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School Report
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A few months ago, Christine Keenen, from our sister organization in Northern Ireland, “Schools for Shashemene”, visited the school to provide uniforms, desks and equipment for the children. The uniforms were made by a local tailor – the desks and chairs by local craftsmen.

These crisp new uniforms meant so much to the children; as Schools for Humanity Ethiopia Committee member Birhanu Shanu points out, “the uniforms really make the children feel part of the school, part of a new and exciting community that is dedicated to learning. When Christine delivered the uniforms the children were so excited, they didn’t stop smiling for days!”

The children of Shashemene are finishing their first term at the school we support. For most children, this has been their first experience of a formal education. The students are progressing well in their studies. The younger children can now write basic sentences in the Amharic script. Older children are doing well in mathematics, science, English, Amharic and civic studies.

In the two K-level classes there are 47 boys and 36 girls. In the post K-level classes there are 36 boys and 42 girls. We are pleased to see girls well represented in our student body; traditionally the ratio of girls to boys is much lower in Ethiopian schools.

Of concern, however, is absenteeism resulting from the poor health of some of the children. Twenty-percent of the students have missed more than 5 days of school since September because of health-related issues. On our upcoming trips to Ethiopia, we will look at the possibility of adding a small clinic to the school; or at minimum, establish a weekly visit to the school by a doctor. If you would like to help fund raise for the clinic or medical coverage for the children please contact me at: dave@schoolsforhumanity.org (or by phone 650 291 1001).

As we move into 2008, Schools for Humanity will look at setting up vocational based training for the older children with the goal of developing skills that can enrich both the students and the community.

I’ve just finished reading Bill Bryson’s “African Diary”, so let me include a quote from Bill: “ I don’t suppose (the Africans) can all be saintly and deserving, but they do have one thing in common with the rest of us: they are human beings. And, like us, they get only one life apiece, so naturally they tend to appreciate it – appreciate it very much, I believe – when people from a more comfortable part of the world take trouble to help them make theirs better.”

The families in Shashemene are immensely appreciative of the work we are doing. Please help Schools for Humanity expand our influence in Ethiopia by making a donation today – it will make a world of difference.

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