Archive for November, 2010

Winning Back the Water in Ethiopia

Posted on Thursday, November 11th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

By Joan Bolger, Communications Officer, Concern US

Abebech Tito, a mother of children attending the Concern-supported Alternative Basic Education center in Wolayita, Ethiopia. Photo: Ethiopia, Concern Worldwide

There’s a saying in southwestern Ethiopia and not surprisingly—in an area ravaged by drought for three months of the year—it relates to water. Loosely translated it goes: it’s impossible to win back the water after your bucket has fallen over.

Abebech Tito, a mother of five, told me this through the school fence near her children’s classroom as she considered how her life might have been different had she not dropped out of school at Grade 8. She delivered the proverb with a smile and a shrug. “It was my own foolishness,” she added.

Her village of Fango Bijo is located in the Rift Valley in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) region of Ethiopia, where recurrent drought and the prevalence of malaria is notoriously high. “A child died of malaria last year here,” she says, tipping her head towards the Concern-supported Alternative Basic Education (ABE) center that her children now attend. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Children Grasp at Futures Beyond Their Parents’ Reach

Posted on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Eager to begin classes, trained facilitators have begun classes under the shade of this tree while the ABE center is being built. Photo: Ethiopia, Concern Worldwide

By Joan Bolger, Communications Officer, New York

Schools come in many forms in Ethiopia. The best ones are usually built with brick walls, lined with mud floors, furnished with desks and chairs and served by trained teachers.

In parts of rural Ethiopia however, where villagers are often cut off from roads or where searing heat in the dry season makes traversing long distances by foot impossible, there are several thousands of schools up and running against all the odds.

I  visited one last month in the tiny village of Adacha Ellio, in Ethiopia’s Wolayita region.  Children here have to walk barefoot for up to 8 kilometers a day through dried river beds, steep ravines and dusty, hot terrain to sit on the ground and listen to their teacher under the shade of a tree. There are no desks, no chairs, no blackboard and no books but there are students, 40 of them at a time, who come here eager to learn.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share