Ethiopia students return to school with Holt’s support

In Ethiopia, students head to school this month with support from their Holt sponsors and donors — some for the first time.

Through our work with vulnerable families in Shinshicho, Holt found that many children who start school — even at 5 or 6 years old — weren’t prepared for classes. They lacked an understanding of structure, routine and basic, preschool-appropriate knowledge. In response, we partnered with the community of Shinshicho to support the first Kindergarten in the region.

In the first week of September, the dark mass of stormy skies over Shinshicho finally breaks apart, however briefly.

There is still a 90 percent chance of rain again today, the first day of school, as there has been for nearly three months. Between the thunderstorms, wind and seemingly endless rain, the dirt roads are washed out and muddy, with deep puddles blocking even the most major roadways.

Soon, though, the rainy season will change — returning to a hot and dry dust storm and droughts that make farmers curse their land.

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Tigabu signs “I love you” to a Holt staff visitor.

Born sixth in a family with seven children, 9-year-old Tigabu has more than once wondered if, indeed, his family is cursed. His parents are subsistence farmers who struggle to afford even basic necessities, like food or clothing. His four sisters and two brothers help where they can to earn extra income for the family, but that often means skipping class to help their parents harvest or carry crops to market.

Until recently, however, Tigabu and his siblings had no school to miss. Their opportunity to attend school is a new one. Continue reading “Ethiopia students return to school with Holt’s support”

Shinshicho Celebrates the Arrival of Donated Medical Equipment

Four years ago, Holt International and the rural community of Shinshicho, Ethiopia partnered to build the first maternal-child hospital in the region. Now in its final phase of construction, the hospital is nearly complete. Throughout the area, Holt is supporting projects to help children and families grow strong and healthy. 

At the end of March, more than two tons of medical equipment arrived at the Holt-funded maternal and child hospital in Shinshicho, Ethiopia after months of delays in the Port of Djibouti customs. Donated by hospitals and collected by the Oregon Rotary Club in September 2013, the equipment will outfit the hospital’s patient wards and surgery rooms and its installation is the last step to complete a 4-year effort to bring greater healthcare to children and families in this rural region of Ethiopia. Continue reading “Shinshicho Celebrates the Arrival of Donated Medical Equipment”