a pilot program to supply water-purification packets to over 600 students and their families and teachers at the Hawelti Elementary School. A recent grant from DSCI has provided funds to complete the only latrine at the school. We also delivered 2 power generators for the City in 1995, and shipped medical supplies and equipment for the Axum Hospital, and hosted several Ethiopian officials on visits to Denver. Cultural activities include student art exchanges, a new pen-pal program, the popular “City in a Suitcase” program, and annual picnics and Holiday parties that promote cultural awareness of Axum.
The Septic Truck and Water Projects
Axum has a serious sanitation problem that adversely affects the health of its residents. The city has a population of about 70,000 and is growing rapidly. Municipal water supply and sanitation are lagging behind and are unable to accommodate the rapid growth. With the assistance of Denver Water, the Water and Sanitation Consultancy Group (WSCG), and other donor agencies, Axum is currently trying to tackle its municipal water supply problem. Unfortunately, improvements in sanitation have proven to be technically and financially challenging for the city. A 2003 feasibility stud,y conducted by a team of experts from Denver, found that virtually all privately owned hand dug water wells and deep boreholes within the city tested unsafe due to contamination from pit latrines that are often located near the wells.
The Axum Committee is working to help Axum improve its water sanitation issues. Local water and sanitation experts continue to provide advice to the Municipality of Axum to follow up on their several visits and consultations over the past two years. The Committee is working with the Ethiopian community in the U.S. to raise money for a septic truck for Axum and the surrounding community. Thus far we have collected about $18,000 toward the purchase of a septic truck for Axum. We continue to look for donated used equipment that can be sent free of charge via US AID sources.
The City of Denver has provided the Axum Committee with water testing equipment and leak detection equipment which we trained people to use in Axum. In addition, the City has donated two pumps for the City of Axum.
Our committee bought the City of Axum their first computer, monitor and printer.
We brought the Mayor of Axum and a doctor to Denver for the 2000 SCI Annual Conference. We were happy to have the current Mayor of Axum visit us in Denver in 2010 on his way back to Axum from attending the annual conference of the Axum Alumni Association.
We brought a young lady from Axum, who lost an arm in the Ethiopian /Eritrean war, to Denver and made arrangements to have her fitted with a prosthesis.
Our committee worked with the City of Denver to send several members of their Water Department, along with some other water specialists, to travel to Axum to train their people in water testing and do a thorough evaluation of Axum’s water supply problems. They then developed and submitted a plan of action.
Two of our members arranged a pen pal exchange with two classes in Axum and two schools in the Denver area. They personally supervised the classes in Denver then traveled to Axum, to work with the students there. These letters were presented in an album to each school and are still with the schools.
We raised funds to purchase supplies for a school in Axum.
We sponsored a month long Photo Exhibit at the Denver Public Library of photos of Axum and Historical Sites in Ethiopia.
We provided 8 disposable cameras to students at a school in Axum to document their lives and their community. We displayed these photos on our web site for several years.
The Axum Committee received a grant of money from Proctor and Gamble to develop a project in Axum to supply PUR water packets packets to students at a school. Several of our members participated in the training and follow up of the project in Axum. Our evaluation of the project indicates the use of the packets helped eliminate water born disease in the families of the participants. We are presently working to expand this project to the Axum community.
The Axum Committee continues to raise funds to purchase a Septic Truck for the City of Axum. The project was started by a group of Taxi Drivers from Ethiopia. They asked our committee to help with the project and to date we have raised close to $30,000. We will continue with the project until we can purchase a septic truck or trailer.
It’s surprising how much books can weigh. Maybe it’s because they contain the acquired knowledge of the ages in them. Four hundred and fifty boxes of books, weighing about 18,000 pounds (about 40 pounds per box), were loaded into a shipping container at Metro State College on November 20, 2010, to be sent to Axum, Ethiopia. In addition to the books that are being sent to Axum University, the Axum Committee was also able to ship two pumps and ancillary equipment for the City of Axum Water Department and several boxes of school supplies, donated by Committee member Gayle Stallings’ book club, for the Hawelti Elementary School. The shipment was organized by Metro State in order to stock the nearly empty library at Axum University, and the shipping is being paid for by a humanitarian program within the Department of Defense. The Denver-Axum Committee and Metro State have been working together as part of an Ethiopian Partnership Support Committee to support humanitarian projects in the Axum area.
The Axum Committee’s partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver has continued. Through their fund raising efforts, students were able to provide funds for building Gessesso School near Axum. A professor from Metro spent a year teaching at Axum University. In the summer of 2012, a group of 15 students from Metro spent the summer touring Ethiopia, studying at Axum University and working on service projects.
Axum Alumni Association: http://www.axumalumniassociations.com/
Denver Water: http://www.denverwater.org/
City of Denver Wastewater Management: http://www.denvergov.org/Default.aspx?alias=www.denvergov.org/wastewatermanagement
Tigray Development Association: http://www.tdaint.org/
Ethiopian Airlines: http://www.ethiopianairlines.com/
Relief Society of Tigray: http://www.rest-tigray.org.et/
The Axum Committee meets every the second Wednesday of every month.
The long-term goals of DSCI in Axum are to improve the health and welfare of the citizens, through improved water and sanitation facilities, which in turn will help the City’s economy that is heavily dependent on the tourist industry. In 2010, we completed the PUR pilot program and latrine at the Hawelti Elementary School, initiated the sale of affordable water-purification packets in shops in the City, continued the pen-pal and City in a Suitcase programs, and continued to raise funds to obtain the septic tank truck. We furthered our Partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver in improving facilities at the University in Axum and their construction of Gessesso School. The Axum Committee is always in need of new members to volunteer their time and ideas to help meet these goals, and to participate in DSCI activities.
Chair: Gayle Stallings