This completed project was built on time and on budget for £70,000 and was opened on 26 April 2009 by our Patron HE Ambassador Dr Kassa Gebrehiwot. Originally two locally built dark rooms and a shack, it now has eight bright, airy and cool classrooms basically furnished and is a full elementary 8 grade school for over 400 youngsters (in one-shift).
Currently we are installing a solar-powered computer lab thanks to a generous donor.
Our Engineer oversaw both the community and contractor phases of this construction using local community labour to complete what has been referred to as a model school built in model way of full cooperation between the local administration, education authorities and community. Latrines are a vital component in the schools we build, particularly in an area with few facilities. Fewer children fall sick and the older girls especially when they start menstruating, are more comfortable to stay longer in education.
On a hot sunny and very windy day, the colourful dedication ceremony was attended by thousands. All were entertained by our circus group followed by much dancing and feasting. A day this justifiably proud community will never forget. Following handover this school is now self sustaining, staffed and supplied by the local education authorities and maintained by the local community. A true example of carefully monitored targeted support bringing closer access to better quality educational facilities to those otherwise marginalised local farming youngsters assuring a better brighter future for all.
Gumselasa is an interesting village which has grown up in the last 15 years following the A-CET Chairman's local work when an International Red Cross delegate to help them to build a nearby micro dam, giving them access to year round irrigation to grow vegetables. Another interesting aspect is that about half the population is Muslim, in a predominately Christian highland area where all relations are good, an example to us all.
Thanks are due to funding for this project by 4i2i, Lazard Charitable Trust, GIN Doha, Qatar US School, Wigston Methodists and many others.
The school opening ceremony brought an immediate and palatable uplifting of community spirit and their justifiable pride. Their school has brought them closer free access and better long-term educational facilities to (in one shift) over 400 of the most vulnerable rural youngsters, many of whom without this school, probably would not have this opportunity to attend any education at all.
Education is a long-term investment. The impact on education and future poverty reduction whether locally, regionally or nationally can only be judged after years if not decades of implementation. Its measure of success is dependent on so many other factors beyond our control such as climate, harvests, stability; that it makes us consider that in all honesty it would be disingenious of us to make any grand claims.
See how to help for more options.)