Welcome To Lalibela Trust

Lalibela Trust is a UK registered charity which works to improve health, education, and drinking water through the construction of health posts, classrooms, and clean water projects in Amhara Region, Northern Ethiopia.


During a tourist visit to Ethiopia, Dr Hugh Sharp, a British medical doctor, and his wife Catherine visited Lalibela, a small historic town in Northern Ethiopia.   They were shocked at the poverty, especially in relation to the local hospital and they resolved to take action.   They established Lalibela Trust as a charity and a major project for them was a stand-alone Maternity Unit in that Hospital.


In 2010 they met and teamed up with Norman Coward and Carole Andrews, who had been building Health, Water, and School projects around Lalibela since 2002.   Lalibela Trust has grown and developed to today’s range of programmes.


Now many donors, large and small, contribute to our work and a good number have visited.


Our Top Priorities



Clean Water


Our Principles

  1. Work Closely at the Grassroots Level We always respect the views of local governments and communities.  We have remained small and localised over 20 years, so our team now know the area and local leaders extremely well.  This is a huge advantage in garnering respect and local support and in minimising the corruption risk.
  1. Local Community Participation  – Our agreements for the construction of projects are all similar:
    • We first discuss priorities with the Woreda Departments of Health, Water, and Education. (A woreda is an administrative unit (similar to an English county) population 100,000 – 200,000, comprising around 20 kebeles.)
    • In Health and Education, the Woreda must agree to provide and pay health workers and teachers – we will not proceed without this agreement.
    • Community participation – We visit the local project site with the Department representatives to meet local leaders and agree the labour they must provide free of charge. We then provide the cement, corrugated iron, pipes, etc., and one of our proven group of (local Ethiopian) builders who manage the community workforce.
    • On completion, we hand over the building to the community. They must form a committee to maintain it.
    • We make unannounced spot-checks to a proportion of the completed projects.


    3. Report to Donors – We produce a Progress Report on our projects, normally every 4 months.   It is included on our NEWS page HERE

    4. Zero Administration Costs – All donated money goes to the projects. The Principles pay all their own travel, administration, and accommodation expenses;  they employ the team in Ethiopia and they run the 4WD vehicle, from their own pockets.


Opening Ceremonies

banner image showing opening ceremonies

The communities love an Opening Ceremony. This enables government Heads in Health and Education to promote the use of the new facility and for us to thank the community for their manual labour. We then hand the facility over to the community.