The Awassa education program offers more than 17,000 students the opportunity to go to school. The Secretariat collaborates with the Government of Ethiopia to meet the nation’s long-term education goals. The government hires and pays for teachers and provides textbooks. Through the schools, the Catholic Church teaches its values of love, peace, hope, perseverance, and friendship to children.
Amero Catholic Mission
The Amero Catholic Mission was established in 1999 in a remote and isolated region of southern Ethiopia. The local ethnic group is the Kore people with a population of at least 150,000 and growing. The mission is located 10 km from the town of Amero Kelle, perched at the foot of a mountain chain overlooking the valley.
Historically the Amero region has been cut off from development and the Amero people have endured longstanding ethnic tensions with the Gujji people, who outnumber them completely. Another battle that has been ongoing is with termites. The existing school at the mission had six mud-walled classrooms constructed of wood framing and wooden rafters. Aggressive termite activity in the roof structure and inside the walls had rendered the buildings unsafe for students and staff.
The new classroom block, completed in 2012, is constructed entirely from cement blocks, metal roof trusses, metal windows and doors…even the blackboards are cement! The new Amero School building is standing strong and proud with the termites looking on in shock!
The general contractor, Ato Cernet Zewdie, performed the work to a good standard and on budget. He maintained good relations with the community, including helping them supply precious water for the construction.
Galcha St. Paul Catholic Primary School
Located in Galcha Kebele in southern Ethiopia, the school was first built in 1975, giving primary education for grades 1-6. The school was upgraded in 2003 to include classes up to Grade 8. There are currently 592 students and the school is the top school in the district, according to government evaluation, with 100% of Grade 8 students passing the national exams.
The people of the area are occupied in the production of coffee, inset, and cattle breeding. The average family income is about $1 per day, with poverty being the state of life for most Galcha-area people.
The existing older school buildings are made of mud and are badly damaged. The two classroom blocks will be replaced with buildings made from cement blocks on a stone masonry foundation and with a sheet metal roof. Rooms will be added to accommodate a library and science laboratory. The newer classroom blocks will be renovated. Furnishings for the entire school will be fabricated on site.
Rainbow for the Future assisted in the construction with funding by the St. Albert Rotary Club.
The Grade 3 students of St. Joseph Catholic School in Spruce Grove Alberta, Canada, have contributed to the purchase of books for the library and classroom materials. It is hoped a relationship will evolve between the children in Galcha and those in Alberta!
UNESCO and the World Bank agree that universal primary education is the core of all human progress.
Amero Kelle School Reconstruction Project
The Amero Kelle School Reconstruction Project was funded by Rainbow for the Future with the help of a grant from the Alberta Government International Development Fund and the proceeds from a golf tournament hosted by the Father Bonner Knights of Columbus.
This project directly benefits 250 students, their families, and the entire community of Amero people who look to education for their children as the key to their very existence.
From the Awassa Catholic Secretariat
“We are grateful for the strong partnership that we have with our donor partners. It is no small task to be responsible for the education of over 17,000 children and we definitely cannot do it alone. That is why we are so appreciative of the long-term support that you have been giving to all these children, many of whom you will never meet but who are changed for the better because of your work. We are grateful for your continued support – Please know that we keep all of you in our prayers.”
Tarekegn Umuro & Tracy Doyle
Awassa Catholic Secretariat