Happy 1st Birthday to Hope Library!!
On August 1, 2018 we held the Grand Opening of Hope Library, the very first library in the Kelafo Region. The library has been very popular with community members and we are happy to announce that we have hired a second, part-time librarian who will be starting in September.
Education 4 Change
Statement of Purpose: To advance education by operating a mobile school for the underprivileged communities of the Kelafo District and surrounding communities within the Somali Region of Ethiopia.
A Brief History
Education 4 Change is a non-profit, grassroots organization that is based in Waterloo, Ontario. We work in partnership with the people of the Kelafo district, Somali region in Ethiopia to provide educational opportunities for the 200,000 people in the area. Education 4 Change is an incorporated organization and a registered charity in Canada and we are also a registered NGO in Ethiopia.
Despite being similar in size to the Waterloo Region, the Kelafo district never had a library, not even in their schools. And while there are schools in the area, they are often run by unqualified teachers, they are too small for the student population and they lack the necessary resources to educate their students properly. Students wanting to attend high school must leave their villages and travel to another community, sometimes several hours away. We are working with the communities and schools in the Kelafo district to create a sustainable, locally managed education program that meets their children's needs. Our projects include a mobile school, teacher training, a permanent library and adult literacy classes.
Over 90% of Donations
Education 4 Change is run by volunteers only. None of our Board members or other volunteers are paid any salary and when our volunteers travel to Kelafo, they pay for the trip themselves. We use a small portion from each donation to cover our essential office expenses and we make an effort to keep these expenses as low as possible. Currently, over 90% of each donation goes directly to our projects. This largely covers the salaries of our staff in Ethiopia - a coordinator, an accountant, two teachers and a teacher-librarian, but also goes towards school supplies, resources for the library and maintenance of our mobile school.
Education 4 Change is a partnership. We believe that the people who best know what they need are the people living in that community. That is why we take the time to talk to the people in Kelafo and to find out how they want to improve their community. We know that if we want our organization to be successful, the local people must be directly invested in the outcomes. We also try to use as many local resources and local employees as we can while we complete our projects.
We currently support 5 villages with our mobile school and 2 villages with adult literacy classes. However, there approximately 40 villages in the area which means that the majority of villages are still not getting the help they need. We recently opened a permanent library that is central to all of the villages but it is a work in progress. We need more books and educational resources and we are working to provide a computer with internet access that the locals can use. We want to do more. Our short term goals include starting a second mobile school, hiring more adult literacy teachers and improving the conditions at some of the local schools (for example, it has come to our attention that some schools do not have a girls bathroom which is preventing many girls from attending).
We firmly believe that education is the key to breaking the poverty cycle. With your financial support, Education 4 Change will provide a better future for the families of the Kelafo district. We are giving these communities the resources they need and the hope of a better future.