Kilenso Rasa High School, Ethiopia
1. ‘Tafa’ brothers
Thanks to the generous donations from Costa Foundation for Kilenso Rasa high school project, 3 brothers from ‘Tafa’ family – Shube Tafa, Gudisa Tafa and Edao Tafa (Left to Right) - have been given the opportunity to attend their secondary school education.
As their parent’s income is very low, they have no means to send them to higher education since they can’t afford the expenses entailed.
By finishing their secondary school, these students will have more educational opportunities available to them and their family hopes that, they will complete secondary school and then all of them will go on to the University and achieve even more success.
2. Feisa Gurmu
An ex-soldier, A father of four, who returned from Ethiopia’s war against Eritrea in 2002 with nothing of his own and few prospects, Feisa Gurmu has seen his life transformed since he became involved in the Coffee Farmers Primary Co-operative established with the support of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union in his native village of Kilenso.
Feisa, 36, is now attending high school after 11 years – an opportunity provided to him and others like him by the support made Costa Foundation in upgrading the Kilenso Rasa high school.
He opens up his dreams for the future this way… “Education is a corner stone for development. That is why I decided to learn with my children and young brothers and sisters at this age. I trust that I will complete my higher education having better knowledge of natural resource management in relation with coffee farming and its investment. I have no words to thank Costa Foundation.”
3. Construction committee changed to Board of School Administration
When the Costa Foundation support began in September 2007, the Kilenso Rasa community was only minimally involved in the school and the educational process. The Kilenso Rasa Coffee Farmers Primary Cooperative was not actively involved in the school. Parents did not attend school meetings because they did not see any problem-solving approach and the meeting times were inconvenient. A parent committee had been formed, but was not functioning. Although the community contained a number of local resources, the community had no process for utilizing these resources for schools.
The community members knew that their situation was bad and were interested in changing it, but it was only through the Costa Foundation support that they started to understand how they could be involved in the change process. The Chairman of the cooperative, Mr. Desta Udo, who had always been a strong leader in the community, became particularly energized in support of the school upgrading project.
The school Director, Mr. Shigute Konse also helped to establish the Board of School Administration (BSA) and keep them focused on the issues and activities of the school community. Through the strong partnership of these two leaders, the community was able to transform the situation into one that promotes quality education.
In recent months, the BSA have instituted evening group studies for pupils, organized a parent day (where prizes were awarded to excelling pupils) and replacing the previous 3 blocks of school structure made from mud and reed by newly built permanent classroom blocks, while a block of pit latrine and fencing is also to be installed.
Sara, 24, a mother of 5 children, had discontinued her high school study for 12 years because she was abducted, besides she was not able to cover the living cost needed to stay and study at the nearby high school, which is located 57 km (35 miles) away from Kilenso area.
She explained the situation as follows…
“For me it could have been difficult to pursue my high school education if Costa Foundation hadn’t constructed this high school in Kilenso Rasa. I am very grateful for the support of Costa Foundation not only I am being benefited but also for my children and the coming generation who are fortunate enough to get this opportunity.”
5. Getachew Dadi
A man by the name of Getachew Dadi, 32, has explained how he found the Kilenso Rasa 2nd cycle school in terms of creating access to education in the following way…
“I remember what I felt 10 years back when I was at the age of 22 and when I was cursing my fate as the dream and hope that I had to continue my high school education fade. While my friends who were in a well to do family went to other towns where high school education is accessible, I was simply crying because my parent’s economic status could not let me get a chance to go and attend the education.
At the time, when I abandoned my education, I was involved in marriage and got 2 children.
My first child is a student in grade 2 and thanks to Costa Foundation, I also got a chance of high school education in the nearby Kilenso Rasa without going too far away from my village and my little child, who is a student too.”
(In the interest of protecting children the children's names have been changed)
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