A largely rural-based culture, children traditionally tend animals and fields – around 53% of under 14s are engaged in extended labour activities.
Education has little value. This population of 99.5 million has very low literacy rates – for women, as low as 41%.
Where children do attend a school, many will drop out early. Children from rural villages struggle to cope with primary schooling, where it is offered.
Our partners, Addis Kidan Baptist Church, tackle deep-rooted poverty in their own nation, particularly in deprived rural communities.
They have created preschools to provide children with a basic, grassroots education – building their capacity and readiness for formal schooling at government primary schools.
We support five preschools in Hosana, Jajura, Sundusa, Selfe and Gombe. These are in Ethiopia’s southern Hadiya region, where around 90% of the population live in extremely isolated rural communities.
Children attend pre-school for two years, their education includes numeracy and literacy. In two years the children gain the confidence and receive encouragement to cope with formal school.
Attendance has been high, and many ‘graduates’ have gone onto government primary schools, enabling more children from poor families to join us. When they leave, we know the children have developed the skills to succeed in the classroom, and their parents have learned enough to value the opportunity.
In addition to the pre-schools, our partners help with:
- ‘self-help’ groups for pre-school parents – micro-finance schemes saving money and developing income-generating projects
- ‘backyard farms’ –agricultural initiatives helping families grow improved and more varied crops.
improved health and hygiene understanding – health education and building pit latrines