Archive for the Ethiopia Category

Life Lessons in Ethiopia

Posted on Thursday, August 8th, 2013 at 10:51 am

By Amanda Ruckel, Education Officer, Concern Worldwide U.S.

Stachel, Grainne, Jeffrey, Dee, Catherine, Ciara, Chloe at the Concern office in Addis Ababa.

Stachel, Grainne, Jeffrey, Dee, Catherine, Ciara, Chloe at the Concern office in Addis Ababa.

Driving through the mountains of Ethiopia from the capital, Addis Ababa, to the northern region of  Wollo, one cannot help but be impressed by the towering trees, the green, rolling hills, and the cool, crisp mountain air. Prior to traveling to Ethiopia, I had heard it was a beautiful country, but I soon realized pictures and anecdotes couldn’t do justice to the sheer beauty of the country that is known as the birthplace of humanity.

I traveled with two other Concern Worldwide staff members from Dublin and New York, one student and teacher from the United States and four students and two teachers from Ireland. The students who participated were fairly familiar with Concern’s work overseas, as the Irish students had debated development issues over the past year and had won the national Concern debates and the American student, Stachel, is a member of the Global Concerns Classroom (GCC) Club at her school and has served as a student leader for the past two years. Together, we spent six days visiting several different Concern programs and learning more about the rich Ethiopian culture.

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Levelling the Playing Field for Ethiopia’s Children

Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Parents of children attending the Duguna Deddo Primary School at work on a new library that more than 2,000 children will access to borrow books. Photo: Ethiopia, Concern Worldwide

By Joan Bolger, Communications Officer, Concern US

Though she lives just a short walk from the local school, Maza Matthews, 14, rises before dawn every morning to help take care of her younger siblings so that she can be at her school desk for 8:00 am.  Like all pupils in this remote rural village of Duguna Fango, in Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), Maza’s parents have determined with the school which shift suits their family best.

Double-shift schooling was adopted in Ethiopia as a solution to the overcrowding that ensued after 2002 when the government introduced free primary education for all. In practice it serves many purposes by reducing large class numbers, doubling the number of seats available in a day; and allowing schools to operate on lower budgets. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

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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.

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Children in Ethiopia get the chance to finish school

Posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 8:01 am

Aster Arba, grade two, in front of her house in rural Wolayita. Photo: Ethiopia, Concern Worldwide

Aster Arba, aged nine, lives in the remote and rural village of Duguna Fango, about 450 kilometers south west of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Up to when Concern intervened, Aster and her friends would walk eight kilometers every day to go to school.

In fact, they walked barefoot in extreme heat, and risked being raped and abducted, or attacked by wild animals. When I first saw the area, I was humbled by how difficult it was for a young child to travel to school in this extremely hot climate over such distances. Read the rest of this entry »

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