Guraghe is a comparatively fertile but extremely poor region some four hours to the south west of Addis Ababa. The Trust supports a school in the rural village of Zizencho. Three sisters from Kerala, India, have been running a kindergarten and primary school there for six years, assisted by the Trust from the start. The school opened in 2009 with a kindergarten class only, but as each year goes by another class is added so that those first pupils are able to progress onwards up the school, and new children come into the lower classes. Currently there is a total of 531 children, around 50 in a class. The children here are the first generation of their families to go to school. Demand is so great that places have to be allocated by lottery, and there is a rule that only one child from each family can attend: the idea is that this child will be able to teach his or her siblings. Thus the greatest use is made of the limited resources available. Each class has a blackboard and each child has his or her own exercise book, but there is minimal other equipment.
The children are given a mid-day meal out in the open air, as you can see below, and the Sisters also run a drop-in health clinic on site. The Trust supports 100 children with all of their costs – food, books, clothing and tuition – on an ongoing basis right up through the school. In the long term, we hope to help the school at Zizencho find the funds to build further classrooms, so that the children can stay on for secondary education.