Sometimes we get to witness amazing stories. Today is one of those days. We celebrate this sweet boy, now fitted with an adaptive wheelchair, who will join the Special Education classroom in Halaba in September. He will FINALLY attend school — something he has dreamed about for so long! Continue reading “A special boy is headed to school this Fall!”
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.
Top Of The Class! Dubane, Lubabe, and Redit Are Three Ethiopian Girls Beating The Odds…
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.
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, 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!
It’s one thing to believe in the promise of a child; it’s a whole other kind of gift to see that promise lived. Earlier this year we introduced you to eight-year-old Betsega — one of the 250 kids beneﬁting from a Roots Ethiopia school sponsorship. Thanks to your support Betsega goes to school.
Who is Betsega? He is the oldest of three; the son of a father who works as a day laborer and a mother who sells coffee, injera and homegrown vegetables at the night market; a boy who loves soccer; a young entrepreneur who used one month’s of Roots Ethiopia support (275 birr) to purchase four chickens that he tends in a coop he engineered himself. His devoted efforts mean the coop is now home to two baby chicks as well!
When we asked Betsega “If we met you on the street for the ﬁrst time, what would you want us to know about you?,” this child who dreams of being a pilot one day deftly turned the question around on us: “I’d like to know about your plane ride to my country!”
Without the Roots Ethiopia sponsorship, Betsega would soon be forced into day labor himself. Instead, he can spend his childhood dreaming and studying and working with his chickens. Here, completely in his own words, is a day in the life of Betsega.
I wake up in the morning
I wash my face, eat breakfast, prepare my backpack
I walk to school down the road
Period 1 is environmental science; period 2 is sports; then math, English, Amharic, and spoken English classes
I come home for lunch at 12:30 and check on my chickens
I return to school at 2 for one more English class, math, and more science
I come home at the end of the school day at 3:30
I wash my uniform
I do my homework
I help my Mom while she works to get ready to leave for the market with her injera. I make coffee and anything else she needs me to do. I am good at making coffee!
At 6 I start reading and I study until 8 when my Mom returns.
I help make dinner and roast the coffee. For dinner we might eat potatoes (dinich), kocho (local food), vegetables (gomen), and corn bread.
Then we all wash our legs and go to bed. Sometimes I am too tired to wash my legs and I fall asleep, so I’ll wake up and feel my Mom washing my legs for me.
This is the type of productive and safe day we wish for every child.
Betsega’s chicken coop
An annual commitment of $300 will go far in the year ahead, not just in miles to rural schools where Betsega and other school sponsorship students live, but far into their everyday lives.
Are you ready to educate children in Ethiopia? If so, please SHARE this with others who might want to learn about the benefits of an Ethiopian education!
UPDATE: This blog post was written in 2017 and today Bestega is still working hard to help his family while excelling at school. He’s 13 and in 7th grade. His bright light continues to shine!
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
A 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!