The first school we started helping was the “Fikre Alem” (world love) School at Aderak. Initially built by the community as part of the Government's initiative to extend access to primary education nationally.
This school is in an isolated neglected off-road area with no water or other services. hey had built a classroom school block in local stone - but the rooms had no flooring, furniture or even black boards and they lacked the capacity to do or afford more work.
Identified to us by the local education office, in late 2004 A-CET, through its local partners EYES, had discussions with the school and its community board and offered support. A list of needs was drawn up by them and their priorities were initially flooring, furniture plus blackboards, followed by more classrooms, an administration block with offices, stores and library plus a latrine block.
In 2005, initially with funding from the Global Issues Network (GIN), we started our support which was the flooring and provision of locally made furniture. The community undertook the flooring using locally collected sand, hand-crushed stones and water - with the cement provided by us. By involving the community we fostered their continued sense of ownership in their school and of this project. Local oversight was provided by EYES and by 2005 the original Aderak School four classroom block was fully equipped. To accomodate this increase in school numbers and grades, the community built a second classroom block. A-CET helped them put in floors, doors, windows and provided desk-sets. That this largely uneducated and illiterate farming community were willing to release more of their offspring from cattle-herding and farming on their farms to attend was very heartening. The excitement, energy and confidence developed by the completion of Phase 1 developed a real sense of “can do”.
In 2006 the school was upgraded this school to a Full Elementary School with eight grades. A-CET then supported the building and basic furnishing of a library, two new classroom blocks with eight classes and latrines. It was opened on 8 Oct 2006.
This project was principally funded through Band Aid, Global Issues Network, Irish Rovers, 4i2i, Coornhert Gymnasium, Tobias Woerner and others. Thank you all.
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 800/1,200 of the most vulnerable rural youngsters, many of whom without this school, probably would not have this opportunity to attend any education at all. After opening, new school registrations more than doubled.
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.)