Ethiopia

Education transforming lives in Ethiopia

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Where would you be without education? A Tearfund partner in Ethiopia asked the very same question, and is now taking education to some of the remotest parts of Ethiopia. Tearfund Sunday's (March 2nd 2003) church pack Bright Sparks tells the stories and the dreams of hundreds of children who are finally getting the chance to go to school.
Tearfund's partner Mesecrete Kristos Church in Ethiopia is bringing education to over 2500 children for the very first time. Supported by Tearfund, the church has built 10 education centres across a valley in the Meta Robi district of Ethiopia. Previously in this district, that has no electricity or running water, children were forced to walk up to 5 hours in each direction to get to the nearest school.

'I am hoping to get an education. Maybe if I get that, I can become a doctor,' says 15 year old Misre. Without an education Misre faces a life-sentence of hard labour. Before Tearfund's partner gave her the opportunity of school she was earning little more then 22 pence a day working in a neighbour's field as a labourer.

The Bright Sparks pack demonstrates the very real hopes and desires of these children who have come from an impoverished and remote Ethiopian community. The project has transformed the village in just two years by simply providing primary education.

"I am from a poor family so I was privileged to have a high school near my village," says Dr Berham Kotissi, the local doctor. "I dreamt of becoming an educated person and it was at high school that I thought of becoming a doctor. One perception people have of Ethiopia is that it is always in drought and nothing good can be expected of it. That's not true - we don't want to be beggars, we want to be changed and we can be changed through education."

The moving video in the Bright Sparks pack shows how the children, despite living in one of the poorest countries in the world, have the same hopes, desires and dreams.

Tim Hamilton, Tearfund's Tear Times Editorial Manager who recently visited the Meta Robi district added: "So often we find it difficult to imagine what it must be like to live in a world without mobile phones and computers. The Bright Sparks pack allows us to see through the lives of the children in this remote village in Ethiopia what it is like to live without the even the basics that we take for granted. It was really moving to see what an amazing transformation the gift of education has done for this village."

The Bright Sparks pack is available now for £9.95 and includes:

  • Flexible, easy-to-use leader's guide with activities for your church, school or home group - and a witty drama sketch
  • Full-colour OHP set
  • Colourful A2 posters
  • A Video: What do you want to be...? Linking schools in Manchester and Ethiopia
  • Imagine what a child can do leaflets
Call 0845 355 8355 to order the Brights Sparks Tearfund Sunday Pack

Notes to Editors

1. Picture available: Hannah and her friends study hard in their village in remotest Ethiopia thanks to Tearfund partner the Meserete Kristos Church. Photo credit: Jim Loring. J-peg images (300k/300dpi) are available by contacting the press office

2. Spokespeople available: Tim Hamilton, Tear Times Editor who is responsible for the Bright Sparks pack is available for interview following his visit to the Meta Robi district, Ethiopia

3. Attention Radio Stations: Tearfund ISDN sound studio G722 or APTX on 020 8614 5793.

For media enquiries only, please contact:

Keith Ewing, Media Manager on 020 89943 7779 or 07710 573749
Sylvie White, Senior Media Officer on 020 8943 5793
Abby King, Media Officer on 020 8943 7901 or 07767 473516