Bright Beginnings for Ethiopia’s Children

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Bright Beginnings for Ethiopia’s Children

headshot of a man, smilingIn the Bora District, communities in Ethiopia thrive on unity and shared values. Gemechu, the Zone’s education supervisor, works hard to ensure that the importance of children’s education is one of these values.

For over five years, Gemechu has overseen the transformative impact of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) centres in the district. He has witnessed first-hand how limited resources, inadequate facilities, and food insecurity hinder children’s learning experiences, preventing them from obtaining a quality education and perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

But hope shines bright with the support of CFTC’s long-time local partner, the Emmanuel Development Association (EDA), and CFTC’s generous supporters. New ECCE centres, latrines, and essential teaching aids are transfiguring education for more than 500 students in four schools. Gemechu works to see that these centres meet the highest standards of excellence.


EARLY EDUCATION AS A CORNERSTONE

headshot of a woman

Genet, Sifen's teacher, works hard to ensure that young children receive quality education in the first years of life.

Early childcare and education are the cornerstone of a child’s academic journey, explains Gemechu.“This is the place where children will shape their journey in academics,” he says, and where they will learn crucial skills like communication, cooperation, and respect.

Sifen is in her second year at the ECCE centre based in her local primary school. At age six, her world revolves around her parents, her little brother, and her friends at school. Sifen and her family know that education holds the key to a better future for her and other children like her.

two girls playing on the playground

Sifen (left) enjoys outdoor play with a friend at her ECCE

My favourite thing is going to school and playing with my friends. My favourite subject is environmental science,” Sifen says. Central to Sifen’s positive school experience are her teachers, whom she adores. “My teacher teaches me, plays with me, and protects me when some children want to bully or hit me,” she explains. “That’s why I love my teacher very much.”


A NURTURING ENVIRONMENT

mother sits with her daughter on a chair

Sifen and her mother Quftu are both benefitting from Sifen's ECCE

The ECCEs supported by EDA and CFTC are expected to have well-trained teachers, bright and engaging classrooms, and an appropriate quantity of learning materials. Gemechu notes that the schools are staffed by dedicated community members who, despite limited backgrounds in ECCE, have embraced training and emerged as competent educators.

At the same time, the high rates of poverty and need in the community mean that ongoing support is imperative to maintain a nurturing environment for children to learn and thrive.

Looking to the future, Sifen dreams big. “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor and help sick people relieve their pain,” she says.

To those who are making it possible for her to get the education she needs to make her dreams come true she says, “I would like to say thank you for supporting our school, and I love you!


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