A Visit to Dangla
This past October, I had the privilege to travel to Dangla, meet the Project Ethiopia team, and visit many of our project sites. It was a quick and jam-packed week. From participating in the University Transition Awards ceremony within a couple of hours of our arrival, to witnessing the formation of two new farmers’ associations complete with a very lively nomination process to select the leadership, to visiting 10 schools helped by our project, I was so inspired by all that has been accomplished and the clear vision for what is yet to be done.
During my week in Dangla, I saw many, many examples of how Project Ethiopia is making a real difference in the lives of rural families and communities. One such example is Dengeshta Primary School located about 5 km from the town of Dangla.
After a bumpy bajaj ride through the lush countryside still blooming with beautiful yellow meskel flowers, we pulled over and completed the remaining kilometer to the school by foot. Crossing a wide clover field of grazing cattle, we came upon a short path leading to Dengeshta School. Over the past three years, Project Ethiopia has worked with the community to add three school buildings (12 classrooms total) where previously there was only one building. Today, 645 students have access to grades 1 to 8 (before the highest level was 4th grade); creating an educational pathway to high school and even beyond.
While visiting, we had the opportunity to meet with the school director and one of the most active parents, Debas, who has four children at the school. During our conversation, we learned about many exciting changes that have occurred at the school and in the community including:
- Families have a deep sense of pride because the community now has four school buildings to serve their children.
- Many even contribute out of their own pockets to help cover expenses that exceed what the school receives from the government.
- In 2016, the community organized to build its first toilet facility for the students.
- And most exciting, this past spring the first group of 8th grade students, 50 in total, all passed the regional exam and are now attending high school in Dangla.
This year we will continue our partnership with Dengeshta School to complete the final improvement for this community – a clean water well for the students and staff. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months!
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