Students wave hello at an early childhood development center in Ethiopia.

Holt photographer Micaela Rahimian shares photos from Holt’s first U.S. team trip to visit children and families in Ethiopia since the COVID-19 pandemic halted travel in March 2020. Among other programs, the team visited many of Holt’s new Early Childhood Education & Development (ECCD) centers in the region.

For children living in poverty in Ethiopia, education isn’t a certainty due to the high costs of school fees and uniforms. But with the help of Holt sponsors and donors, hundreds of children are able to attend Early Childhood Care and Development centers (ECCDs) where they get to develop important skills, play with their friends and learn from trained teachers and facilitators.

Students spend their days learning with the tools provided by donors, such as books, crayons, tracing tools and plenty of other materials that they only get through school. The ECCD centers prepare children ages 4 to 6 for primary school — giving them a safe place to go while their parents work and a critical early education they would not otherwise receive.

As Holt ECCD centers in Ethiopia have rapidly expanded over the past few years, the staff are seeing high enrollments and a decrease in school dropout rates overall among children living in the impoverished communities they serve.

A teacher and students at an early childhood development center in Ethiopia.
Early childhood development center in Ethiopia
Students at Wallana ECCD center practice their English by learning their numbers.
A reading room at an early childhood development center in Ethiopia.
The reading center at Wallana ECCD center in rural Ethiopia is full of books and supplies provided with the help of Holt sponsors and donors.

A young girl solves math problems in front of her whole class. Learning these skills will help prepare her as she moves on to primary school next year.
At an ECCD center in the southern region of Ethiopia, Holt partnered with the organization KTZ OVC CASA to provide wash stations during the pandemic — giving children access to clean water, helping them learn hygiene practices and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
A young girl is learning to recognize and recite each country in Africa by putting together a map puzzle.
Children at an ECCD center play on the play structures donated by Holt donors.
Young students at an ECCD center in rural Ethiopia welcome visitors into their classroom.

Learn more about Holt’s work in Ethiopia!

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