The capital of the country, Addis Ababa, is experiencing a massive rural exodus where millions of migrants arrive terrorised by war and fleeing poverty.
The Daughters of Charity welcome many children from poor families in the Atse Teklegiorgis school.
Sister Tigist, the project leader, tells us:
Last year, many students had to drop out of school to help their families earn money to survive.
The economic situation in Ethiopia is very difficult. In the shops, everything is very expensive. Poor people are dying silently at home because of hunger. Every day our students, but also many other people, come to the school to beg for food.
So we decided to set up food aid and daily support to improve the living conditions of our students.
In the classrooms, it was not uncommon to see students lacking concentration or even falling asleep due to lack of energy. In order for our students to reach their full academic potential, they needed to be nourished.
Thanks to the project, in addition to one meal a day, the school provides clean water and hygiene products (mainly sanitary pads for the girls, which is an additional obstacle to their attendance in class when they lack them).
The project was also intended to buy uniforms for 100 students, but we received a donation of 150 uniforms. The board decided to use the part of the budget to pay the school fees of very poor students who attend St. Mary's and St. Lazarist schools. This is a great relief for us and for the children's families.
Students can attend their classes without worrying about tuition fees or the purchase of educational materials. They study hard. They are healthier, which has contributed to a significant improvement in their academic performance.
May God bless all those who have contributed to this project in one way or another.
This year, thank God, we have not had many students drop out of school. This shows how much the Rosalie Project has changed the lives of many children.
30 students took a national grade 8 exam and are waiting for the results. Pupils from grades 1 to 7 have also moved on to the next grade with good results.
The story of Eyerussalem Getasetegn illustrates the impact of this project.
Eyerussalem is 11 years old. She was born in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. After her parents divorced, she stayed with her father, but he was unable to support her, so she wandered the streets for a short time. One day a street boy took her to our school and introduced her to me.
She told me about the sexual and physical harassment she experienced on the street. She was so distressed that she had never told anyone about it before. I discussed this with Sister Elizabeth, the headmistress of the Atse Teklegiorgis School, and started a guidance and counselling programme with her. After a three-month programme of support classes, she is now able to follow the curriculum of her class. The school provides her with school materials, uniform and food.
Since then, she has lived with her mother. She has completed her third year and is now in the fourth year with flying colours. The teachers and staff are very happy because she is one of the best students in her grade.
Thanks to your generosity, we have been able to continue our mission with the children of Atse Teklegiorgis Catholic School. I can assure you that your donations have allowed us to teach the spirit, touch the heart and transform the lives of many children in need. Once again, thank you so much for your support. It means a lot to us and to all the needy children in the school who have benefited from these donations.
With them, thanks to you