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Tag Archives: education
4th Apr 2016
Written by Rory
It’s 2pm in the heat of the Gondar afternoon and I’m following the happiest donkey in Ethiopia. Happy because he’s spreading the joy of reading in for Ethiopian students without libraries … and because carrying his load of books, rather than bags of cement or teff (a grain used to make injera, Ethiopia’s stable bread) that are the usual fair of his fellows, is a cushy number.
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I am at Bahire Ginb school near Maksegnit, a small village between Gondar and Bahir Dar, to see one of our donkey libraries. Link Ethiopia has three donkey libraries – two in Gondar and one in Bishoftu. Each donkey visits five rural schools who do not have a library, one a day over a week. Via our donkeys, children can access books which are usually scarce at home and at school; they are able to read reference and textbooks to support their lessons but also to read fiction in Amharic and Oromo. These free reading sessions, as well as group stories, can be a gateway for students into the world opened by reading – reading for pleasure, reading for reading’s sake.
Donkey libraries are a great service for rural schools without libraries. Teachers and students are always excited when the donkey library arrives and more and more schools request to be included. There are thousands of students who do not have access to books beyond their school textbook. For that reason, Link is seeking to increase the number of donkey libraries from 3 to 4, which would allow us to serve an additional 1000 students in rural schools. Click here if you’d like to help and support us to bring the Donkey and his books to so many more children.
At Bahire Gunb, a group of students are sitting in a circle around Belete, our donkey librarian. He is reading from a book of Ethiopian folktales and the class follow along from their own copies. Stage left, our mobile library sits in the shade of a tree job done for another day.
4th Aug 2015
Link Ethiopia’s Child Sponsorship Programme has different aspects and aims. From providing students with schools uniforms and school learning resources to building libraries and toilet facilities in schools, the programme aims to provide concrete support to young Ethiopians.
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A relatively recent aspect of the Child Sponsorship Programme are the Sponsorship Clubs. These clubs aim to give sponsored children additional support and contact with our staff. It takes place in sponsored schools and all the members of the club will meet regularly. The principal aims of the Sponsorship Clubs are:
1- Providing kids with a safe space where they can support and get to know one another.
2- Creating the environment to run training and tutorial support sessions.
3- Providing extra-school support to students facing difficulties – with our staff or school teachers.
The goal of the Sponsorship Clubs is the one of providing sponsored kids with the tools and the knowledge to lead healthy and successful lives. Furthermore, Link Ethiopia, through these Clubs, is able to provide kids with tailored support, such as specific training and counselling. Students are also encouraged to take lead in discussions, share their ideas and are encouraged to become more active community members and global citizens.
We recently ran life-skills and heath & hygiene training club sessions with nearly 60 sponsored students in the Gondar area. Students from schools in Gondar, Azezo and Maksegnit all took part in sessions run by Link Ethiopia staff and professionals from other NGOs. Health and hygiene products were also shared out amongst participants and our team received very positive feedback from participants. These clubs continue throughout the year and we look forward to organising the next successful training events!
2nd Feb 2015
by Hannah Dillon
What strikes Ethiopians most when they visit London? The answer is not what you might expect. In fact, many are surprised to see that everyone is reading. On the tube, in the park, in cafés… as Londoners we take this fact for granted. Many educated Ethiopians are concerned about the lack of reading culture in the country. However, there are only few who are actively doing something about it.
On Friday, we had the privilege of meeting Ephrem, a graduate of Gondar University who has dedicated his time and his own money to creating an outdoor library for the people of Gondar.Click to expand
With the support of friends and acquaintances – among them a lawyer and a newspaper editor – Ephrem has set up Nisir (eagle in Amharic), an organisation for social change. He has acquired the use of a small park in central Gondar for his library, and thanks to the canopy of trees it is a shady area in which benches are provided for reading. There are also ladies selling coffee and there are plans to provide Ethiopian food and even WiFi to encourage more people to visit.
The organisation is the talk of the town because not only have they found a practical solution to a social problem, they are also funding the venture from their own pockets and from local benefactors. Link Ethiopia was asked to donate English language books for the collection, which we did so gladly.
The donation was of 30 works of English and American literature, 10 non-fiction books and 15 popular science magazines. We are hoping to continue to support this venture with donations and to find different ways of working together in the future.
As for Ephrem, he has big ambitions for the project. He plans to expand it in the near future, adding sites close to the University and in nearby Azezo. In turn, this would mean creating jobs for new librarians and widening access to books across the town. It will be exciting to witness the expansion and the ways in which it will create more spaces for casual reading.
31st Jan 2014
Written by Habtamu Dereje
One of our Ethiopian staff members, Habtamu – Sponsorship Manager in Bishoftu – wanted to highlight the case of one of the sponsored children whose education is supported by the Link Ethiopia Sponsorship Scheme.
Case study: Tejitu
“Tejitu is a 17 year-old Ethiopian who was born and still resides in Bishoftu. She is unsure of her family background; she does not know her parents and currently resides with her second guardian. While she does not know her history with any certainty, she has theorized that her father left her with her mother and her mother subsequently either gave her to her first guardian or abandoned her.
At the age of seven, after completing grade 1 at Keta School, she joined her current guardian. She has acknowledged that, at this stage in her schooling, she was unsuccessful in her schooling, and was consistently seeing her friends gain awards for their rankings at school. This gave her a sense of ambition to perform well at school, and from grades 2-6 she obtained third rank awards, in grade 7 received second rank and in grades 8 and 9 received first rank. Tejitu says that her current guardian has sons and daughters of her own, but she is always treated as a daughter in her own right.”Click to expand
A Sponsorship History: Link Ethiopia has been sponsoring Tejitu for approximately four years, providing resources both directly to her and to her school. Throughout her experiences with this organisation, one highlight has been her participating in a World Challenge activity. Tejitu helped to organise activities for the group of students who travelled to Ethiopia with this organisation. In coordinating and delivering these activities, she was able to interact with the English students who were studying at the UK school in Dubai, and by extension improve her confidence and increase her understanding of global culture.
Benefits of Link Ethiopia sponsorship:
Tejitu has benefitted from a number of Link Ethiopia’s schemes throughout the time she has received sponsorship:
Project scheme: Link Ethiopia has built and established a library at Tejitu’s school, and she states that she visits it often to read a number of books that this organisation has supplied.
School Links scheme: Through establishing a School Links club at her school, Tejitu has enjoyed exchanging letters with pen pals at her linked school in the UK. She has said that this increased her knowledge of other cultures and gave her opportunities to practise her written English skills. She has also acknowledged that this has built her vocabulary and communication skills, and has subsequently improved her results in her school subjects. She also believes that it has allowed her increased confidence in interacting with English speakers.
Sponsorship scheme: Tejitu has received resources such as a school uniform, casual clothes and school supplies from Link Ethiopia. These have helped her to attend class regularly, with increased confidence and understanding.
Volunteer scheme: Link Ethiopia has placed two native English-speaking volunteers at Keta School, offering a spoken English class and a conversation class. Tejitu believes that this has broadened her understanding of the world outside and built her confidence with speaking the English language.
Future ambitions: Tejitu is hoping for a good result with her grade 10 national examination, and to continue at a preparatory school next year. Her further goals include attending university to study biology, with a specific interest in researching botany.