In recent years, we have facilitated access to education for tens of thousands of students in Ethiopian schools. Ethiopia is also one of the countries where we have professionalized fire brigades. Only in the last year – along with the deteriorating economic situation of a country struggling with a pandemic, poverty and hunger – we built and opened a kitchen and a canteen at the Selam Chora educational institution. Our rescuers supported the Ethiopian health service in dealing with the pandemic.
– This is our sixth representative office abroad. The quick registration process was positively influenced by the opinion of Polish diplomacy and Ethiopian authorities about our projects and activities. I hope that this will enable us to develop our activities in Ethiopia both in the field of development aid – especially health protection – and humanitarian aid – summed up Wojciech Wilk, Ph.D., CEO of the PCPM Foundation.
The opening of the permanent mission was preceded by many years of the Foundation’s activities. Just in 2016, it was not possible to conduct classes in Ethiopian schools after sunset, which at the equator remains constant at 6 p.m.
– We have installed solar systems in primary schools in the southern part of Ethiopia. There are still places where it is completely dark after dark – explained Kamil Ewertowski, coordinator of the PCPM project. – School lighting has given thousands of children in several hundred schools the opportunity to learn, read, and enjoy educational games and activities in a friendly environment. The mission lasted from 2012 to 2016 and our help reached 500 schools across Ethiopia.
In 2020, fear of a pandemic forced the country’s authorities to introduce a state of emergency and close all school facilities. This sounded like a sentence to many Ethiopian families. In addition to the fear caused by the pandemic, the lack of a chance for the smallest income, the fear of hunger increased by the plague of locusts was growing among the inhabitants with every moment, which deprived them of the chance to get any food. Among them are the parents of pupils from Selam Chora, one of the poorest institutions in the region, which we visited in December 2019. We were not only in classrooms but also in family homes. Talks with parents and consultations with teachers left no illusions. Some parents have admitted that there are days when they don’t have anything to put in a backpack when they go to school in the morning.
We took specific steps to start supporting the school at pcpm.org.pl/etiopia.
Thanks to donations from Polish donors, the PCPM Foundation built a kitchen for the school canteen in the backyard of Selam Chora school. Now we are focusing on providing food products, the purchase of which – with the help of the donors – we want to finance for the next months. We want to continue to help, therefore we appeal for further regular support. School cannot be associated with hunger.
– Proper nutrition has a great influence on the development of the baby’s brain. Long-term malnutrition, apart from the obvious disastrous impact on the child’s somatic health, translates into worse results at school, problems with concentration and learning, explains Dr. Paweł Szczuciński from the Poland Emergency Medical Team PCPM. The Poland Emergency Medical Team PCPM simultaneously supported the Ethiopian health service in tackling COVID-19 during a month-long medical mission.