Not even the rains down in Africa can keep us from our work to support quality education for all! And yes, we are quoting the classic Toto hit song, now covered by Weezer.
No Barriers to Education: for Teen Girls
You may already know that Roots Ethiopia provides School Sponsorships to 200 rural, poor students in many communities. Continue reading “No Barriers to Education: for Teen Girls”
200 School Sponsorship Students… FUNDED!
Thank you, thank you, dedicated donors, for helping our School Sponsorship program to expand, sending more kids to school in 2018 than ever before. Continue reading “200 School Sponsorship Students… FUNDED!”
2017: Year in Review
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,
Learning Resource Projects:
3 NEW in 2017
- 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
170 Students Attending School
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)
- 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.
The Roots Ethiopia Team
Special Education Classroom Gets Needed Supplies
Longtime friends of Roots Ethiopia, The Rikkers Family, held an online fundraiser to support teacher training requested and hoped for by the special education classroom teachers in one of our community schools.
“It was our family’s good fortune that the teachers in Ethiopia had been designing and building a wish list for their classroom, including teacher training for students with autism, Down Syndrome, and other special needs. We were ready to lend a helping hand with a fundraiser, and help supply and deliver the toys and games for the students.” — Jeni Rikkers
This article discusses how the special needs project in Ethiopia started.
Special Education Requires Special Materials
It’s unusual for Roots to bring materials in from outside of the country because we are committed to sourcing labor and materials locally. This was a unique case because of the difficulty finding local items. Roots Ethiopia’s team, the teachers at Haile Bubamo, and a special education consultant crafted a “wish list” on Amazon. The project was off and running.
“Our family used social media and email to share our effort to outfit this classroom with these specific hands-on classroom toys. The call to action was sent and within days the boxes arrived at our doorstep. Oh, so many boxes from people all across the country!!! Boxes were filled with goodness, such as sensory toys, puzzles, balances pods, Magnatiles, fidget toys, and blocks. Toys for large and small motor skills, to learn counting, colors, and letters. As we opened each box we could feel they were filled with…. hope!” –Rikkers Family
Students Enjoy Toys, Games & Puzzles
The delivery of these fantastic learning resources made students and teachers inside of the cheerful blue walls of the classroom jump in delight! Volleyballs and soccer balls were pumped up; Magnatiles were assembled into colorful structures; balance pods were laid out on the floor; fidget spinners were distributed, and blocks were fashioned into “mekina” (cars). No common language was needed to understand how to experiment with these colorful items.
Teachers Enjoy School Supplies, Too!
Jeni received some basic training during the months prior to travel so that she could demonstrate the use of many of the items for the teachers. Each toy was a source of inspiration for working with students. Blocks, games, and puzzles were discovered with laughter, fun, and learning. For example, the teachers loved how the game Twister is used to identify colors, simple instructions, and identifying right and left. The room full of children and adults alike were exploring, laughing and playing!
Now, these teachers can “pass on their knowledge” and new experiences to other teachers who serve children with special education needs in other schools!
“After all the pieces of luggage were emptied, we shared an Ethiopian coffee ceremony and ate himbasha bread together. We took the pumped up soccer and volleyballs into the courtyard and realized, again, that language is not needed to connect. A ball, a sense of play, and a desire to be together are all that is ever needed.” –Jeni Rikkers
Roots Ethiopia’s Community Identified Work Is Changing Perceptions of Special Needs Children
This classroom is, in fact, very special, and now has superb learning tools contributed by so many loving people across the world! What’s more —- THIS WEEK the teachers and their vice principal are in Addis Ababa to receive special education training. The teachers asked for this opportunity, and with the help of Roots Ethiopia and another generous family, the teachers are growing their toolkit for these precious students in Hosanna.
Many thanks to the Rikkers Family and the other generous families who helped to make this unique and special delivery possible!
Donate to the Roots Ethiopia General Fund to support increased community-led work in Ethiopia.
This story was contributed by Jennifer Rikkers, of Jennifer Rikkers Art. Jennifer is a longtime supporter of Roots Ethiopia and has traveled to the field with Roots Ethiopia twice.
If you found this story inspirational, please SHARE it with others who have a passion for lessening the stigma of special education throughout the world!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 175 students attended school with all-inclusive School Sponsorships.
- 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.
- 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.
The Roots Ethiopia Board of Directors
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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A Family Transforms a School in Hawora, Ethiopia
Roots Ethiopia’s Learning Resource Project (LRP) in Hawora, Ethiopia is now accepting donations!
The Lenssen Family, with the help of Crowdrise, have created a personal online fundraiser entitled, “Educational Transformation for Hawora Village,” and are quickly moving towards their goal of raising $26,000 for this under-resourced Ethiopian school in the Hadiya Zone. Your help is needed because improving rural Ethiopian schools takes a motivated group of givers dedicated to improving educational opportunities to help young minds soar.
Donate to This School
When supporters like The Lenssen Family share the realities of conditions in Ethiopian schools with their networks in personal and creative ways, remarkable changes occur. Individual motivations to help, paired with locally generated school proposals* and support from the Roots Ethiopia leadership are transforming rural schools in beautiful and measurable ways.
Sarah Lennsen, Lead Fundraiser for this project writes,
At Hawora Primary School a typical class has 70 students who crowd into a room with broken furniture, worn out blackboards deteriorated walls and dusty dirt floors. The lack of teaching materials available for teachers and students is taking a toll on their quality of education: very few textbooks, no science supplies, and a shortage of sports equipment. Additionally, the school lacks vented toilets–instead they have pit latrines that are shared by boys and girls, posing hygiene and sanitation problems that further inhibit a healthy learning environment.
Donating to this project will reinvent the school and lead to sustainable improvements that will benefit the entire community. Every donation you make to our Learning Resource Projects ensures a brighter educational experience for Ethiopia’s eager learners.
Learning Resource Projects are one of Roots Ethiopia’s core programs. We currently provide support for 9 schools in Southern Ethiopia, with several more in our pipeline for 2016. Email us for more information at email@example.com.
*School Proposals are generally 20-30 page reports which include detailed local assessments, analysis, outcomes, strategies, risks, budgets and sustainability of school projects. They are carefully scrutinized and approved by our Board of Directors prior to partnering with Lead Fundraisers.
Roots Ethiopia’s work is solely supported by public contributions. Your investment is critical to our work of supporting education and job creation in Southern Ethiopia. Thank you for being an important part of this mission!
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