UNESCO and the World Bank agree that universal primary education is the core of all human progress. In many communities, the establishment of a vibrant school leads to further strides, including improvement in adult literacy, and the establishment of healthcare facilities and economic opportunities. Providing education is one of the most important development projects that can be implemented in a community.
In travelling through Ethiopia, we have asked women what we can do for them. Most want nothing for themselves but they desperately want to see their daughters educated. They know education is key to a better life, both for their daughters and all community members.
In recent years primary schools have been established even in very remote and un-serviced regions all over Ethiopia, helping to fulfill the goal of universal literacy and access to education opportunities. It has not been an easy road, especially for girls. Traditionally, girls did not attend school; they were kept home to work, help with younger children, and fetch water and firewood. They were often married off early, both for the bride price and to protect them from rape and abduction.
Cultural norms have gradually been altered so that girls are now allowed and welcomed to attend school. Children are graduating from primary school in unprecedented numbers all over Ethiopia. But what happens to them then?
Most women want nothing for themselves but they desperately want to see their daughters educated.
Lack of secondary education opportunities is chronic in marginalized communities across rural Ethiopia. Without these opportunities, youth have nothing to do and cannot contribute to the development of their communities. Building and supplying high schools in these communities supports sustainable development, giving young people options previously impossible for them to imagine, particularly if they can proceed to post-secondary education.
There is a real need for skilled tradespeople who can help the country keep up with a burgeoning population and a growing economy by building roads, railways, buildings, and bridges. The ability to secure these types of jobs provides young adults with an income that they can use to support themselves and to help their communities develop. To do this, they need technical and vocational training that is easy to access and provides a good education.
Education Community Development Projects
One example of an education community development project is the Seka Technical and Vocational Training Center, completed in 2015. It gives high school graduates in the Seka/Sentema region the opportunity to learn useful, marketable skills that mean jobs and advancement, income, and a flow of knowledge to build the country. Students are trained in things like road construction, construction management, plumbing and sanitary installation, and textile design and manufacturing, among other fields.
These trained, skilled workers will contribute to the economy both locally and nationally. They can start their own businesses and hire and train others. Young people can stay in their own communities but will be equipped to work and contribute, building the local economy.
The Amero Kelle School Reconstruction Project is another example. It 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 and their families as well as the entire community of Amero people, who look to education for their children as the key to their survival.
Education for Sustainable Communities
Rainbow for the Future focuses mainly on education, particularly the education of girls and women.
Our projects include:
- Construction and support of the Dhebiti Girls’ Hostel
- Renovation of Dandi Gudina School, Dhebiti
- Construction and furnishing of dining hall at Dandi Gudina High School, Metahara
- Construction, furnishing, and supplies for Didimtu Kindergarten, elementary school, and teachers’ residence, Didimtu
- Construction, furnishing, and supply of Amero Kele Elementary School, Amero Kele
- Construction, furnishing, and supplies for Didimtu #1 Elementary School, Didimtu Kebele
- Education support for Worke Aldago
- Support and teachers’ salaries for Mahu Difu Orphanage, Semera