Duration: March 1 – December 31, 2013
Equalizing educational opportunities and developing professional skills of young people in southern Ethiopia
The goal of the project is to equalize educational opportunities and increase the educational level of children and teenagers from rural regions of southern Ethiopia. In addition, the project aims to develop an educational offer and create an educational base allowing diversification of the sources of income and alternatives to extensive farming, which will in turn contribute to fighting poverty and reducing human pressure on the ecosystem in the area of Lake Langano.
Background and description of needs
The project is a continuation of the PCPM’s activities that were carried out in the region in 2012. Its main component is to provide solar lighting to libraries and classrooms in primary schools. Ethiopia is one of the 15 countries with the highest level of illiteracy in the world. A needs assessment carried out by our local partner (IIRR) indicated that 5 districts located in the southern part of the country (Yabello, Dillo, Moyale, Adola and Goro Dola) are especially affected by the problem. We chose these districts as locations for installing solar power systems last year. Encouraged by the very positive reception of our work, we decided to continue our activities in the region. This year we plan on providing solar lighting to all the schools in the region. We believe that installing lighting in schools, along with the purchasing of educational materials (mainly books), will allow more and more Ethiopian children to develop and improve the basic skill of reading. This is especially important in the first years of school education. Children who do not develop this skill in grades 1 to 4 will be destined to quit education. This, in turn, will reduce their chances to escape poverty.
Similar problems to those reported in the 5 districts mentioned above, occur in almost the whole of Ethiopia; specifically in the area of Lake Langano where there is an additional urgent need to prevent the devastation of one of the last nature reserves in the Abyssinian Plateau. We would like to encourage the local communities, through professional training and environmental education, to reduce the destruction of their natural environment, and at the same time allow them to acquire new income-generating skills.
The recipients of the project are the current and future pupils of approximately 80 primary schools located in 5 districts in southern Ethiopia. This covers almost all of the primary schools in the area. The families of the pupils and local communities will also indirectly benefit. The recipients of the part of the project implemented in the area of Lake Langano are all the members of the local community, especially teenagers and school-age children.
The project is currently being carried out in 5 districts of southern Ethiopia, namely Yabello, Dillo, Moyale, Adola and Goro Dola, located near the border with Kenya. Simultaneously, a small part of the project is being implemented on the southern shoreline of Lake Langano (Bishangari region).
The grant, amounting to PLN 507,416, was received under the Polish Aid program of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2013. PCPM and IIRR (The International Institute for Rural Rehabilitation) provided PLN 64,295 worth of in-kind contribution to the project.