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Setting Students Up for Success in Ethiopia

Exams are often a stressful time for many students around the world, and even more so in countries where getting a quality education is the key to bridging the ever-widening divide of income inequality. Roots Ethiopia is making a difference by hosting and funding after-school tutoring for 8th-grade students preparing for their 8th-grade national exams. Continue reading “Setting Students Up for Success in Ethiopia”

Solar Power in Schools: Let There Be Light!

A teacher at a rural school tries to angle the mirror of a sunlight-illuminated microscope towards the window to light a biology slide. A student strains his eyes in the cool darkness of a classroom to read his textbook.

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Often we take for granted the role that power generation plays in everyday education. But not in rural Ethiopia. In 2014, only 12.2% of the rural Ethiopian population had access to electricity (World Bank, OECD/IEA, 2014).

Reliable access to power can be a game changer in rural schools:

  • Lights to read by can allow students to use indoor spaces for studying and use them into the early evening.
  • Microscopes can be illuminated by power instead of relying on the proximity of windows and brightness of the day.
  • Teachers can access the programs provided via Ethiopia’s educational radio and television network (EMA) to supplement their teaching.
  • Teachers and students can use technology devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Alternative power sources, such as solar power, can reduce the reliance on expensive non-rechargeable lithium batteries, as well as reduce the health risks of lighting a space by kerosene lamps.

Roots Ethiopia has piloted solar panel installations in one of our newer schools, Lai Bedene Primary School in the Halaba Zone. With the money saved from using solar power for their educational radio, they are now planning to purchase a television for classroom use!

The installation was so successful that we have implemented it in two more rural schools…Legama Primary School in Wolayta, and Gomora Gewada Primary School in Kembata.

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Reducing barriers that hold back rural schools from delivering a quality education is just one more way that Roots Ethiopia focuses its efforts on improving schools and educational quality.

Help us to light the way to academic success for more students in every Roots Ethiopia School! DonateButton

 

School Sponsorship Supplies the School Supplies!

Today our field team is working together to deliver school supplies to students who need a ‘refresh’ of materials for the 2nd semester, which starts on Monday.

We are also excited to share that we are now including some additional books for our youngest students in their yearly supplies! We also added tools for math, hygiene materials like soap and lotion, and more everyday notebooks.

 

Do you want to be part of this goodness?

Join our School Sponsorship program$21 a month supports one of our 200 students!

 

Breaking Down Barriers to Education!

One of the things we are most passionate about here at Roots Ethiopia is identifying and removing the barriers between all rural kids and a good education.

Some of those barriers involve financial means or distance from a school or adequate seating in a classroom or the availability of books.

And sometimes the barrier is a pair of eyeglasses.

Yesterday a volunteer team of Ethiopian vision professionals visited the school children we work with in Halaba.

This is especially important for the 30+ children in our special needs program in Halaba. Children with Down Syndrome have a higher rate of vision impairment, and our plan is to serve their vision needs as fully as we can.

We love that over 80 students and their families were included in vision testing. We planned to evaluate 40 special needs students, but word got out and our team of volunteers worked as long as daylight allowed.

We love knowing that so many kids saw themselves in the men and women who tested their eyes — representation matters! Maybe there is an ophthalmologist in the crew of kids tested!

We are especially grateful for the kindness and generosity of the volunteers! The children benefited from their time, their skills, and their compassionate care. What a difference this will make!

Next step: providing proper eyeglasses for these students. Stay tuned for more details!

 

2017: Year in Review

Dear friends, 

The past 12 months have been amazing for Roots Ethiopia. Our team has been hard at work to support local ideas for lasting change. You have made this a year of growth and excellence.  As always, we could not have accomplished our work without your support. We have put together a list of ways YOU have made a difference – add a touch of coffee, some very long days on the road to remote villages, and a dedicated team, and 2017 is a year to remember. We are so grateful for your enduring support!

Happy New Year,
Roots Ethiopia

16
Learning Resource Projects:

3 NEW in 2017

Highlights from our team:
  • Wanja Primary School is a woman-led School in Halaba.
  • 500 textbooks purchased for Ewoqet Chora Primary School’s first EVER library.
  • Over 18,000 students and their families have enriched learning opportunities as part of their continued partnership with Roots Ethiopia.

1 VIP Latrine

(Ventilated Improved Pit)
with Menstrual Changing Room for Adolescent Girls

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170 Students Attending School

with a
Roots Ethiopia School Sponsorship

Highlights from our team:

  • All children received backpacks, uniforms and school supplies, and they LOVED the SpongeBob backpacks this year.
  • We rented a truck and delivered grain to all the families in our program.
  • We listened to a lot of the hopes and dreams the children have for their futures, and we encouraged them to dream BIG!

3 Special Needs Classrooms:

2 NEW in 2017

Highlights from our team:

  • Haile Bubamo Special Education classroom received special education toys for children to learn while playing.
  • 10 children at Wanja Primary School were added to the Special Education roster.
  • A classroom of 18 students in Halaba is now part of our program. There will be a daily snack and transportation to school added as a pilot program here.

60 New Women-Led Businesses

in 3 new Self-Help Groups

Highlights from our team:
  • Women in our new Usmancho SHG are very motivated to build a strong team for learning and sharing.
  • The growth of our SHG’s in Halaba Kulito  means more women have joined our successful work there and have many successful mentors.

 

1 Office in Addis Ababa
NGO License &  Country Director
*you are welcome to visit us in Hiya Hulet*

3 Teacher Training Programs

Highlights from our team:

  • 2 professional teacher training for science teachers. Over 80 teachers trained in a University setting to help them create a hands-on science curriculum for their students.
  • 1 professional teacher training held in Addis Ababa for 4 special education teachers.
and more ….
Thanks for being part of our journey to support community-identified solutions for education and job creation in Ethiopia. We are ready for 2018!

 

The Roots Ethiopia Team

New Office in Addis Ababa!

Two of our leadership team members from the USA are with our Ethiopian team in Addis Ababa this week. Welcome to the Roots Ethiopia office in Addis! It’s a very productive space with so much good work happening.

Lots of meeting about the nuts and bolts of getting the work done efficiently and cost-effectively over the next three years. Meetings, reports, numbers, and more meetings.

 

But it’s also Ethiopia. So thank goodness for BUNA!

SHG’s + School Attendance = Awesome!

Back to school for these two young people!

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Tadelech’s children headed back to school this week. They attend school regularly because their MOM IS A ROCKSTAR saleswoman! Tadelech is part of a Roots Ethiopia Self-Help Group. She sells bananas and eggs in the market – and she even has a secret way of ripening her savory bananas. (You can read all about her on our Instagram account, using the hashtag #Tadu and#LaurensLens)

At Roots Ethiopia, we value family self-reliance. Tadelech is a great example of how a strong business plan and the support of a like-minded group of women means success for everyone in the family and includes going to school.

Want to enable the livelihoods of women like Tadelech? Support a woman who is joining a Self-Help Group and qualifying for a small business grant for just $27/month!

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Back to School: Sizo in September!

 

In just a few weeks Ethiopian children will return to school. Playgrounds will be full of girls playing “sizo”.

 

 

How about these games, from the book “The World of Girls and Boys in Rural and Urban Ethiopia” edited by Eva Poluha? Have you ever heard of  Kuku or Dibibikosh? Leba Ena Police? Or Erkus?

Playground Games

It’s back to school week for so many children this week too. We wish all the kids a wonderful week of learning and play!

Top 10 Reasons To Invest in Wanja Primary School

1. The School is Run By Female Teachers

The staff at this Ethiopian school is 92% women. This is an anomaly in a country where male teachers and students almost always outnumber women. The female director and 12 female teachers at the grades 1-6 school work tirelessly to promote girls’ inclusion and attendance. They also offer extra counseling and tuition support for their most vulnerable students.

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2. Duba, An Ethiopian Student

Duba is a 13-year-old girl in the 3rd-grade class. She is her happiest when she is in a Wanja School classroom. Duba was forced to discontinue her education to help support her family but has now shortened her work schedule (fetching water and selling vegetables at the market) to afternoons and weekends so she could bravely rejoin Wanja school. Duba told a Roots Ethiopia team member,

As a girl from a poor family with seven siblings, going to school is not easy. But going to school again gives me hope and purpose in life.

Every day Duba walks to school where her favorite subject is English and her heroes are her teachers.

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3. Donations in Ethiopian Education Make A Big Difference

A $50 donation could cover a girl like Duba’s school supplies for an entire year, increasing her chances of success.

4. Ethiopian Classrooms Are Overcrowded

Seventy-two (72!) children cram into each one of Wanja’s eight classrooms, making learning difficult.

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5. Help Create Future Ethiopian Doctors

Duba dreams of growing up to be a doctor one day and deserves the proper teaching tools and science lab supplies to make that dream a reality.

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6. No Drinking Water

There is no drinking water available at the Wanja School in Ethiopia so children are susceptible to dehydration, lack of energy and illness.

7. Girls Need Private Bathrooms In Ethiopia

Many girls Duba’s age don’t have private bathrooms or changing facilities. This keeps them home from school up to 20% of the month. This project will increase female attendance at school, and allow them to keep up with their school work.

8. Ethiopian Teachers Care For Wanja Students

Twenty-nine orphaned students and eleven special needs students are cared for by the Wanja School staff. These students are integrated into the classroom and receive after-school care from volunteer teachers.

9. Girls in Ethiopia Need Quality Education

Many girls in Halaba, like in most Ethiopian regions, disproportionately fail to pass the exams required to progress to secondary schools. Therefore, without access to secondary education girls like Duba become an exceptionally high risk to repeat the cycle of poverty.

10. Roots Ethiopia is tracking Ethiopian Student Achievement

We value measurable results and will keep you updated on both students’ improved academic performance and passing rates as well as increased enrollments.

Roots Ethiopia needs to raise $22,326 for Wanja Primary School in Ethiopia. Our on-the-ground needs assessment determined the school needs to function at a level its students and staff members deserve. Your generous donation goes directly towards building library bookshelves, a desk for every student, and outfitting Duba’s science class with much-needed lab supplies.

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If you and your family want to help us raise funds for Wanja Primary School, to be sure Duba and her classmates thrive, let us know! Also, we have a great peer-funding page. You can build a great plan right from this page.

Did this story inspire you? Please share it with your friends and family on Social Media.

Girls At The Top of Their Class

Meet Three Ethiopian Girls Who Are Ranked At The Top of Their Class

The biggest reward of any Roots Ethiopia project is not just marveling how your collective generosity can transform a community or a school or a classroom. It’s seeing how that loving investment can light up a child’s face.

So we want to celebrate the smiles of three students we are proud to support at Wanja School, which serves over 500 children from the surrounding Halaba district. These three Ethiopian girls—ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in their class—are the future.

Learn more about our commitment to the Wanja School and our fundraising efforts on its behalf by clicking here! 

Top Of The Class! Dubane, Lubabe, and Redit Are Three Ethiopian Girls Beating The Odds…

DUBANE

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Dubane with her Daddy and her grade 3 brother, Bergena

Dubane is a 17-year-old Wanja student preparing to enter the 7th grade in September. She ranked first in her 6th-grade class. (Get it Dubane!) Dubane’s background is particularly hard; her family is both poor and socially marginalized within her community. The teachers and students of Wanja have worked hard to create a safe and welcoming environment for Dubane.

The financial crisis of her home life forced her to drop out of school for three years so today some of her peers are getting ready to begin 11th grade. Undeterred by such a tragic loss of momentum, Dubane secured an after-school laborer job at a nearby building site that allowed her to return to school last year for 6th grade. She earns 20 Birr (roughly 85 cents) for a half day of work. With that money, she contributes to her family’s food expenses, purchases school materials, and buys her clothes.

Dubane wants to be a doctor when she grows up. Roots Ethiopia attended the end of year school ceremony and awarded her a new school backpack to begin her 7thgrade, praising both her grades and grit. Dubane is an outstanding role model for all the kids at Wanja.

LUBABA

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Seventeen-year-old Lubaba is getting ready to enter the 7th grade. She, too, was forced to take several years off from school because of financial hardships. To reenter the sixth-grade Lubaba works alongside Dubane as a laborer at a construction site and was able to raise the money needed for school registration.

With her hard-earned money, Lubaba could also afford the required school materials and clothing. (In addition to covering her school expenses, Lubaba also puts part of her paycheck towards groceries for the family.) Last year this superstar ranked second in her class.

She also has dreams of going to medical school. Roots Ethiopia is moved by Lubaba’s commitment to her future and gave her a new backpack to help her carry her dreams into the seventh grade.

REDET

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Redet, Lubaba’s younger sister, is 15 years old. Like Lubaba, Redet is preparing to enter the 7th grade. She ranks third in her class. (Yes, the Aman girls are incredible.) Their family earns an income from subsistence farming. Her mother sells sugar cane at a street corner and occasionally does hair braiding services for 5 Birr.

Besides Lubaba, Redet has two other sisters and a brother. Because of her family’s long-term financial difficulties, she discontinued her education for three years. But now Redet is supporting herself by working after school as a laborer like her older sister.

She dreams of being a medical doctor. She also has a  new backpack that she will put to good use this fall. Go Redet!

If you are inspired by Dubane, Lubaba, and Redet please share this article!

Click here to donate to Roots Ethiopia!