School Supplies for 300 Children in Rural Ethiopia!
Chiro town, were we are based in Ethiopia, is a full six hour drive from Addis Ababa. For Ethiopians, Chiro is considered remote. But another 4 hours past Chiro, bumping around on winding, mountainous, rut-filled roads, is a little town called Boke.
Boke is one place that truly feels forgotten by the world, even by its own country. It’s so far out, so hard to get to, and so impoverished, that it captured our hearts the moment we found it.
The drive to Boke Woreda (town) is not a fun one, and there’s a reason hired drivers don’t like to take people there. The road, if it can be called that, is bumpy at its nicest points, horrendous at its worst. When you arrive at Boke Woreda, you can see why the road hasn’t even been developed—there’s nothing there. Except for people. People, children, elders who have been forgotten.
PATH’s year two plan for work in Ethiopia was to expand our work to this far out rural place called Boke in order to help provide more opportunities for children to go to school.
So often, a mother’s inability to purchase scholastic materials—notebooks, drawing books, pens, pencils, erasers, and pencil sharpeners—is what keeps her children from going to school and receiving an education.
PATH planned to provide such scholastic materials for 100 vulnerable children in Boke this year. We ended up providing for 300 students.
The need in Boke is huge. The schools have been falling apart for years, and the teachers are short staffed. No one wants to teach in Boke, and almost no one can afford to go to school. Even the community places a lower value on education than it does on other aspects of life. Every year, the schools in Boke struggle to get the community to register their children for class. When PATH’s Ethiopian country staff members consulted with local government officials about preparing this scholastic material distribution, the officials begged PATH to stretch the materials we had to give to reach more students. The need there is that overwhelming. So, we answered that call.
One Friday morning just before the start of school, the local officials in Boke assembled the community, and PATH was able to provide scholastic materials for 300 school children—that’s almost the whole community. Sata, PATH’s Ethiopian Country Director, encouraged the children in Boke to make the best out of this opportunity and to be diligent in their studies. Other local officials gave similar exhortations, telling the students to be good stewards of the materials that have been entrusted to them. Whereas in previous years, school registration has been low, once PATH began distributing these scholastic materials to the children, the children immediately registered for the school year.
One month ago, 300 mothers were not planning on preparing their children for school, and 300 children did not plan on participating in class and properly learning. Those plans have now been changed!
Your support is changing the stories and lives of some of the most desperate children in the world, who live in some of the most forgotten, far off places.
Our hope and prayer is that someday, these children and families will see and know that it is the love of Jesus which motivates people like you, to give generously to someone who you have never met. Love like that does not go unnoticed, would you join us in praying that these communities will one day know Jesus as their Lord and Savior?
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