Book on Ethiopia inspired by dream

A Buckinghamshire author whose first non-fiction book was inspired by a dream, is using it to help raise funds for clean water and sanitation projects in Ethiopia.

In her dream Annette Allen was back in the foothills of Addis Ababa where she went to school and had bent down to feel the dry topsoil. As she did so she knew she was there to help provide water for Ethiopia’s poor. Two years later, Annette was made redundant from her job as a corporate communications manager and vowed to make her dream come true.

The result is An Ethiopian Odysssey about her journey to find nine classmates from Nazareth School for Girls in Addis Ababa and to discover what had happened to them since she last saw them in July 1964. The book includes interviews with four school friends, including the granddaughter of Emperor Haile Selassie. It also recounts stories about the Queen, Princess Anne, the Armenian genocide, Ethiopia’s first big famine in 1973, wars and more recent events such as the 9/11 World Trade Centre attacks in New York and the Commission for Africa.

Half of the royalties from each book will go to three charities: WaterAid, who have worked in Ethiopia since 1983, AGOHELD, a charity run by Abebech Gobena, the ‘Mother Theresa of Africa and Christian Aid’s Middle East crisis appeal.

“This has been a truly wonderful journey, with amazing connections and synchronicity,” says Annette, a committed Christian. “I’ve experienced the kindness and hospitality of many strangers in different countries who wanted to help me make my dream come true.

“In Ethiopia, I saw for myself how permanent clean water has a major impact on the quality of people’s lives: especially for women and girls, along with the family’s health, income and self-esteem. Having clean water on tap means an end to water-borne diseases, and the long, daily walks to bring water to their family. Water is, indeed, life.”

The book is available from price £19.99.

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