In the provinces of West and East Wollega in Ethiopia many children cannot go to school, because their parents lack the means, and that is a pity, because it is education that these children need to stand a chance of a better future. The foundation Stichting Schoolproject Ethiopië endeavours to have these children educated and does so in co-operation with local missionschools in West and East Wollega. The foundation pays for school fees, clothing and daily meals for the children. To make it possible for more children ta attend school, the foundation seeks sponsors. In addition tot this, once-only donations are obtained through actions of schools, service clubs, churches and contributions by private persons, often in connection with an anniversary or celebration such as a jubilee, a birthday or a wedding anniversary.


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The goal of the Schoolproject Ethiopia foundation

The aim of the foundation is to provide primary education for deprived children in Ethiopia, boys as well as girls.
We believe in this approach. An educated child has better prospects. As early as 1948 the right of education was laid down in the Universal Human Rights Declaration. This right has still to be fought for and has for that reason been embodied in the Millennium-goals, one of which proclaims that by 2015 every child, boy or girl, should have the opportunity to pass through a complete course of primary education.

The effect of education on children

Education forms the basis of a child’s development and leads to acquiring an occupation, which is the basis of an economically independent existence. It is this philosophy that gave birth to the Schoolproject Ethiopia foundation. Not being able to read, write or calculate makes it harder to find employment. Someone who is able to read has access to information about work, food and health. Research has shown that educated people are less prone to famine and poverty and live healthier. It is easier to get a paid job and thus break the vicious circle of illiteracy, unemployment or poverty.
Every Dutchman understands this. However, in a country such as Ethiopia, stricken through the ages with massive illiteracy, this is a new approach.
This history of other developing countries, especially those in Asia (India and China) has taught us how fast socio-economic disadvantages can be eliminated. The mastering of skills such as reading, writing, arithmetic and so forth, not only makes people stand a better chance of work, but also leads to a better infrastructure (housing, transport, safe water supplies), democratisation of society, women’s rights, improved health care, concern for cultural heritage etcetera. These long-range effects commence with access to education.

Activities of the Schoolproject Ethiopia foundation

In 2003 we were asked to help some children of the missionschool of Addo (near Dembi Dollo in West Wollega) whose parents were unable to pay the school fees. The school is a Catholic mission school with around 1000 pupils who come from miles around. In that first year we supported 4 children privately. The next year the number of children had increased to 20 and they were also provided with a meal at school, a set of clothes or uniform, shoes and school necessities.
In January 2005 the Stichting Schoolproject Ethiopië was founded. Following the above procedure many groups at various schools were started during our visit in October 2005.

During the school year 2012-2013 the foundation is supporting 330 children in 9 schools.
The school project is limited to mission schools only because these can be properly monitored.

The Schoolproject Ethiopia foundation often communicates with its partners and visit the area every year (at their own expenses) to evaluate the projects.

Secondary Education

The foundation decided – after having received external sponsoring- to support students who want to start secondary education (vocational training or university). In 2009 the first group of students started their studies, in the region of Dembi Dollo. In 2011 the same happened in the region of Nekemte.

Our partner organisations in Ethiopia are:

  • Society of Helpers of Mary: schools in Sakko, Karro and Konchi
  • NCS Vicarate of Nekemte: schools in Addo, Dhanka, Babiche , Komto, Ariajawi and Nekemte; secondary education in Nekemte region and Dembidollo region.

Other activities

Foundation Schoolproject Ethiopia also gives help by finding sponsorship for project which are related to schools: for example building toilets, clean water providing, building classrooms or feedingrooms. Also womenpromoting activities are started to help mothers to earn money for the schoolcosts of the children. It is a big wish that in the future the parents can pay the costs of their schoolchildren themselves; and Schoolproject helps to give a start.