It is November and once again our bags are packed and we are off to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and then onward to the city of Soddo.On this trip there are five of us. Over the passing years 120 students have graduated with elementary educations and have developed into youth who require support and encouragement. They carry out their studies without desks, chairs, electricity and quite often do so on an empty stomach. Never the less, the results have been amazing. We can thank the consistency of ongoing aid, support and above all each student’s awareness that one´s knowledge and experience will lead them to become productive members of society. The best results can be achieved quite simply; giving will always be reciprocated by receiving.
As always we will distribute an entire year’s worth of clothing, footwear, school books and rucksacks. School uniforms are on order and we will supply mattresses to the families of students who require them.
In the past 2 years Ethiopia has found itself in a very complicated situation of political unrest and turmoil. The universities of northern Ethiopia are currently closed and education as a whole has been greatly hindered.Many students have found themselves at the beginning of their journey of seeking and finding a university education. Upon graduating,this education will all but guarantee a steady job, food on the table as well as tuition for younger siblings.
An entirely new challenge will be the construction of a dormitory for girls who currently live in villages that are a three-hour walk from the closest school. This project was initiated last spring thanks to Joonatan Leppik and Martin Ruumet who visited the villages of the Mana and Mansha tribes. Hopelessness has been replaced by hope in what until recently seemed to be a very difficult situation.
The government lacks the resources to access these villages as they are reachable only by foot. It would be virtually impossible to transport all the required building materials, furniture, etc. to these sites. Six hours per day spent walking to and from school also does not make sense. Thanks to the determination of all those involved, the construction of the dormitory has already begun.