Adanech Tekebo

Costa Foundation schools give opportunities not just to children, but also to adults who have been forced to abandon their education due to poverty, marriage or pregnancy. Adanech tells her story of going back to school.

I recently went back to school after dropping out 10 years ago. I was forced to quit my education because my parents could not afford to send me to school. I married a person who was 25 years older and I gave birth to six children. We were poor, with only our one-hectare coffee and banana farm, which we had to share with 12 other children from his previous two wives. I worked as a daily wage labourer to support my family and then my husband passed away.

When I took part in the 2011 Costa Foundation’s school construction project, it wasn’t merely a means of income. It was an opportunity to access the quality education that I was longing for. Without Adame Primary School’s presence in my community, I wouldn’t have been able to go back to school or send my own children to school.

If this school wasn’t here, my kids and I would not have been able to travel the 10 miles back and forth to the nearest school. What is more, the quality of the school has helped us to be effective and hopeful regardless of all our economic problems.

I am happy that my kids have a better experience of schooling than I did. I learned Grades 1-7 in a school where there weren’t seats, a library, water, or latrines and the dusty ground classrooms were poorly constructed. But now it is so different. My children are very supportive of my education - my five daughters and my son stand by me and help me make the best of it.

None of this would have been possible if not for Adame Primary School. My kids and I got the opportunity to access quality education and I am also making money by cleaning the school. I like everything about my school. The classrooms are conducive to learning, there are adequate books, clean water and gender segregated latrines. It is a privilege to be able to attend such a school while being in a community like mine.

“Many people belittle my mum because they think she will get nowhere by attending school at her age. But this has not discouraged her from chasing her dream. I am happy that she is as wise as she is - she is my inspiration, said Solomon, Adanech's son.

I am proud of my mother – she is the strongest woman I have ever known. I support her by helping her with house chores and by making money working as a day labourer. We are going through school together.

Lomnesh Tadesse, Adanech’s daughter