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”

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

for 3 new Self-Help Entrepreneurs peer savings groups (SHE)

Highlights from our team:
  • Women in our new Usmancho SHE are very motivated to build a strong team for learning and sharing.
  • The growth of SHE 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

SHE + School Attendance = Awesome!


Back to school for these two young people!

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Tadelech’s children are headed back to school this week. They attend school regularly because their MOM IS A ROCKSTAR entrepreneur! Tadelech is part of a Roots Ethiopia Self-Help Entrepreneurs (SHE). 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.

Do you want to enable the livelihoods of women like Tadelech? Support a woman who is joining SHE for just $27/month!

DonateButton

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Dubane with her Da

ddy 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

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

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!

Dinkenesh: An Ethiopian Education Success Story


10-year old Dinkenesh is an Ethiopian education success story. In a worn notebook, she precisely prints today’s school lessons. This book is her greatest pride, and each page represents another day she is back in school.

Ethiopian Education is A Privilege

School is a privilege that many Ethiopian children cannot afford. Some children are needed to bring home income for families, others cannot afford the school uniforms and nominal fees necessary to step into a classroom. Fewer than half of the country’s children attend school regularly, and that number drops to 25% in higher grades.

For girls like Dinkenesh, there are even more obstacles to education. Fewer girls make it to secondary school than boys, and the literacy rate of young Ethiopian women is only 47%, far lower than men of the same age. For a time, Dinkenesh joined the 130 million girls around the globe are denied access to education.

I was so sad when I could not go to school. I needed to work and help my family.

You Can Provide An Ethiopian Education

SCHOOL SPONSORSHIP from Roots Ethiopia gave Dinkenesh the opportunity to return to school this year.

For her, it’s the chance to hold a book, carefully pen English words and science terms into her notebook, while also helping out her family after school.

Now I am so happy I can go to school, and still I help my mother make injera when I can.

She has a lot of catching up to do. But her time in the classroom is about more than that day’s lesson.

For every year she is in school, the possibilities of being literate, earning a sustainable income, holding off marriage and raising healthy children increase. Her education will be a legacy—if Dinkenesh goes to school, her future daughters are twice as likely to attend.

Dinkenesh doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. Her dream is right here, in this chair with a book or on a bench in her classroom, watching the teacher fill the chalkboard with new ideas. She is happy to learn and to be a part of a vibrant, packed-full class of kids who are the exception to the education crisis in Ethiopia.

Dinkenesh also doesn’t know how much her education impacts the rest of her life, her family and the community around her. She may not ever know how she is connected to girls around the world who desperately want to learn, too. What Dinkenesh clearly does understand is how much possibility is on each page in front of her. She shows it by giving it great care.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Give an Ethiopian Education to Children

Join us in providing 175 school sponsorships to eager children in Ethiopia. During this month of celebrating women, we ask you to invest in girls like Dinkenesh who will change the world—one page, one lesson, one grade at a time, simply by loving the chance to learn.

Your investment of $21 a month will send a student like Dinkenesh to school with all the necessary supplies—a uniform, backpack, pens and, of course, that treasured notebook. It will also provide a small nutrition support stipend to the family to ensure that children have the freedom to attend school rather than work.

An annual commitment of $250 will go far in the year ahead, not just in miles to rural schools where Dinkenesh and other school sponsorship students sit at attention, but far into their big, bright futures and out into the community.

 

Are you ready to educate girls in Ethiopia? If so, please SHARE this with others who might want to learn about the benefits of an Ethiopian education!

Gooooal! Shone Youth Sports Project is a Win!


Our Shone Youth Sports Project has been up and running for a year and we are thrilled to share some of the progress we see playing out on the soccer field. Two board members visited the Hadiya Zone last month and met with the 22 boys and 18 girls currently enrolled in the program. These at-risk kids, recruited from local schools, are learning not just the fundamentals of the game, but the sense of pride and commitment that comes with being a part of a team for the first time. They have uniforms, two experienced coaches, and the guarantee of a nutritious snack after their twice-weekly practices. Perhaps most importantly, they are working hard and having fun.

Take star player Meselech Kanke, the 16-year-old striker and captain of the girls’ soccer team: Meselech is the youngest of five siblings and an 8th grader in the Shone village. Her Father passed away when she was a baby and her Mother relies on their small plot of farm on the outskirts of town to provide for her family. Meselech wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the luxury of an extracurricular like soccer were it not for the Shone Youth Sports Project. Before she joined the team in 2016 she lacked not just resources but self-confidence. Today Meselech says she wants to be a professional soccer player when she grows up. After watching her moves on the field we see no reason why she can’t turn her dream into a reality.

Both the girls’ and boys’ teams have had a nice taste of competitive success. Recently, the boys’ team traveled to Arba-Minch (165km south of Shone) for a tournament. For these boys, it was a first-time chance to venture beyond their neighborhood confines. They didn’t win the game but their proud coach says the team’s sense of borders opened up in a profound way that weekend. We are so impressed by the boys’ performance and wish for them more shared adventures on the road.

We are blown away by these kids’ promise, on the field, and in the world. And we want to grow the program to live up to their enormous possibility. The teams had two heartbreakingly humble requests for the season ahead: The players need regulation soccer balls and proper soccer cleats to replace their old flat-soled Chuck Taylors. As girls’ captain Meselech explained, “Because the soccer game involves running on a hard surface, a decent soccer shoe is a must for all player.”  Without new shoes, the kids are at risk for foot and ankle injuries, especially as the level of their play increases.

We believe in Meselech. We believe in her teammates. We believe in those boys who had the courage to travel far and play hard. Please email us at info@rootsethiopia.org for more information about the Shone Youth Sports Project.

To support to our community-based projects in Ethiopia, please set up a recurring donation to our general fund. Your continued support allows Roots Ethiopia to continually strengthen our commitment to vulnerable Ethiopian communities.

7 Incredible Things YOU Did in 2016!


I could not blot out hope, for hope belongs to the future. –Lu Xun

See the dream. Be the impact. Feel the success.

The 2016 sun has set an incredible 366 times, shining a light on all the ways your gifts to Roots Ethiopia have turned dreams and challenges into success.  As we begin what will surely be another year of work to create lasting change in Ethiopia, we thought we would bring you a year in review, by the numbers.

Here are 7 phenomenal ways YOU turned local ideas into lasting change:

  1. 15,000 students and their communities were enriched through Learning Resource Projects that focused on making the school learning environment the best it can be. Desks, chairs microscopes, books, shelves, concrete floors, chalkboards, libraries for public use, the list is long. The impact is broad. The local community is inspired.
  2. More than 8,600 community members received temporary food support during the months following drought-related crop failures. In the darkest of days, these food staples allowed kids to keep going to school and families to stay strong.
  3. 113 librarians and 39 science teachers received intensive training in their field to become better leaders and to improve their innovative use of local materials as teaching tools.
  4. 11 rural schools were recipients of new books in the local language(s). 6,000 students can now expand their literacy skills and love of reading.
  5. 175 students attended school with all-inclusive School Sponsorships.
  6. 40 boys and girls participated in a new sports-based program designed to develop youth leadership skills. The program includes uniforms, sports equipment, and instruction.
  7. Over 300 women and men built their own small businesses that sustain their families. 19 Self-Help Entrepreneurs were in place in 14 project sites for the small business owners to increase their capacity to earn income, increase their self-confidence, and work for social change.

These accomplishments all began as the dreams of small Ethiopian communities. You brought the resources, and you stood strong in the face of the serious challenges that threatened the livelihoods of so many. You gave monthly, or all at once or both. Your hope for better lives for Ethiopia’s poorest families was the thread that linked possibility to progress.

Thank you for an amazing 2016.

In 2017 we will see change, growth, and new opportunities.  In partnership with your commitment, here’s to the hope for a better future for all of Ethiopia.

Warmly,

The Roots Ethiopia Board of Directors

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Roots Ethiopia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in Africa, specifically helping Southern Ethiopia. Roots Ethiopia supports community identified solutions for job creation and education.

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