One of our newer projects, Partners in Ethiopia, has been supporting students from families that can’t afford the required school uniforms for students in Agarfa with our project partner Vision for Bright Future, an Ethiopian NGO. Agarfa is a town and a district (woreda) in the Oromia Region about 200km southeast of the capital Addis Ababa:
In Canada we see education as a right, yet in Ethiopia education remains a privilege. Children cannot attend school in Ethiopia without a uniform and school supplies. For many families, uniforms and school supplies are beyond their means. In some families, children work to contribute to the family income. Their work ranges from shining shoes, washing laundry, taking care of children, herding goats in the forest/bush and many more.
Partners in Ethiopia is currently supporting 132 children with school uniforms and supplies to enable easy access to education.
The Selection Process
Families apply to Vision for Bright Future (VBF), our Ethiopian partner, for a school uniform and supplies. A committee composed of VBF members, women and children’s affairs staff, local elders and municipal officials identify the children who are most in need. Children are selected based on the following criteria:
• HIV positive children
• Caregiver – HIV positive
• A double or single orphan child
• Children with old/ debilitated caregiver
• Street children
• Gender-based violence exposed children eg. sexual abuse, child labor exploitation
• Families who experience crop failure
• Children in families supported by commercial sex workers
• Children in single parent families
VBF notifies the selected families and an appointment is scheduled with one of the local tailors, providing the additional benefit of supporting local businesses. Uniforms are kept within families and eventually passed down to younger children. Children from nine schools benefit from this project: four schools in Agarfa from Grade 1 to 12 and five other schools in the surrounding area.
The cost of one uniform and supplies is $35.00 CAD. We are hoping to expand this program as we have many children in need of this kind of support. With your generous donation, you will be supporting children and their families while creating jobs for local businesses.