My respect for educators took another leap when we visited two schools in the village of Mojo. This town outside Addis Ababa, is modest, to say the least. The dirt roads are filled with townspeople, livestock, and donkeys transporting bundles of sticks. The businesses we can see as we drive by are small metal shacks filled with all manner of day-to-day necessities. A glimpse down a side lane hinted at the labyrinth of residences hidden from street view.
We began with a visit to the local high school, and moved on to a primary school. Both schools educated their students with the sparsest of materials. The rooms are bare with thin wooden desks, the books are old and mended with tape, the classrooms were crowded, and the buildings are crumbling. It's hard to see past the initial "lack," but we were about to learn how school grants from the British government have made possible significant improvements for both students and teachers.
The administrators and teachers were proud to tell us about the progress they've made. The upgrades are modest when you compare them to American schools, but they make a big difference to students and the teachers. Everything from textbooks to lab equipment to computers to improved bathrooms were made possible by British grants. Teachers were able to receive training to deepen their skills, and the results showed in the students' exam scores and graduation rates.
We're hearing from mothers that their biggest dream for their children is for them to get an education. Thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of the educators we met, in partnership with the Ethiopian and British governments, kids in Mojo are getting that chance.
Don't miss Christine Koh's post about Mojo schools, including fantastic video clips that will really help you feel what it was like there. And…children singing, which was my favorite moment.
And! And! Liz Gumbinner's beautiful post talks about this visit in a way I was unable to express. The great thing about this ONEMoms group is that when one of us is speechless, another one manages to speak.
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I’m in Ethiopia as an expense-paid guest of the ONE Campaign. ONE is a non-partisan organization that fights poverty and preventable disease, primarily in Africa.
The idea behind the ONEMoms partnership is simple: the connection we share as parents extends around the world. When we recognize that connection and come together, we can make real change.
ONE will never ask for your money, just your voice. If you're moved by what you're reading here (or on any of the ONEMom teams' blogs) please consider joining ONE, and spreading the word about our ONEMoms journey this week!
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