A country investing in people and progress
Ethiopia, as a country, is working incredibly hard to improve access to and the quality of education. The government spends, on average, more than 20% of the entire national budget on education development – one of the highest education budgets in the world! Their progress towards an education system that is accessible to each and every child has been revolutionary – enrollment is approaching 100% for primary-age children. We want to match this passion with our own and be part of Ethiopia’s transformation.
A country tackling it’s problems, but that needs help to do so.
But there are still huge hurdles to overcome. Ethiopia’s literacy rate is lower than 50%, and in Africa’s 2nd most populous country this means 42,273,22 are unable to read or write. More than a quarter of children who enrol in Grade One drop out before they complete their first school year. 20% fewer children attend school in rural areas than in towns and cities. Ethiopian boys continue to have greater access to education than Ethiopian girls; only around 40% of girls complete primary school, and fewer still enrol in secondary school.
We’re working to support Ethiopia’s vision of a changed country – with education as the cornerstone.
A country of the future
The work we’re engaged in across Ethiopia would be important in many countries in Africa and beyond. But by focusing on one country we’re not only remaining tied to our grassroots origins – we’re making sure we’re most effective where we’re most needed. Africa is a continent of huge variety and what may work in one country may not work in the next. By having 20 years experience focused on Ethiopia we are in the best possible position to understand its education system, its strengths, the challenges it faces, and the culture, to ensure our work is successful.
Working in partnership
20 years ago we established the first official link between an Ethiopian and British School: Fasiledes Secondary School in Gondar and Dr. Challoners Grammar School in Amersham. This grassroots approach – connecting schools, communities and people together – remains at the heart of the education work we now perform.
There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model – we listen to the families, schools and educators in the communities where we work and they help determine our focus. For example; rural areas often lack sufficient classrooms to accommodate the demand, so here we may focus on classroom construction and maintenance.
Where we work
Gondar is where Link Ethiopia started out, and is home to our head office. Our office there is centrally located enabling our team to support schools in the town, the rural areas surrounding it, and further afield. We also work with schools around the shores of Lake Tana, in the major town of Bahir Dar, and in the hilltop village of Lalibela.
The ancient city of Gondar, was capital of the kingdom for nearly three hundred years from the seventeenth century onwards.
In the centre and south of Ethiopia we support schools in the capital, Addis Ababa, and in Bishoftu (Debre Zeit), Adama (Nazret) and Asella. Our office in Bishoftu is ideally situated, at the heart of the town, to enable this expansion of our work.
Being just an hour from Addis, Bishoftu is often a “getaway town” for middle-class Ethiopians, who like to spend the weekend relaxing on the shores of its idyllic crater lakes.
We’re working with over 100,000 children and 100 schools across these areas to support Ethiopia transform itself. Follow the links below to either learn about our impact or find out how to get involved in our work
- The East African Lion: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.XPD.TOTL.GB.ZS/countries/1W-ET-GB-US-NG-ZA?display=graph
- Many challenges remain: http://linkethiopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/OSCStudyReport2012.pdf
- Many challenges remain: http://linkethiopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ET_EDFactSheet.pdf