In recent years, the rains have become less and less frequent and recurring drought conditions allow no time for recovery. The soil is poor and harvests are modest even in good years. Consequently many families rely on food aid at least some months of the year. The majority of the rural population is in a vicious circle of poverty.
The people have few alternatives and have asked for help. Sageda Development Association responded with funding assistance provided by Rainbow for the Future. The Bati Boro, Didimtu, and Bati Kello villages have benefited from the establishment of two grinding mills and grain stores, a limited supply of clean drinking water, a health post, several small stores, a veterinary clinic, and a fund to establish income-generation cooperatives for women. These interventions have assisted with survival but the people have asked for an additional facility—a school so their children can get an education to create a better future.
In 2012, Rainbow for the Future visited the school at Bati Boro. It was old and weather-beaten. Sixteen hundred students were crammed into four classrooms. There was no water or sanitation. There were few desks and no teaching materials. The children greeted us with a heart-warming welcome, with music and dancing, a little play, and a very moving poem written by a young girl who expressed the sentiment “we have a rich history and culture…but we have no future.”
Rainbow’s response was to ensure a school was built for these children.
Rainbow for the Future’s policy is that the beneficiary community is responsible for at least 30% of the project cost and therefore has ownership of the resulting assets. This community is very impoverished, yet their dedication to providing a school for their children is solid. A committee was formed to mobilize the community to make sure everyone was on board for the project and understood the need for contributions, work, and cooperation.
Their dedication to providing a school for their children is solid.
More than 350 household representatives participated in a workshop held at Bati Boro Farmers Training Center. They learned about the objective of the project and the benefit for their children and all agreed on the project goal. It was not easy to bring this together!
People will be paid to load and unload stones, sand, and water. This helps them meet their short-term needs while they contribute to the long-term education of their children. The goal is to build six classrooms and furnish them with desks and school materials for a safe, well-equipped learning space.